Google removes cupcake calorie counter from Maps

CupcakesImage copyright Getty Images Image caption Some users did not want to be told how many cakes they had walked

Google has decided to remove an update to Maps that shows users how many calories they would burn if they walked to their destination.

It follows what the search giant described as "strong user feedback" with many criticising the feature as patronising, shaming and a possible trigger for eating disorders.

The pink cupcake calorie counter was also lambasted as being unscientific.

It will be removed by the end of the day, Google has confirmed.

The experimental feature was rolled out on the iOS version of Google Maps, beneath walking directions.

It told people how many calories they would burn if they walked and what that was in terms of cupcakes.

Twitter user Taylor Lorenz summed up the attitude of many when she tweeted that the feature could be "extremely triggering" for someone with eating disorders.

She also criticised it because it could not be turned off, and for being "wildly inaccurate" because it failed to take into account general health information.

End of Twitter post by @TaylorLorenz

End of Twitter post 2 by @TaylorLorenz

Priya Tew, a member of the Association of UK Dietitians said:"Although it is good to encourage people to walk more, having the calories used on Google Maps does not seem to be the best way to do this.

"Firstly it encourages competition, trying to burn more calories each day which could be triggering for some people who have a tendency to over-exercise.Secondly it could make people feel shamed that they have not walked far enough or burned enough calories.

"If people want to count their calories then they should be given the option to do this, rather than it being enforced."...

References

  1. ^ Skip Twitter post by @TaylorLorenz (www.bbc.co.uk)
  2. ^ October 17, 2017 (twitter.com)
  3. ^ Skip Twitter post 2 by @TaylorLorenz (www.bbc.co.uk)
  4. ^ October 17, 2017 (twitter.com)

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Australia launches revenge porn reporting tool

Young woman with phone looking upsetImage copyright iStock

Australia has set up the first national reporting tool to help victims of revenge porn.

Revenge porn, or image-based abuse, is the sharing of explicit images without consent.

The online portal provides advice on getting the images removed, reporting the abuse to authorities and pursuing legal action.

The country's eSafety commissioner said 20% of Australians aged between 16 and 49 have experienced image-based abuse.

Young women and indigenous Australians were more likely to be victims.

The same research found that 76% of victims took no action, often because they didn't know what to do.

In a statement, communications minister Mitch Fifield said the $4.8m (£2.8m) portal was a "world-first".

He also said the government is considering introducing civil penalties for perpetrators or websites that distribute revenge porn....

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UK TV drama about North Korea hit by cyber-attack

Kim Jong-UnImage copyright Getty Images Image caption Kim Jong-Un's officials described Opposite Number as being "slanderous"

North Korean hackers targeted a British television company making a drama about the country, it has emerged.

The series - due to be written by an Oscar-nominated screenwriter - has been shelved.

In August 2014, Channel 4 announced what it said would be a new "bold and provocative" drama series.

Entitled Opposite Number, the programme's plot involved a British nuclear scientist taken prisoner in North Korea.

The production firm involved - Mammoth Screen - subsequently had its computers attacked.

The project has not moved forward - because of a failure to secure funding, the company says.

'Hair on fire'

North Korean officials had responded in anger when details of the TV series were fist revealed.Pyongyang described the plot as a "slanderous farce" as it called on the British government to pull the series in order to avoid damaging relations.

The North Koreans did more than protest though - they hacked into the computer networks of the company behind the show.

The incident was first reported by the New York Times[1], which cited Channel 4 as the main target.The BBC understands though that it was actually Mammoth Screen which was hit by hackers.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Screenwriter Matt Charman was nominated for an Oscar for the 2015 Spielberg movie Bridge of Spies

The attack did not inflict any damage but the presence of North Korean hackers on the system caused widespread alarm over what they might do.

"They were running around with their hair on fire," a TV executive from another company told the BBC, describing the level of concern.

British intelligence was also aware of the attack.

The concern was compounded because Sony Pictures experienced a significant cyber-attack in November 2014.A group called the Guardians of Peace claimed it was behind it but US officials said they believed North Korea was responsible.

That attack was also in retaliation for a drama - in this case the planned release of the film The Interview, a comedy in which the North Korean leader was assassinated.

The studio had its emails stolen and publicly released but also had a significant portion of its computer network destroyed by the attackers.The film was eventually released online amid concerns that cinemas would not show it because of threats.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Sony pulled The Interview from US cinemas after it was hacked

It also led to a strong reaction from the Obama White House, including the imposition of sanctions.There was no commensurate complaint from the British government, despite officials knowing that a UK company had also been targeted - although not affected in the same way as Sony Pictures.

Increased aggression

In the UK, Opposite Number has been shelved.The drama was due to be the second commission to come out of Channel 4's newly formed international drama division.

At the time, Mammoth Screen and its distribution partner, ITV Studios Global Entertainment, said they were seeking an international partner.But a spokeswoman for ITV Studios - which purchased Mammoth Screen in 2015 - told the BBC in February that "that the co-production hasn't progressed because third-party funding has not been secured".

Those involved will not comment on whether the failure to attract funding and move forward with the production was in any way linked to the cyber-attack.

Image copyright Mammoth Screen Image caption Mammoth Screen went on to make the ITV/PBS series Victoria

The cyber-threats from North Korea have not stopped.Its hackers have proved increasingly aggressive and adept, targeting banks to steal money and media in South Korea.

British officials also believe North Korea was behind the Wannacry ransomware which struck around the world in May with significant parts of the NHS affected, although there has been no official response from the UK government to this incident.

But the revelations about an attack on a TV production company may raise further concerns about what North Korea is capable of and how companies in the UK - and the British government - react when it happens.

British officials also believe North Korea was behind the Wannacry ransomware which struck around the world in May with significant parts of the NHS affected, although there has been no official response from the UK government to this incident.

But the revelations about an attack on a TV production company may raise further concerns about what North Korea is capable of and how companies in the UK - and the British government - react when it happens....

References

  1. ^ was first reported by the New York Times (www.nytimes.com)

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