News

Hundreds of iPhones, thousands of SIM cards used in Thailand click farm

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Click farms, by definition, are underground groups composed of low-paid workers who boost a website or app’s engagement and ad revenue by giving overly positive ratings and lots of, well, clicks. This is how some platforms garner the excessive number of followers and ad money they have. This practice isn’t a well-kept secret, but it’s always interesting to see how some get caught.

The latest of which happened in Thailand yesterday. Two rented houses in Ban Mai Nong Sai, Aranyaprathet District were raided by local Police, who found a total of 474 iPhones (a mix of iPhone 5s, 5c, and 4s models), 347,200 SIM cards from Thai mobile carriers, and more electronics.

The raid came with three Chinese suspects who were arrested on the spot. They later pinpointed the source of their wares, which was operated by two other Chinese men in the Muang Aranyaprathet district of Sa Kaeo province. There, police found an additional 100,000 SIM cards and more gadgets in a house. Witnesses living in the area claimed the two suspects fled the night before the inspection.

This video shows the actual site of the click farm:

Meanwhile, the three Chinese nationals claim a company in China has been supplying them with the cash and supplies for the operation. They were being paid THB 150,000 ($4,420) per month to keep the click farm alive. The name of this company is still unknown.

So, what exactly were they illegally doing? According to the same report, the trio increased engagement for China-sold products by creating artificial page views, reactions, and shares through WeChat, which is also based in China.

Why pursue this business in Thailand? Because it’s a lot cheaper to operate there than in China.

Again, this isn’t anything new. This bust may very well be just the tip of the iceberg for many more click farm raids to come, and they might be happening in a house near yours.

SEE ALSO: Unhappy customer walks into Apple Store, destroys Apple products

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Source: Bangkok Post

Gaming

Zelda sequel Tears of the Kingdom has a release date

Priced at $70

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Barely more than a month into the new year, 2023 already looks like a phenomenal year for gamers. A lot of upcoming games are looking like exciting additions to everyone’s to-play list. Though we already knew the title is coming this year, Nintendo officially announced the release date of Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

After revealing a flurry of games, Nintendo capped off their recent Direct with the fresh trailer of the upcoming sequel to Breath of the Wild. As was showcased in previous teasers and trailers, Tears of the Kingdom is a much darker vision set in the same world as Breath of the Wild. Ganon (or what looks like a zombified version of the villain) is back to terrorize Hyrule. This time, however, the iconic villain has a voice!

Plus, Tears of the Kingdom adds a lot of verticality by introducing floating terrain and more aerial movement. While the world looks similar to Breath of the Wild, the sequel still has a lot to show players.

Finally, the trailer caps off with the release date. Tears of the Kingdom will launch on May 12. Preorders have already begun for the title. Additionally, dedicated fans can also get a Collector’s Edition which includes a SteelBook, a poster, an art book, and a pin set. The release also coincides with the launch of a new Amiibo to commemorate the launch.

Priced a bit higher, Tears of the Kingdom will sell for US$ 69.99.

SEE ALSO: Zelda: Breath of the Wild Sequel trailer breakdown

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Gaming

Nintendo adds Game Boy titles to Switch Online

And Game Boy Advance

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Nintendo Switch Online is the gift that keeps on giving. More than giving players the ability to play online, the subscription service also offers subscribers a gallery of classic games from bygone eras. The feature remains one of the most convenient ways to play old titles from the NES and the N64. Now, the service is adding Game Boy and Game Boy Advance titles.

Announced during the most recent Direct, Nintendo has announced that several titles from the Game Boy and the Game Boy Advance are now playable through the subscription service. While all subscribers will have access to the Game Boy titles, Game Boy Advance titles will come only with Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack subscriptions.

The starting lineup of Game Boy titles include Tetris, the original Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX and Kirby’s Dream Land. Meanwhile, Game Boy Advance titles will include Super Mario Bros. 3, Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, and WarioWare, Inc: Mega Microgame$. Games included will come with local and online multiplayer, if applicable.

Nintendo will continue to add more titles to the roster throughout the year. Since the Game Boy generation is one of the company’s biggest, expect a ton of announcements as the roster fills up. (We’re still holding out hope for the classic Pokémon games.)

SEE ALSO: Nintendo Switch is now third-bestselling console in history

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Apps

Twitter expands character limit to 4,000 characters

But not for everyone

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Despite the traditional limitations, the platform’s users have always found a way to express themselves beyond Twitter’s character limits. Whether broken through extensive threads or third-party sites, strict limitations don’t exist anymore. Now, Twitter is essentially getting rid of the character limit by introducing its biggest expansion to date.

Announced today, Twitter will allow users to post tweets with up to 4,000 characters. That’s a gigantic leap from the original 140-character limit and the expanded 280-character limit in 2017. But, of course, some good things come with a price.

Not everyone will have access to the new feature. Currently, only Twitter Blue subscribers in the United States can create tweets of up to 4,000 characters. Besides original tweets, subscribers can also quote tweet with the same expanded limit.

Thankfully, the new feature will not inundate everyone’s feeds with an ocean of text. Any tweets going beyond 280 characters will be cut off with a “show more” prompt.

Through the past few months, the platform has changed a few fundamental elements before Musk took over. Most importantly, Twitter Blue, the platform’s paid subscription service is now much more expansive. Among other things, subscribers now get the coveted blue checkmark attached to their profiles. Now, they also get a massive boost in capabilities when it comes to tweeting.

SEE ALSO: Twitter is teasing an ad-free subscription tier

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