October 12, 2016: U.S. fast-food giant McDonald’s is putting its popular mascot on hiatus while reports of creepy clown sightings increase across the U.S.
Ronald McDonald, the red-haired, floppy-shoed clown will limit public appearances until further notice.
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McDonald’s Corporation said Tuesday that it is being “thoughtful in respect to Ronald McDonald’s participation in community events” as a result of the “current climate around clown sightings in communities.”
McDonald’s decision comes after a spate of pranks and threats nationwide that have involved eerie clowns. The trend began during the summer with unconfirmed reports in South Carolina. Since then, reports elsewhere have involved costumed hoaxsters frightening people on the street or people terrorising others via social media.
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The sightings in the U.S. appear to have sparked copy-cat acts in Australia and New Zealand, with police issuing stern warnings for would-be clowns.
Ronald McDonald has helped promote the company for decades and has become the namesake for a series of animated videos produced for the chain and a charity that helps sick children and their families. (VOA)
Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.
After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.
However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.
According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.
Google was yet to comment on the new development.
Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.
“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.
“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.
On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.
While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.
Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.
Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)