Airtasker: How moving house inspired Tim Fung to create a business designed to make peoples' lives easier

Airtasker launched in the UK in March amid a backlash against the gig economy
Tim Fung first had an inkling of the business that would become Airtasker when he was moving house in his native Sydney, Australia, in 2011.
He asked a friend who runs a factory to bring his truck over to help move boxes and they spent the whole weekend packing, moving stuff to the new house and cleaning everything up. When they were done, Fung thanked his friend, who turned around and said that was the fourth time someone had asked for help moving house recently.
Read more Gig economy union for NHS couriers wins right to recognition Growing number of older workers taking gig jobs before retirement Gig economy: May has yet again failed to turn rhetoric into action “It got me thinking, why do we ask our friends and family to do these jobs for free when there are people around who would do it for money?” Fung says. The company, founded in 2012, has since grown it to 2 million users in Australia. It recent..

YouTube Is Improperly Collecting Children’s Data, Consumer Groups Say

YouTube Is Improperly Collecting Children’s Data, Consumer Groups Say Photo A coalition of more than 20 consumer advocacy groups contends that YouTube is collecting and profiting from the personal information of young children on its main site. Credit Artur Debat/Getty Images A coalition of more than 20 consumer advocacy groups is expected to file a complaint with federal officials on Monday claiming that YouTube has been violating a children’s privacy law.
The complaint contends that YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, has been collecting and profiting from the personal information of young children on its main site, although the company says the platform is meant only for users 13 and older.
The coalition of consumer groups said YouTube failed to comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, a federal law that requires companies to obtain consent from parents before collecting data on children younger than 13. The groups are asking for an investigation and penalties from the..

As Trump Seeks Way Out of Syria, New Attack Pulls Him Back In

As Trump Seeks Way Out of Syria, New Attack Pulls Him Back In
BEIRUT, Lebanon — Days after President Trump said he wanted to pull the United States out of Syria, Syrian forces hit a suburb of Damascus with bombs that rescue workers said unleashed toxic gas.
Within hours, images of dead families sprawled in their homes threatened to change Mr. Trump’s calculus on Syria, possibly drawing him deeper into an intractable Middle Eastern war that he hoped to leave.
“Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter on Sunday. He blamed Iran and Russia — even singling out President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia by name — for their support of the Syrian government.
“Big price to pay,” he wrote, without providing details.

Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria. Area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world. President Putin, Russia and..

‘You Are the Product’: Targeted by Cambridge Analytica on Facebook

‘You Are the Product’: Targeted by Cambridge Analytica on Facebook Christopher Deason stumbled upon the psychological questionnaire on June 9, 2014. He was taking a lot of online surveys back then, each one earning him a few dollars to help pay the bills. Nothing about this one, which he saw on an online job platform, struck him as “creepy or weird,” he said later.
So at 6:37 that evening, Mr. Deason completed the first step of the survey: He granted access to his Facebook account.
Less than a second later, a Facebook app had harvested not only Mr. Deason’s profile data, but also data from the profiles of 205 of his Facebook friends. Their names, birth dates and location data, as well as lists of every Facebook page they had ever liked, were downloaded — without their knowledge or express consent — before Mr. Deason could even begin reading the first survey question.
The information was added to a massive database being compiled for Cambridge Analytica, the political data firm with lin..

Housing market: Number of buy-to-let landlords reaches record high despite tax hike

Government has introduced 3% Stamp Duty levy, new stress tests for home loans, and ended mortgage interest tax relief
The number of buy-to-let investors in the UK rose to a record high of 2.5 million in the latest tax year, new research shows.
The increase of 5 per cent on the previous year comes despite the introduction of a host of extra taxes and regulations on the sector.
In recent years, the government has brought in a 3 per cent Stamp Duty levy, new stress tests for home loans, and ended mortgage interest tax relief.
Read more Dropping UK house prices won’t dent our confidence in buy-to-let The number of landlords has increased 27 per cent in the past five years, up from 1.97 million in 2011-12, research by London-focused estate agent Ludlow Thompson found.
Landlords now own an average of 1.8 buy-to-let properties each – a figure that has risen for the fifth consecutive year.
The data suggests that landlords continue to see residential property, especially in London, as..

Brexit: UK economy will be worse than all other G7 advanced countries this year, City bosses warn

Senior executives at more than 100 banks, as well as asset managers, insurers and private equity firms express concerns about Britain’s prospects
UK economic growth will lag behind all other G7 advanced nations this year, the world’s biggest financial firms have warned.
Almost three-quarters of 100 senior executives surveyed said they worry that UK economic growth will be weaker this year than in any other advanced economy – a dramatic worsening of sentiment compared to a year ago when just 23 per cent held that view.
A majority of bosses at banks, as well as asset managers, insurers and private equity firms expressed concerns about the economy’s prospects for the coming year.
Read more India ‘not in a rush’ to sign trade deal with Britain after Brexit Half of the executives surveyed said they expect UK growth to stay at 2017 levels, while 29 per cent expect it to worsen and a fifth believe growth will improve.
Brexit was the most commonly cited risk dragging on the UK’s eco..