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ChiefOfficers.Net

It all sounds as if it's tailor made for cynics: a government looks at high-growth companies using what it terms "non-traditional data" (which turns out to be social media comment about and by the company and the companies's own websites) and uses it to predict what industries and what regions may thrive. And cynics would be right: social media comment tends to be polarised and out of balance and websites are, of course, the bearers of good tidings. So what's going on?

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Two companies have been sentenced following the death of a five-year-old girl who became trapped while using a lift at her home in Weymouth. In what was clearly not a case of corporate manslaughter, the companies accepted liability. The failures were pretty bad.

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The Australian Securities and Investment Commission has applied to the Federal Court to wind up Traditional Therapy Clinics Limited (a Chinese Traditional Medicine company) after it was delisted by the Australian Stock Exchange and has asked the court that two members of Ernst and Young be appointed as liquidators.

So, now you know what all the letters mean, let's get on with the story which is, in part, about Red Stox and the continuing risks some of them pose for shareholders, regulators and sponsors to say nothing of those usually small businesses which put their faith in them ....

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Mail order (remember when it used to be called that?) is heating up to be a serious battleground across South East Asia. Three problems plague local platforms.

Amazon's UK operation is set to beat them without even opening a distribution centre in the region.

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Take out the ridiculous terminology and this report from the UK's Health and Safety Executive demonstrates the dilemma faced by medical centres which fall somewhere between hospitals and prisons staffed only with civilians.

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"Brexit" rumbles on but the juggernaut that is EU legislation will not be denied: indeed, in many cases even staunch "leavers" see benefits in much of what the EU does (which leads to the charge of "cherry picking" to which the leavers say "so what?")

The Trade Mark Directive is one such piece of legislation providing intellectual property protection across a large market and, through international recognition, across much of the world. But it's not all rosy and it shows something about how EU citizens relate to their law-makers.

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Fraud is cyclical. Historically, frauds would lie dormant for, perhaps, five years then come back. But the cycle has become much shorter, often only two or three months. Some frauds have become perpetual, aided by e-mail that hits so many prospective targets at such a low marginal cost. Others have a few days in the light before disappearing into relative darkness for a matter of weeks, perhaps because the targets are sorted by e.g. alphabetical order, into batches. One such is fraud relating to domain names. They take several forms but the same basic structure. The fraudster hints that, if you don't pay up, your domain name will stop working. Here's the anatomy of one such fraudulent mail that has reached us multiple times in the past several days.

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This week, some Conservative Party MPs delivered, in sufficient number, a letter to the party's managing committee, the 1922 Committee. It expressed that they had no confidence in the Prime Minister and that the party should replace her. The timing, many have said, was a mistake, that those seeking her removal, should have waited until after the Brexit vote and attack her then, if she lost. That, it is here opined, would have defeated the purpose of this week's supposed rebellion.

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It might not look much but Australia has just thrown a huge spanner in the works of international internet retailers who want to operate in their market. Whether it sets a precedent remains to be seen but, if so, cheap goods sent from overseas might have to be a lot less cheap. At the heart of this is unproven conduct by Wiggle Limited, a UK company, which the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) found to be in breach of Australian law. This is a significant extra-territorial application of domestic law - and it also interferes with the right to include a choice of law and choice of jurisdiction clauses in international contracts. And as if that's not enough, the ripples reach into call-centre operations worldwide.

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Australia has long been in conflict with foreign discounters marketing, amongst other things, by internet. It all started with a fight over the price of books.

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We reported (here) about the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission's civil action against Landmark Operations Limited trading as Seednet. The action has settled.

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OK, so the headline's a bit click-baity. This is what happened: a pal and I were chatting about Deutsch Bank and he said that he wondered what investigators might find about Trump and his dealings with Russia.

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There will be some in Formula One who will miss Force India but there will others who won't. It's a name that has close to zero connection with the team and that's been the case for a while, even before the companies behind it collapsed and were rescued by, amongst others, Lawrence Stroll. This week, it was made clear: the misnomer will come off the cars at the first opportunity and Stroll's will, at least to a degree, appear on one of them.

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Microsoft's policy of forcing users who have purchased licences for their operating system, Windows, by abandoning support (including security support) has now reached the millions of users who continue to rely on Windows XP and Vista. Now, Mozilla, which produces the very popular Thunderbird e-mail client and upon which many businesses rely, has released its latest version, 60, and announced that it, too, is to abandon users of these widely used operating systems.

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It's almost too convenient: as the USA tries to find support for its push against Iran, the USA has managed to find two men it says were behind major ransomware attacks ranging from 2015 until September 2018. They are Iranian.

Even more bizarre is that some nit at the FBI thinks that a US assistant Attorney General is being original, perhaps even clever, by calling ransomware attacks "21st Century Blackmail." There are some who will be delighted at the news: US President Trump and his pro-Israeli groups have been angling for any persuasion they can to encourage action against Iran by other countries, almost all of which do not line up with the USA. Others will stand back and say "Really?"

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