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Apple customers complain about iPhone 'touch disease'

Many Apple customers are reporting problems with their iPhones, saying the new 6 and 6 Plus models have what's being called "touch disease."

It happens when the screen freezes up and you can't reboot the phone, rendering the device useless.

Eric Lindstrom practically runs his entire business on his iPhone 6 Plus. He's a social media manager for several clients.

>> Read more trending stories  

"Approximately 10 months ago my touchscreen started acting very strange, totally unresponsive," he said. "And I'm getting the flicker now too, which is another evidence of the problem. The phone just starts to flash a white bar."

WSOC Action 9 found similar complaints all over social media.

Some customers are even suing Apple over it, accusing the company of fraud. They said the phones have a defect and that Apple knew about it.

Apparently, Apple designed earlier iPhones differently, but the company changed the design for the 6 and 6 Plus, a change that may have made those models more prone to touch disease.

CLICK HERE to read the lawsuit

Lindstrom said Apple told him to delete everything on his phone and add it all back on, one at a time. Not only was that a hassle, he said it didn't work.

He told WSOC Action 9 that Apple then tried to sell him a new touchscreen for $200. He declined.

"You know, first world problems I guess. I feel sort of bad about what I'm complaining about," Lindstrom said. But he also feels bad his phone doesn't work.

WSOC Action 9 reached out to Apple three times in the past 10 days, but the company has not responded.

Published reports claim that the company will give you a refurbished replacement if your iPhone is still under warranty. Hopefully, that one doesn't have "touch disease" too. If it's not under warranty, WSOC Action 9 is told the repair runs between $85 and $249.

Apple iOS 10 debuts emojis and fonts no one seems to like

Newer isn't always better.

If Twitter complaints are any indication, those who have updated their iPhones to iOS 10 don't like the the change in style of emojis and aren't sure what to make of the new font.

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The fuss comes as another problem users say they are having with iOS 10.

The new operating system, which began rolling out for users Tuesday, was met with complaints that it crashes devices.

Related: Apple responds to user complaints that iOS 10 crashes their iPhone

Aesthetically, some users are not happy with the new, bold font seen in different apps, especially the redesigned Apple Music application.

For some users, it's the redesign of emojis that is worse. 

The overhaul of Apple emojis comes after it was announced that the gun emoji would be replaced with a water pistol on the new OS.

Facebook co-founder donates $20M to stop Trump

Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz doesn't normally make contributions in presidential elections — but when he does, he donates $20 million.

The billionaire and his wife are shelling out the cash to help stop Donald Trump from becoming president. The money will be split between multiple political groups, including some directly backing Hillary Clinton.

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Moskovitz's never-Trump donation also came with an endorsement for Clinton. He wrote, "The Republican Party, and Donald Trump in particular, is running on a zero-sum vision, stressing a false contest between their constituency and the rest of the world."

Moskovitz and his wife donate to less-political causes, as well, through their organization Good Ventures, which they founded in 2011 after pledging to give most of their money away.

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Attention, parents: 4 obscure apps you need to know about

Kids and teens will pick up the newest technology fast as they head back to school, and that means they could be using apps that could put them in danger without parents even realizing it. 

Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are all popular, but WFXT uncovered obscure apps that should keep parents on alert. 

Robert Siciliano, online security expert with Hotspot Shield, said what you don't know can harm your kids.

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"There are apps out there today that look and act like apps we know and trust, but they are in fact ruses – fake apps designed to confuse or lie to the parent," Siciliano said.

Siciliano took WFXT through a list of apps parents might not know about and fall off their radars:  

CALCULATOR%Siciliano said this app is designed to mask itself as the calculator app and the parent would not know that the child installed it to hide all their inappropriate pictures.  

AUDIO MANAGERHe said this app is a decoy. It's designed to pose as the audio manager for the phone, but it is in fact there to mask and hide inappropriate photos and inappropriate text messages – essentially, anything the child wants to hide from the parents.  

BURN NOTESnapchat is old news for some kids and teens, and "Burn Note" is becoming more popular. Siciliano said, "Burn Note is essentially is designed like Snapchat to hide and mask data and in the end it erases or deletes any instant messages quickly and efficiently so parents can't see it."

OMEGLESiciliano says savvy online predators are lurking on apps on your child's smartphone and you might not even know it. He warns parents to take a look to see if their kids are using Omegle.

"Omegle is another one of those apps that can facilitate chats with complete strangers, so your child could be communicating with a user named 14-year-old Charlie who is 40-year-old Ed and your kid or you may never know it," Siciliano told WFXT.  

He advises a simple step for parents to take to keep an eye on their kids' apps.

"It's really important that parents set up their devices so that they sync up with iCloud so that parents know exactly what apps are being installed on the child's device. That way, if a child installs an app, it's installed on the parents' device, as well," Siciliano said.  

Spoiler: Amazon accidentally unveils iPhone 7 early

An hour before Apple was scheduled to announce its latest addition to the iPhone line on Wednesday, Amazon accidentally posted its specialized page for the iPhone 7.

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The page's appearance was first reported by Gizmodo, which noted it at 12:25 p.m. ET. Apple's event, at which the company was expected to announce the iPhone 7, was scheduled to start at 1 p.m. ET.

The Amazon page for "everything you need for the new iPhone 7" showed links for Bluetooth headphones, which appeared to confirm rumors that the iPhone 7 will not have an earbud jack, and photos of what appeared to be two back-facing cameras.

>> Related: Apple iPhone 7 event: What time is it; live stream; what’s new; how much for the phone?

Apple is holding its media event at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. Citing "leaks," many people have speculated that the iPhone 7 will take center stage at the event, along with a possible look at a new Apple Watch. The event will also be livestreamed on Apple's website.

Warner Bros. files copyright claim against itself

With torrents and pirated versions of popular movies plastered all over the web, it's understandable that big studios would try to protect their property. But Warner Bros. went a little overboard.

The blog TorrentFreak found out that, in its haste to remove pirated content, the studio accidentally tried to take down movies for sale on its own website.

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The takedown requests were made by a third party called Vobile on Warner Bros.' behalf. Vobile asked Google to remove sites that hosted movies such as "The Dark Knight" and "The Matrix," including Amazon and WarnerBros.com.

The TorrentFreak writer told the BBC: "Piracy monitoring firms often use automated systems to find and report copyright infringing websites. I'm fairly certain that this happened here as well, considering the obvious mistakes that were made."

While it's funny to laugh at Warner Bros. for trying to pull its own films, the misstep highlights a serious issue with the way companies can abuse the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or DMCA.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation pointed out that copyright enforcement companies can ignore potential mitigating factors like fair use.

Notably, a mother had a video briefly pulled from YouTube because her 1-year-old son was dancing while Prince's copyrighted classic, "Let's Go Crazy," was playing in the background.

The audio is pretty grainy, and there was clearly no intent to steal money from Prince or his record label, but there's just no way for a computer to judge intent.

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YouTube stars unhappy with site over ad money

YouTube's standards for what videos YouTubers can make money on have gotten them into a little bit of trouble. Some are equating the rules for advertiser-friendly videos to censorship.

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Some things that can prevent YouTubers from making money on their videos? Sexual humor, violence and vulgar language.

Philip DeFranco has been one of the most vocal YouTubers to express concern over the rules. He argues that taking away monetization is "a form of censorship" and that it makes regularly producing videos not in line with the company's advertising guidelines unsustainable for those trying to make money.

DeFranco pointed out that one of the most challenging advertiser-friendly criteria might be about just covering current events. 

Monetization can be taken away if videos include "controversial or sensitive subjects and events, including subjects related to war, political conflicts, natural disasters and tragedies, even if graphic imagery is not shown."

But as YouTube pointed out in a statement to media, this isn't a new policy. The company simply made it easier for YouTubers to find out when a video has been de-monetized and appeal it if they want to.

As a Forbes contributor who's also a YouTuber pointed out, that knowledge could actually benefit YouTubers in the long run.

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Twitter to pay content creators for videos

To stay competitive with Facebook and YouTube, Twitter is going to start paying content creators for videos.

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The service was already paying big entities like the NFL, but this deal is aimed at YouTube-style creators.

And according to ReCode, it's giving them a pretty good deal. That outlet says 70 percent of ad revenue will go to creators and that Twitter is keeping 30 percent for itself.

YouTube actually only pays out about 55 percent to creators, and Facebook only pays certain companies and celebrities to use its live-streaming feature. It doesn't actually pay for regular video.

Although, that doesn't mean Twitter's video content is going to get competitive overnight. YouTube already has a massive and established user base where creators already know they can make money.

But Twitter is doing something pretty smart and allowing creators to monetize content on multiple platforms, making it pretty easy for those already producing content to start posting on Twitter.

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European Commission orders Apple to pay $14.5B

Apple is being forced to pay roughly $14.5 billion in back taxes to Ireland in what's regarded as Europe's biggest tax penalty.

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After a multi-year investigation, the European Commission ruled the technology giant received unfair and illegal tax breaks in Ireland, where its European headquarters are located.

The $14.5 billion fee represents more than a decade of tax breaks. In 2003, the Irish government was charging Apple 1 percent on its European profits. In 2014, the tax rate fell all the way to 0.005 percent.

According to the commission, Ireland will have to be the one to recover the back taxes. But both Apple and Ireland are expected to appeal the ruling.

The European Commission said the amount Apple is forced to pay Ireland could go down, if other countries – including the U.S. – are willing to tax the technology company more.

It's unlikely the U.S. will go for that, since American officials are warning the commission it's exercising more power than it has, and arguing taxes are a national government issue.

A recent report by the U.S. Treasury Department said these European Commission investigations could hurt the U.S. government's ability to tax American companies.

The European Commission has argued that "profits should be taxed where profits are made."

In recent years, the commission has brought similar cases against Starbucks in the Netherlands, Anheuser-Busch InBev in Belgium and Amazon in Luxembourg.

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