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Today's Tech: Nokia launches Windows Phone app store attack against Microsoft and Apple in hot water over labour rights abuses

Nokia has expressed its frustration with Microsoft over the lack of apps in the Windows Phone store (opens in new tab). Nokia VP Bryan Biniak voiced his irritation with the software giant, saying that he believes Microsoft could do more to promote the Windows Phone platform. Biniak believes the continued attempts to break up the Android and iOS duopoly should be an urgent priority for Microsoft, which has been moving slowly for too long. While he is pleased with Nokia's own progress – the Finnish company shipped 7.4 million Lumia phones in the second quarter (up 21 per cent from Q1) and has launched two new phones, the Lumia 1020 and Lumia 625, in the last month alone – he could not hide his disappointment at the sub-par selection of apps Windows Phone has to offer. He believes that greater efforts from Microsoft could significantly drive sales of Windows Phone devices and transform both the platform and Nokia into market leaders. "We are trying to evolve the cultural thinking [at Microsoft] to say 'time is of the essence,'" Biniak said. "Waiting until the end of your fiscal year when you need to close your targets doesn't do us any good when I have phones to sell today."

Apple is at the centre of a new worker rights storm, after US-based watchdog China Labor Watch (CLW) released a report alleging a range of violations had taken place at the factories of the Pegatron Group (opens in new tab). The report focuses on three Chinese facilities used to assemble iPhones and iPads, with China Labour Watch claiming that violations include underage labour, contract violations, and excessive working hours. In total, the China Labour Watch report details 86 separate labour rights violations, 36 legal violations, and 50 ethical violations. "In short, the Pegatron factories are violating a great number of international and Chinese laws and standards as well as the standards of Apple's own social responsibility code of conduct," the CLW investigation noted. Responding to the CLW allegations, Apple issued a statement. "We have been in close contact with China Labor Watch for several months, investigating issues they've raised and sharing our findings," Apple said, adding, "Their latest report contains claims that are new to us and we will investigate them immediately. Our audit teams will return to Pegatron, RiTeng and AVY for special inspections this week."

Microsoft's Bing search engine has become the first to establish a warning system for anyone that tries to search for images of child abuse (opens in new tab) through the site. A pop-up will warn users the content they're attempting to search for is illegal and direct them to a link that offers 'help and advice' provided by the counselling group "Microsoft remains a strong proponent of proactive action by the technology industry in the fight against child exploitation," explained a company statement. "The Bing Notification Platform is just one way Microsoft is working to tackle the scourge of online child abuse content." The controls apply only to searches made in the UK and the pop-up will be displayed when people enter search terms that feature on a 'blacklist' compiled by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP). Groups that are already combating child abuse online praised Bing for the move and urged others to follow.

Social media users are calling for Twitter to make it easier to report abuse after a man was arrested for repeatedly threatening to rape a user of the site. A petition signed by 30,000 people is calling for the social networking site to implement a system for flagging up abuse (opens in new tab) that would include a 'report abuse' button, making it easier to notify the site. The calls come after many criticised the speed with which Twitter reacted to the abuse faced by Caroline Criado-Perez, a feminist campaigner, with one man arrested over the weekend for repeatedly threatening to rape her. "Despite the scale and seriousness of these threats, the official response from Twitter continues to be extremely weak – simply directing Caroline away from Twitter towards the police, and, belatedly, directing users to abuse-reporting forms on Twitter," Yvette Cooper, shadow home secretary, wrote in a letter to Tony Wang, general manager of Twitter UK. Wang made a promise to shut down any account that is in breach of its rules and said that they "take online abuse seriously."

Aatif is a freelance copywriter and journalist based in the UK. He’s written about technology, science and politics for publications including Gizmodo, The Independent, Trusted Reviews, Newsweek, and ITProPortal.