Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Controller Issues Claimed to Be Fixed; Free Repairs Offered

Since the launch of Nintendo Switch at the beginning of March, people have had trouble with the left Joy-Con controller, when it comes to maintaining a stable connection. Now, Nintendo has admitted that the problems are due to a “manufacturing variation”.

“There is no design issue with the Joy-Con controllers, and no widespread proactive repair or replacement effort is underway,” Nintendo of America said in a statement. “A manufacturing variation has resulted in wireless interference with a small number of the left Joy-Con. Moving forward this will not be an issue, as the manufacturing variation has been addressed and corrected at the factory level.”

 

Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Controller Issues Claimed to Be Fixed; Free Repairs OfferedEarlier, Nintendo had deemed the left Joy-Con’s connectivity issues as “not significant,” and maintained that it’s “consistent with what we’ve seen for any new hardware we have launched”. The new admission comes days after a report by CNET, which detailed how new units seemed to have a different circuit board number, which suggested that Nintendo had quietly come up with a fix.

It’s still not exactly clear if that indeed is the solution, but it does hew close to the “manufacturing variation” statement from Nintendo. The company even seems to have a fix for the faulty ones that get sent in, as CNET demonstrates, involving a piece of conductive foam. Nintendo included that in its statement, too: “We have determined a simple fix can be made to any affected Joy-Con to improve connectivity.”

So there you have it – if you’ve been having connectivity trouble with your left Joy-Con, you can send it to Nintendo, who will replace it “free of charge” within a week.

Lava to Sell Only 6 Smartphone Models at a Time, Focus on Retail Stores

Home grown smartphone maker Lava will sell only six smartphone models at any given point of time, and work to strengthen its connect with offline retail stores.

“Instead of launching multiple handsets, we will focus on selling only six smartphones during any given point. Lava will focus on connect and visibility at retail stores,” Lava International Product Head Gaurav Nigam said on sidelines of launching two new dual-SIM 4G smartphones Lava Z25 and Z10. He said that the company’s new strategy is to remain neck-to-neck in competition with Chinese players who have deep pockets.

Lava to Sell Only 6 Smartphone Models at a Time, Focus on Retail Stores

“In terms of branding, we will focus on visibility at retail stores. We are currently selling through 1.2 lakh retail stores, and by end of this year we plan to have our products at 1.6 lakh retail counters, covering almost entire retailer base for mobile phones,” Nigam said.

He said that Lava is now selling all phones that are made in India at its Noida plants and expect to come out with first smartphone of Lava that will be designed in India.

“We have 750 engineers employed by Lava in China for designing phones. We recently hired 50 engineers in India, who are working on to design first Lava phone in the country,” Nigam said.

He added that the company has enhanced test criteria to increase robustness in the phones.

“We are promising our customers that the screen of Lava smartphones will not break due to fall. If it breaks within a year of purchase, we will give one replacement for free. We have also enhanced test criteria for moistures,” Nigam said.

He said that the same robustness is present in Z25 and Z10 models that it will start selling for Rs. 18,000 and Rs. 11,500 a unit in select stores in Delhi from Thursday.

WePay now accepts Apple Pay and Android Pay on the web

Apple Pay and Android Pay may be best known as Apple and Google’s mobile wallets, designed to expand their businesses in making payments with smartphones. But today comes an advance that underscores how both are also vying to be consumers’ virtual wallets for all e-commerce transactions.

WePay, the payments company that competes against the likes of incumbents like FirstData and Global Payments, as well as younger tech companies like PayPal and Stripe, to help businesses take online payments — an example of one of its customers is the crowdfunding platform GoFundMe — today announced that it is expanding acceptance of both Apple Pay and Android Pay to the web.

The news comes as both Google and Apple are hoping to drive much more adoption and usage of their respective wallets across all platforms. In January, Apple CEO Tim Cook noted that Apple Pay transactions had grown 500% in the last year, with “billions” of dollars in transactions and user numbers tripling (one report from April 2016 noted Apple Pay had 12 million users).

Apple also said in January that some 2 million small businesses were already taking Apple Pay payments on the web and that it was gearing up to add larger companies like Comcast. This points to both how the company is touting its growth, but also the attention that it’s giving to growing Apple Pay specifically on the web.

For its part, Google hasn’t released recent Android Pay usage stats, but a recent survey from Boston Retail Partners notes that it comes in fourth behind Apple Pay, PayPal and Mastercard’s PayPass in terms of merchant acceptance in the U.S..

That is where WePay comes in: the startup works as a conduit to working with thousands of businesses online and millions of end users by acting as the processing back-end for companies like Constant Contact, FreshBooks, GoFundMe, Meetup and Zoho, in total processing billions of dollars in payments annually as well as providing compliance and risk-reduction services.

In other words, integrations like this one with WePay are essential for both Apple Pay and Android Pay to help them gain more critical mass for their wallets.

The startup — launched in 2010 and a 2009 alum of Y Combinator — was an early partner of Google’s for expanding its payment efforts beyond its direct services, and also worked early on with Apple Pay. But both of those were focused on making payments on the mobile web and within mobile apps.

While this was a step ahead, this was only part of the opportunity, because even though companies like PayPal have made a big point of talking about mobile commerce is blowing up, at the end of the day, it’s still around one-third (and often less for some companies) of what’s being paid for and processed via PCs and the non-mobile internet.

“I’m not too excited about in-app check-out for Apple Pay and Android Pay,” said Bill Clerico, the CEO and co-founder of WePay. “The use cases are not that common because, for example, you put your card number into Uber once and never have to use it again.”

The promise of wallets for consumers has up to now been that they provide a faster and more secure way to make e-commerce transactions, since you do not have to enter card or other payment information multiple times. The same goes for integrating wallets into WePay’s services, said Clerico.

“For small businesses, for example, they email their invoices to customers using invoicing platforms, but it results in a terrible experience when those invoices have to be paid. That is where something like Apple Pay is really powerful.” However, as with all of WePay’s services and integrations, its users have to turn on one feature or another via its API to enable it to appear: Apple Pay and Android Pay will not appear automatically or by default.

WePay has to date raised just over $74 million in funding from a long list of investors that includes PayPal co-founder Max Levchin and Maynard Webb, the ex-eBay exec who is now chairman of Yahoo and on the board of Visa.

Clerico acknowledges that for a fintech company out of San Francisco that has been around for 8 years, the amount it has raised is low. What’s also somewhat novel is that the company has no plans to raise more but is looking to expand beyond its current markets of the U.S., Canada and UK.

“We’re pretty capital efficient and were profitable when we raised our last round [$40 million in 2015],” he said. “We are not a high burn business and are running close to break even.” The company expects to cross 200 employees this month, he said. 

Steering into shipping’s economic headwinds, Shipamax pitches new efficiencies

Maritime shipping, the engine of global economic growth for much of the twentieth century, has stalled in the past few years.

The industry, which has high costs and is slow to adopt new technologies that could improve efficiency, is now facing a crisis of overcapacity and low demand, which is punishing shipping companies large and small.

Nowhere is this pain felt more intensely than in the bulk shipping market, which is in the midst of a multi-year downward spiral, according to predictions from most of the big banks.

A forecast showing a market that’s complex and cratering would dissuade most entrepreneurs from entering, but for Jenna Brown and Fabian Blaicher, the two founders of Shipamax, the bulk shipping industry’s pains could be their gain.

Brown and Blaicher both worked as commodities traders at the international trading firm RWE, before moving on to other pursuits.

It was at RWE that the two experienced the pain of bulk shippers firsthand. While the containerized shipping industry, which deals with the transport of everything from electronics to embroideries and everything in-between, has some fairly robust supply chain and logistics tools associated with it, bulk shipping for commodities is a much different story, says Brown.

A container ship

“When most people think about shipping, they think about containers – most people don’t know or think about the multi-billion dollar non-containerised shipping industry,” says Brown. “It’s complex to understand for outsiders – and as a result, there are relatively few modern tech software companies in this space.”

The new graduate from YCombinator’s latest batch of accelerated companies sits at the intersection of shipping requests and the start of a ship’s journey. The company claims to take all of the hassles out of decision-making, charting, and booking a big bulk ship.

 This is wildly different from booking a cruise or even grabbing a spot for a container on a ship (also something startups are working on).

Most bulk shippers still rely on paper and pencil (or Excel spreadsheets among the most technologically savvy), Brown says.

In a down-cycle, where every bit of efficiency can help, Shipamax’s software means route optimization, easier booking, and better outcomes, the company says.

“Like many other industries, outside of their day jobs these people are consumers – they’ve tasted that beautiful, easy to use software they can use in their personal life and there is a huge gap between that and what they use at work. That’s frustrating,” says Brown.

Companies can receive anywhere from 4,000 to 15,000 requests for booking each day, and extracting information from those emails is time-consuming. Shipamax integrates with a company’s email and extracts relevant information to create automated booking requests.

While big software companies are servicing the freight market (including companies like Flexport, Haven, and FreightOS), Brown said that fewer people are moving into the bulk shipping market because of its different supply and demand dynamics (or it could just be that it’s a dying market).

Dying or not, the London-based Shipamax is seeing plenty of demand for its software. There are 20 shipping companies on the Shipamax waiting list, and a freemium version is already available for industry players to dip their toe in Shipamax’s tech-enabled scheduling waters.

Music Audience Exchange wants to get musicians paid

In the late 1990s, Volkswagen approached the music label Rykodisc with a proposition. They wanted to take the music of a then-obscure singer-songwriter from the company’s catalog and use it as the soundtrack to an ad for their new Cabriolet.

The artist was Nick Drake and, though I’m not sure how well the car sold, the ad (VW’s first online) became iconic and brought a resurgence of interest for the long-dead musician. It also became a model for how music and advertising could be paired in a way that exposed audiences to new (or obscure) music rather than relying on proven hits and hit makers.

 

Now, one of the architects of that success, Rykodisc’s former president, George Howard, has partnered with Nathan Hanks, the co-founder and chief revenue officer at online marketing firm ReachLocal, to create a systematic way to pair brands and artists.

The company, Dallas-based Music Audience Exchange (“MAX”) has raised $6 million in new financing led by MATH Venture Partners and KDWC Ventures. Additional investors include G-Bar Ventures and Gregg Latterman, the founder and chief executive of Aware Records.

Their idea is to bring talented local bands to the attention of national and international brands that are looking to target certain demographics that follow artists who haven’t quite broken into the mainstream yet.

While successful musicians can still become pretty freaking rich in the business, it’s getting harder for bands to get the exposure to take their careers from barroom buskers to top-selling artists. The proliferation of tools to make music more accessible and easier to produce and the methods of online distribution have fractured the industry.

In fact, there’s more music that has never been played on Spotify once than there are played songs, according to Hanks (for a taste, check out Forgotify).

Meanwhile, the loss of the CD business and the advent of streaming has hit musicians and record labels in different ways. Executives at startups contend that labels aren’t interested in doing A&R as much as they’re using their marketing skills on artists and bands that have already broken through with some kind of following.

In some cases, artists are foregoing the studio machine altogether, like Chance the Rapper, who has built a successful career on the back of three (amazing) mixtapes.

 

Chance and musicians like G Eazy have managed to build careers outside the studio system and develop followings — but not all musicians are so lucky.

Indeed, Hanks’ own family of musicians provided an example for the nearly 40-year-old serial entrepreneur of what can go wrong. “I always watched the music industry, wondering why the gatekeepers of the industry worked the way they did.”

That sense, which lingered, that the musicians were missing out on a vital market opportunity crystallized after Hanks launched his own marketing company. “I saw how [internet] search and display [ads] dominated the digital landscape, but brands needed more storytelling capabilities and [they] had no way to reach back and get content,” says Hanks.

Musicians embody the art of storytelling, with rags to riches stories, or tales of perseverance that are tailor-made for the brand experience, he says.

And so, in 2013, after taking ReachLocal public and seeing its acquisition by Gannett, Hanks was ready to start something new. MAX was created the following year.

 For Hanks, and his co-founder Howard, MAX sits at the intersection of three major trends. One is the desire among consumers to move away from the basic product pitch while they consume content; the second is the rise of digital music platforms that have eaten into revenues at labels; and the third is the proliferation of publishing tools that have created incredible opportunities to make and distribute music, but have completely overwhelmed fans.

Using similar tools to the ones that Hanks worked on at ReachLocal, MAX can identify more than 200 different demographic categories of fans for any of the 2.4 million musicians that the company tracks across 765 different genres.

Brands like Ford, Twix, Dr. Pepper and others can reach out to the company with a prospective campaign to reach a particular audience (like bitter, 40ish reporters who would like to wallow in their cynical misanthropy). MAX then identifies artists that this particular demographic cares about, and that fit the budgetary bill for how much the brand is willing to spend; then the company tries to match the two together.

Sponsorships typically include commercial exposure in ads, backing a local or national tour and guaranteeing a certain number of rotations for the sponsored song.

The deal is only signed if the artists agree to the terms… And sometimes they don’t. One famous musician actually turned down a product sponsorship orchestrated by MAX because he was a bigger fan of a competing product in the same category. Artists that have benefited from the MAX platform include NEEDTOBREATHE, Leela James, Aaron Watson and the 2017 Grammy Nominee La Maquinaria Norteña.

Sometimes, the pairings are just serendipitous.

 

“My life is a series of disintermediating steps,” says Howard of his path through the music industry.

Beginning as a musician at Brown University and the founder of Slow River Records (which put out one of the soundtracks of my youth with Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot), then as president of Rykodisc and as a teacher at the Berklee College of Music, Howard sees his trajectory as removing obstacles between musicians and money.

“The fewer things standing between the content creator and the content consumer, the better,” says Howard. “MAX is a coordinating agent,” he continues, “not a middle man. “It’s designed to coordinate and align values.”

Meanwhile, Hanks sees this applying to influencers of all stripes, from movie stars, to YouTube celebrities, to musicians, to actors.

It’s crazy that an influencer can build a following of 5 million on Facebook, but has to pay to pitch them.

“You’ve got the power of the brand to buy that audience… the power of the media company to deliver that audience, and the power of the artist to tell a story to that audience,” Hanks says of his system.

It could be the future and put more money into artists’ pockets. “This is the new era of patronage; where brands get behind artists,” Hanks says.

Hack of VP Pence’s personal email last year may have included state business

The vice president’s personal email was hacked last year, and it turns out that the hackers may have had access to official state business, which Pence reportedly conducted on it. But wait — put down the pitchfork (for now, anyway).

 

The facts are these: A public records request filed by the Indy Star showed that Pence indeed used his AOL account (Aol with lowercase letters owns TechCrunch, but it’s not really relevant) to discuss policy with his advisors and even FBI war-on-terror type business.

It must be said that there is no small amount of hypocrisy in that Pence, who was among the many politicians who loudly decried Hillary Clinton’s use of private email for state business, was himself using a private email for state business, but the situations are different in important ways.

Although using one’s personal email address for official communications is, generally speaking, a pretty bad idea, it’s not illegal. As was concluded in Clinton’s case, this shows irresponsibility, but is not any kind of criminal offense.

Pence also wasn’t handling documents with federal protections — classified or top secret, that sort of thing. Again, he shouldn’t have been handling any business via his AOL account, but what he did handle wasn’t hugely important.

The emails in question were filed and retained dutifully as required by Indiana law, which is accommodating of the fact that these things sometimes happen.

 Pence was also using a private email address, but wasn’t running his own private email server, which is an important distinction. Among other things, AOL’s service is subject to restrictions and authorities that could lawfully compel it to produce emails or records — difficult to enforce with a private server like the one the Clintons used. And that’s not getting into the security implications.

The hack (which the Indy Star also reported on) occurred in June, and Pence wasn’t chosen (publicly, anyway) to be Trump’s running mate until July. That the hack resulted in Pence’s contacts being spammed with requests for money suggests it was the kind of hacker who targets prominent rich people, not a state actor looking to mine Pence’s personal records for juicy details on the Indiana state executive.

Lastly, it really is standard practice in government to have a personal and official email, as well as a third for off-record communication. Sometimes these might not all be available, and it would be troubling to have a governor be unable to address an emergency because he left his Blackberry at the office. So the lines get crossed now and then, and the law is there not to prevent that, but to make sure that when it happens, it stays on the record.

Pence is on the right side of the law here, but, like many others, the wrong side of security best practices. And this combination of circumstances is exactly why: Public officials are targets, and it is irresponsible to allow state information to be put at risk through lax security. Pence deserves criticism for this embarrassing but luckily not particularly damaging lapse — but don’t get carried away.

Alcatel A5 LED, A3, U5 Smartphones and PLUS 12 Tablet Launched at MWC 2017

Alcatel has launched three budget-end smartphones, namely – Alcatel U5, Alcatel A3, the Alcatel A5 LED, and Windows 10 running Alcatel Plus 12 tablet at MWC 2017 in Barcelona. While the pricing of the smartphones or their availability has not been announced as of now, their specifications indicate that they will be priced competitively in the budget price segment.

Alcatel A5 LED, A3, U5 Smartphones and PLUS 12 Tablet Launched at MWC 2017

Coming first to the most exciting product out of the mix, the Alcatel A5 LED features the most powerful specifications among the three newly-launched smartphones but the highlight feature on the smartphone is its LED panel back that lights up with colours in different patterns. The LED back cover is removable and the company is also offering other cover options including a battery pack and a speaker back. The swappable covers are similar to the Moto Mods as can be seen in Moto Z smartphones – such as the new Edge Moto Mod with a wraparound LED light for notifications. Interestingly, the LED back cover can also provide users notifications and its functionality can be controlled by a dedicated app.

The Alcatel A5 LED smartphone runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow, sports a 5.2-inch HD touchscreen display, and is powered by a 1.5GHz octa-core Mediatek MT6753 SoC coupled with 2GB of RAM. The phone comes with 16GB of internal storage, which is expandable via microSD card.

In terms of optics, the Alcatel A5 LED packs an 8-megapixel primary camera on the rear and a 5-megapixel camera at front for clicking selfies. The smartphone features a 2800mAh battery. In terms of connectivity options, the A5 LED offers Cat.4 LTE, Micro-USB, Wi-Fi b/g/n, GPS, and Bluetooth 4.2.

“With the A5 LED, Alcatel is delivering new fun features, like light-up notifications and unique LED cover patterns and themes you create yourself, as well as an enhanced multimedia experience and more ways to take and share selfies, ideal for people who value having fun and letting their personality shine,” William Dowie, portfolio management director at Alcatel, was quoted as saying in company’s release.

Moving on to the Alcatel A3 smartphone, termed by the company as the “Most Affordable 5-inch HD Smartphone”, the device runs Android Marshmallow. The smartphone sports a 5-inch 720p display and is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core processor coupled with 1.5GB of RAM. The A3 comes with 16GB of inbuilt storage, which is expandable via microSD card.

In terms of optics, the smartphone comes with a 13-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel camera at front. The Alcatel A3 houses a 2460mAh battery. Interestingly, the smartphone comes with front-facing speakers and a fingerprint sensor, which is notably missing from A5 LED.

Coming finally to the Alcatel U5 smartphone, the device runs Android Marshmallow. The smartphone sports a 5-inch 480p display and is powered by a quad-core 1.1 GHz processor coupled with just 1GB of RAM. The Alcatel U5 comes with 8GB of built-in storage. The device sports a 5-megapixel rear camera.

Alcatel has also announced its Windows 10 2-in-1 PLUS 12 tablet. The device packs an 11.6-inch full-HD IPS display and measures 284x175x7.9mm. The tablet is powered by an Intel Celeron N3350 processor coupled with 4GB of RAM. It comes with in an unusual 32GB eMMC + 32GB embedded microSD storage configuration. The storage is expandable up to 128GB via microSD card.

The Alcatel PLUS 12 houses a 26.8WHr battery and offers connectivity options including USB Type-C, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a Micro-HDMI port. Interestingly, the company has also introduced a keyboard accessory for the tablet that connect via pogo pins.

The keyboard is powered by a separate Qualcomm MDM9207 SoC coupled with plus 128MB of RAM. The accessory also houses a 2580mAh battery and features a full-size USB-A port for connectivity. PLUS 12’s innovative detachable 4G LTE keyboard serves as a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to 15 devices.

“With the A5 LED, Alcatel is delivering new fun features, like light-up notifications and unique LED cover patterns and themes you create yourself, as well as an enhanced multimedia experience and more ways to take and share selfies, ideal for people who value having fun and letting their personality shine,” William Dowie, portfolio management director at Alcatel, was quoted as saying in company’s release.

As mentioned before, the pricing and the availability of the devices has not been shared by the company as of now.

Airtel Announces ‘War on Roaming’ With Free Incoming Calls, No Outgoing Premium

Bharti Airtel on Monday announced revisions to its domestic and international roaming charges. With the new announcement, Airtel will stop charging for incoming calls while roaming across India. Additionally, the company says that it will stop asking for premium charges on outgoing calls while roaming. For international roaming starting April 1 2017, the company says it will offer customers protection from bill shocks.

Airtel Announces 'War on Roaming' With Free Incoming Calls, No Outgoing Premium

Airtel said that call charges have been reduced by up to 90 percent to as low as Rs. 3 per minute on international roaming while data charges by up to 99 percent to Rs. 3 per MB across popular roaming destinations.

The company in a press statement announcing new roaming revisions calls it “Death of National Roaming” where it will offer free incoming calls and SMS. Airtel also claims no bill shocks while roaming overseas where the company will start automatically adjusting daily billing to the price of basic one day pack even for customers who don’t buy a roaming pack.

The telecom company further talking how the new international roaming pricing works explains that if a customer is travelling to the USA without a roaming pack and hits the threshold of Rs, 649, which is also the price of the one day pack for the USA, the customer will be automatically moved to the one day pack with free incoming calls/SMS, 100 India and local country outgoing minutes, 300 MB data and other benefits. Similarly, customers traveling to Singapore will be moved to one day pack when they touch Rs. 499.

Commenting on the announcement, Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Bharti Airtel said, “At Airtel, we are changing the international roaming paradigm, which will allow our customers to take their number to every corner of the world. As an industry, operators across the world must collaborate to remove the cost barrier to roaming and offer customers the convenience of staying connected without the fear of exorbitant bill charges.”

The iPhone 7 deal that took Black Friday by storm is back (and this time it’s cheaper)

If you’re looking to pick up a new iPhone 7 handset this month, Mobiles.co.uk has prepared a little present for you. The UK’s biggest online phone retailer has resurrected the iPhone 7 deal that took Black Friday by storm back in November and not only that, it has also slashed an extra £25 off the upfront cost.

  • The best iPhone 7 deals in February 2017

We’ve had a look around and this is without doubt the best iPhone 7 deal out there at the moment. In fact, no other deal appears to come close.

The next best deal out there appears to be this one , also at Mobiles.co.uk and on the EE network, which costs £10 more and gets you just 1GB data instead of 5GB. So yeah, don’t go for that deal.

If you need absolutely loads of data, you could also look at this 24GB deal on Vodafone but that’ll cost an additional £74 over the two years – only really worth it if you’re going to be streaming a lot of media.

iPhone 7 mega deal in full:

iPhone 7 32GB | EE 4G | Unlimited calls and texts | 5GB  data |   £75 £50 upfront | £30.99 per month with free next day delivery
Use the voucher code SAVE25 to save an extra £25 on what was already the UK’s best iPhone 7 deal. That reduces the upfront cost to £50 and leaves you paying £30.99 per month for 5GB data and unlimited calls and texts. That amount of data is more than enough for 99% of people – you’d only need more if you’re planning to stream lots of music and video when not connected to wifi. Total cost over 24 months is £793.76

See the below table for a quick look at the next-best iPhone 7 deals currently available across all UK networks and resellers. Click the View all deals button to use our full price comparison tools!

Alt Twitter government accounts spring up to challenge Trump

Alternative facts and fake news, meet Alt-Twitter. In the last few days, a growing number of Twitter accounts have been started claiming to be the “alternative” or “rogue” voices of U.S. government workers and agencies.p1170191 1

It started with the brouhaha over tweets from two National Park Service accounts and the reaction to them from the White House.

An @AltNatParkSer account quickly sprang up claiming to be the “unofficial resistance team of U.S. National Park Service” and has to-date amassed 1.3 million followers — that’s three times as many followers and the legitimate @NatlParkService account.

The account says it’s run by environmental activists and journalists, not government workers, and that’s the case for many of the other alternative accounts that are now online.

Like the Alt US Forest Service, Rogue NASA, Alt CDC, and NOAA Uncensored, many of the tens of accounts appear to be set up by sympathizers to show support for science-focused agencies that are facing changes and restrictions under the new administration.

But not all.

Perhaps none is as daring as @RoguePOTUSStaff, which purports to come directly from the White House. It has been tweeting out overhead conversations and White House gossip to its 83,000 followers since Wednesday.

For anyone following presidential politics this week, it makes for juicy reading but — and this is important — no-one can say for sure whether any of it is real.

The bio on the account claims it is run by “the unofficial resistance team inside the White House,” but that’s all. The person or people running the account have been asked for verification but have declined to provide it.

It’s worth remembering that the fake news stories that rose to prominence during the election campaign were written in a way to confirm suspicions or beliefs that a group of the electorate already held, and the same can be said of the RoguePOTUSStaff Twitter feed if the audience is scared and skeptical liberals.

But the account holder does at least appear to have some knowledge of government affairs, writing on Friday that the account could be a “violation of Hatch Act.”

The Hatch Act is legislation that prohibits government employees from engaging in political acts while on the job.

For now, the alternative accounts don’t represent a big challenge to official outlets. The government’s U.S. Digital Registry lists 3,347 official Twitter accounts, so the resistance has some way to go.