October 19, 2015 Last Updated 8:03 am

Postmedia papers feature cover wrap for Conservatives one day before Canadian election

Morning Brief: Another update for the ‘Classic’ app from The Washington Post, as the developers work to end app crashes; NYT updates iPhone and iPad apps, says this is the last update that will support iOS 7

The Postmedia Network newspapers in Canada yesterday featured a unique cover wrap, paid for by the Conservative Party. The front page advertisements came just before Parliamentary elections are held today. The Postmedia chain had previously publicly endorsed the Conservatives.

CSun-front-600Postmedia owns the national newspaper, The National Post, as well as metro dailies including the Calgary Sun, Edmonton Journal, Montreal Gazette, Ottawa Citizen, and others, enjoying monopolies in many cities by owning both the broadsheet and tabloid dailies.

The ads are typical fear mongering, something that seems to be consistent with conservative parties in the UK, US, as well as Canada. The ad warns voters that a vote for anyone other than the Conservatives will cost them money from higher taxes.

Polls show the election pretty much a dead heat among the three parties, with the Liberals, led by Justin Trudeau, son of late prime minister Pierre Trudeau, maybe a bit ahead.

But pollsters are leery of saying firmly that the Liberals may win, knowing that similar polls in the UK shows the Tories even or slightly behind their rivals, only to have the actual vote count be overwhelmingly Conservative.

Voters in Canada will be voting for their representatives to Parliament, not the Prime Minister, so polling can be off more than it might be in a US Presidential election. If the Conservatives win enough seats, Stephen Harper would return as Prime Minister for a fourth time.

Postmedia, backed by US private equity company Golden Tree Asset Management, would like to guarantee that result.

If you want to follow Canadian election results, one place to do that, of course, is through the CBC. Today the national Canadian news broadcaster updated its iOS news app and one of the updates mentioned involves the election. The update brings the CBC News app up to version 3.3.1:

What’s New in Version 3.3.1

  • Enhanced Breaking News Alerts: This update allows you to subscribe to breaking news alerts from newsrooms across the country. Opt in to receive alerts about major breaking news in your area. Sign up for multiple regions or just the news in your back yard.
  • Live Election Results: On election day, receive live results at a glance. Tap on the results for full coverage on our live election page.

John Oliver noticed that Canada has an election today:

While newspaper and magazine websites deal with the issue of comment threads and, retail websites are trying to deal with the issue of user reviews. Some sites, such as Amazon, appear to have a high number of fake reviews, often written for compensation and skewing the product ratings found there.

Amazon is trying to do something about this, looking to sue 1,114 people who may have engaged in submitting fake reviews. The lawsuits target account holders at the website Fiverr.com. The website allows people to seek “odd-jobs” for around $5. In April, Amazon sued a number of websites over the same issue.

The lawsuits are “John Doe” suits as Amazon does not know the names of those offering false review services.

“While small in number, these reviews can significantly undermine the trust that consumers and the vast majority of sellers and manufacturers place in Amazon, which in turn tarnishes Amazon’s brand,” Amazon said in its complaint.

WaPo-Classic-iPad-800Last week TNM reported that The Washington Post was struggling trying to fix its ‘Classic’ app – its older iPad app which features both news from the paper’s website, as well as a replica edition of the newspaper. At issue are crashes which some readers have been experiencing since the release of iOS 9. Last week the paper updated the app to try address the crash issue, and also improve its crash reporting.

This weekend came yet another update for the app to handle crashes. Amazingly, the first user reviews say the app still crashes for them.

This must be incredibly frustrating for the development team. I find it very odd as I don’t have any trouble with the app at all. So what’s going on? Is there really there really a problem with the app or are they getting spoofed?

Other media app updates include updates for both the iPhone and iPad apps from The New York Times. Both updates warn users that this update will be the last that can promise support for users that still have iOS 7 on their devices.

Anyone who has a device two years old or newer, probably has the latest Apple mobile operating system installed on their device – or at least iOS 8. So someone who still has iOS 7 on their device likely has an iPhone or iPad at least three or four years old, if not even older. So dropping iOS 7 support is probably something that can be expected.

In any case, the app description for the updates reminds users that downloading and installing iOS 9 is free.

Lastly, the eBook service Scribd has updated its iOS reading app to fix a few bugs.

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