Computer & Internet

PayPal Blocks Argentine Peso-to-Dollar Conversions

Online payment service PayPal will prevent users in Argentina from making domestic transfers,

PayPal Blocks Argentine Peso-to-Dollar Conversions

According to
, PayPal users in Argentina will only be able to send and receive “international payments” starting on Oct. 9.

The move is apparently linked to the Argentine government’s 2011 decision to restrict the purchase of US dollars, a move implemented either to
, or to prop up the value of the peso, depending on whom you ask. This created a black market for US dollars, and because PayPal’s exchange rates were more palatable than the black market’s — roughly 4.7 pesos to US$1 at PayPal versus about 6.3 pesos to $1 on the black market — PayPal became a conduit for shady currency deals.

According to the BBC, people had taken to setting up two accounts with different email addresses. They would then transfer money between the accounts — magically turning the pesos into U.S. dollars in the process. However, with the new PayPal regulation, people in Argentina can only have one account.

The BBC article does not discuss how PayPal will enforce its one-account policy.

Baidu Doodle Stakes Claim to Islands

With anger over the China/Japan island dispute
, China’s top search engine, Baidu, unveiled a Google-esque doodle on its homepage that featured a Chinese flag planted in an island.

Baidu has also set up a “mini-site” that allows people to plant flags in virtual islands — and more than 1.2 million people have joined,

Chinese protesters have been attacking Japanese companies, including tech heavies like
, since Japan’s purchase of the
in the East China Sea.

As The Next Web
, the doodle coincides with the Sept. 18 anniversary of the
, which was a staged explosion that Japan used to justify invading northern China in 1931.

The Next Web weighs the pros and cons of Baidu’s decision, noting that while it will assuredly alienate Japanese users, it could also scores points with Chinese users. And with the search engine market in China
, the doodle provides a good chance for

Baidu made additional headlines Monday when
money to a Chinese author whose books it had published and offered for download without consent.

Australian MP: Microsoft Calendar Could be Security Breach

Alby Schultz, an Australian member of parliament (MP), has suggested that Microsoft Outlook’s calendar-sharing feature may have led to a security breach,

Schultz said that he found a “serious security issue” last Thursday after discovering that other Outlook users could see an MP’s meeting schedule after receiving an email from an MP.

According to ABC, the problem was discovered after new software was introduced, thereby granting users access to personal information found on other MPs’ computers, including emails and “potentially sensitive attachments.”

As ZDNet
, Schultz questioned if this was a glitch caused by a recent upgrade to Windows 7, or if someone was hacking into the parliament’s system.

ABC says that about 50 MPs and senators have been affected, and that an investigation is underway to prevent it from happening again.
PayPal Blocks Argentine Peso-to-Dollar Conversions
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