Technology

US government seeks Facebook help to wiretap Messenger: sources

SAN FRANCISCO: The US government is trying to force Facebook Inc to break the encryption in its popular Messenger app so law enforcement may listen to a suspect’s voice conversations in a criminal probe, three people briefed on the case said, resurrecting the issue of whether companies can be compelled to alter their products to enable surveillance. The previously unreported...

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India asks WhatsApp to curb spread of false messages

MUMBAI: India has asked Facebook-owned WhatsApp messenger to take steps to prevent the circulation of false texts and provocative content that have led to a series of lynchings and mob beatings across the country in the past few months. With more than 200 million users in India, WhatsApp’s biggest market in the world, false news and videos circulating on the...

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Facebook shares drop on report of widened probe on data scandal

Shares of Facebook Inc fell 2 percent on Tuesday, after a report that a federal probe on the data breach linked to Cambridge Analytica had been broadened and would include more government agencies. Facebook shares were down 2 percent at $193.36 in early trading on the Nasdaq, erasing nearly $12 billion from the company’s market valuation. The stock lost about...

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China firm develops ‘laser gun’

A Chinese firm has developed a laser gun designed for police use that can set fire to protesters' hair or banners from a range of almost one kilometre. The general manager of the ZKZM fiber laser company, who asked to remain anonymous, said the weapon would "immediately" produce a "strong pain response" in the target but stressed it was designed...

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Facebook bug unblocks unwanted connections for a bit

Facebook on Monday said it is notifying more than 800,000 users that a software bug temporarily unblocked people at the social network and its Messenger service. The glitch active between May 29 and June 5 has been fixed, according to Facebook, which has been striving to regain trust in the aftermath of a Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal. "We know...

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Apple to rebuild Maps app

Apple is rebuilding the widely used mapping application on its iPhones from the ground up with its own dataset, but Amsterdam-based TomTom NV will continue to be a data provider for Apple’s maps app, Cupertino, California-based Apple told Reuters. Apple did not say how its use of TomTom would compare to its previous use, but TomTom shares fell after the...

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Facebook still not responsive over Cambridge Analytica and fake news: UK lawmakers

LONDON: Facebook continues to be evasive in its answers to a British parliamentary committee examining a scandal over misuse of the social media company’s data by Cambridge Analytica, the committee’s chair said on Friday. Britain’s digital and media (DCMS) committee is examining fake news, and what the consultancy, employed by Donald Trump’s 2016 US presidential campaign, did with the Facebook...

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‘Flying brain’ designed to follow German astronaut launches today

A floating, ball-shaped, artificial intelligence robot, specially trained to follow around a German astronaut at the International Space Station, is scheduled to blast off today on its ground-breaking mission. The basketball-sized device called CIMON — shortened from Crew Interactive MObile CompanioN — was described as a "flying brain" by Manfred Jaumann, head of microgravity payloads at Airbus. It launches from...

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The wait is finally over: Samsung confirms Galaxy Note 9 release date

Web Desk: The South Korean giant company has finally revealed the release date for much awaited Galaxy Note 9 phone and its around the corner. The Galaxy Note 9, Samsung’s traditional mid-of-the-year flagship, will be launched at its Unpacked event on August 9th in New York City, as revealed in a teaser trailer posted on the company’s YouTube channel. Few...

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Google retires DoubleClick, AdWords brand names

NEW YORK: Alphabet Inc’s Google announced on Wednesday the biggest-ever rebranding of its advertising software, retiring the DoubleClick and AdWords brands to streamline entry points for advertisers and ad sellers. Google executives said its fees are not changing, and no services are merging. The company will retain the AdSense and AdMob brands for ad sales technologies that are aimed at...

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Facebook, Google ‘manipulate’ users to share data despite EU law

Facebook and Google are pushing users to share private information by offering "invasive" and limited default options despite new EU data protection laws aimed at giving users more control and choice, a government study said Wednesday. The Norwegian Consumer Council found that the US tech giants' privacy updates clash with the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which forces companies...

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Spam Fight: Twitter to confirm new accounts by asking email addresses

SAN FRANCISCO: Twitter on Tuesday said it will begin asking for email addresses or phone numbers to confirm new accounts as part of a battle against manipulation, particularly by automated bots. Adding a way to check that a real person is behind new accounts was described by Twitter as being among measures to fight abuse, trolls, and hateful content. "This...

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Video makers want YouTube to change subscription tool

ANAHEIM:  Video makers with millions of subscribers on YouTube expressed frustration at a trade show last week that the service notifies only a portion of their followers about new posts, causing declines in viewership and their revenue. The gap between viewership and subscribers, which is akin to followers on Twitter or page likes on Facebook, emerged as the latest rallying...

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Uber battles to keep London license in court appeal

LONDON: Uber goes to court on Monday to overturn a decision stripping it of its license in London after being ruled unfit to run a taxi service in its most important European market. Regulator Transport for London (TfL) shocked the Silicon Valley firm last September by refusing to renew its license, citing failings in its approach to reporting serious criminal...

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Teens getting away from FB, looks other way around to connect

SAN FRANCISCO: Manon, 17, has a Facebook account but to connect with her friends she turns to other social networks like Instagram or Snapchat. "I don't use it to post status updates or personal information," the San Francisco teen says. Manon maintains her Facebook account to be able to stay in touch with the large number of users on the...

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Facebook, Twitter for Hezbollah abruptly deactivated

Web Desk: It is reported that Facebook and Twitter accounts of Lebanon's Hezbollah movement have been closed, the group said on Saturday. A website associated with the group accused the US-based social websites of running an “anti-media campaign,” . Israeli media reports said internet users have been directed to new and already existing pages associated with Hezbollah. There was no...

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YouTube offers creators new ways to earn money

SAN FRANCISCO: YouTube, often criticized for not compensating creators well enough, will allow them to set up paid channel memberships, the company said on Thursday. Currently the vast majority of revenue at the Google-owned service comes from advertising and that will remain a focus, said Neal Mohan, YouTube’s chief products officer. “But we also want to think beyond ads. Creators...

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