Friday, September 17News That Matters

TECHNOLOGY

Cuban Government Blames Twitter For Unrest

Cuban Government Blames Twitter For Unrest

TECHNOLOGY
Unprecedented anti-government protests broke out in Cuba on July 11, which the single-party state leadership blames on a Twitter campaign orchestrated by the United States. But experts AFP spoke to say that view is at best an exaggeration. “I have irrefutable proof that the majority of those that took part in this (internet) campaign were in the United States and used automated systems to make content go viral, without being penalized by Twitter,” Cuba’s Foreign Affairs Minister Bruno Rodriguez said Tuesday. Rodriguez had already denied that the island nation experienced a “social explosion” when thousands of people took to the streets chanting “Freedom!” and “Down with the dictatorship!” The minister called it a “communication and information war against Cuba.” So who ...
WhatsApp To Let Users Send Messages Without Their Phones

WhatsApp To Let Users Send Messages Without Their Phones

TECHNOLOGY
Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp has announced the launch of a trial aimed at freeing its users from smartphones. In a blog post on Wednesday, Facebook engineers said the new feature would allow for the hugely popular service be used on multiple “non-phone” devices without needing to connect to the smartphone app. “With this new capability, you can now use WhatsApp on your phone and up to four other non-phone devices simultaneously – even if your phone battery is dead,” the blog post said. Since its launch in 2009 as a smartphone messaging app, WhatsApp has amassed more than two billion users around the world and been acquired by Facebook. WhatsApp can already be used on “companion devices,” such as computers, but exchanges are routed in such a way that if a perso...
Twitter To Kill Fleets Feature, Its Competitor To Facebook Stories

Twitter To Kill Fleets Feature, Its Competitor To Facebook Stories

TECHNOLOGY
Fleets, the row of fullscreen tweets at the top of the Twitter timeline that expires after 24 hours is shutting down due to low usage after launching widely just eight months ago. Twitter on Wednesday announced it will discontinue its Fleets feature on Aug. 3. Fleets was rolled out to compete with the stories features available in Snapchat and Instagram. The decision to shut the feature down comes after the company announced in June it was beginning to test ads inside Fleets, a move that would have helped it monetize the posts. Starting on August 3rd, users will instead just see active Spaces — Twitter’s live audio chat rooms — at the top of their timelines. And the composer for traditional tweets will be updated with more camera editing features from Fleets, like text-format...
Hackers Demand $70m After Kaseya Ransomware Attack

Hackers Demand $70m After Kaseya Ransomware Attack

TECHNOLOGY
Hackers Demand $70m After Kaseya Ransomware AttackHackers were on Monday demanding $70 million in bitcoin in exchange for data stolen during a “gargantuan” attack on a US IT company that has shuttered hundreds of Swedish supermarkets. Researchers believe more than 1,000 companies could have been affected by the attack on Miami-based firm Kaseya, which provides IT services to some 40,000 businesses around the world. The FBI warned Sunday that the scale of the “ransomware” attack — a form of digital hostage-taking where hackers encrypt victims’ data and then demand money for restored access — is so large that it may be “unable to respond to each victim individually”. “It’s probably the biggest ransomware attack of all time,” said Ciaran Martin, cybersecurity professor at the Un...
Facebook Tests Alerting Users To Extremist Posts

Facebook Tests Alerting Users To Extremist Posts

TECHNOLOGY
A Facebook test of pop-up boxes asking people whether they think friends are becoming extremists raised concerns Friday among US conservatives who felt their voices might be stifled. Facebook spokesman Andy Stone said in a Twitter exchange that the alerts sprang from an initiative at the social network to combat violent extremism and dangerous organizations. “Redirect Initiative” features are intended to route people using hate- or violence-related search terms toward resources, education or outreach groups aimed at more harmonious outcomes, according to Facebook. For example, Facebook said that searches related to white supremacy in the United States get directed to a Life After Hate group that provides crisis intervention. Images of the alerts shared ...
82-Year-Old Woman To Go Into Space With Bezos – Blue Origin

82-Year-Old Woman To Go Into Space With Bezos – Blue Origin

TECHNOLOGY
Trailblazing woman aviator Wally Funk, 82, will join Jeff Bezos this month on the first crewed spaceflight for the billionaire’s company Blue Origin, the firm announced Thursday. The trip is 60 years overdue for Funk, who was one of the Mercury 13 — the first women trained to fly to space from 1960-1961, but excluded because of their gender. On July 20 she will become the oldest person ever to go to space when she takes part in the journey aboard the New Shepard launch vehicle along with Bezos, his brother Mark and one other traveler. The Bezos brothers and Funk, who was also the National Transportation Safety Board’s first female inspector and a Goodwill ambassador, will be joined by the unnamed winner of an auction who paid $28 million for another seat on the aircraft. T...
Amazon Buys Encrypted Messaging App Wickr

Amazon Buys Encrypted Messaging App Wickr

TECHNOLOGY
Amazon said Friday it was acquiring the encrypted messaging app Wickr which offers secure communications for businesses, government agencies and individuals. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Amazon said in a statement it would incorporate Wickr in its Amazon Web Services (AWS) division which offers cloud computing and other services. AWS will continue to offer Wickr services including end-to-end encrypted communications which meet certain regulatory requirements. “The need for this type of secure communications is accelerating,” said AWS vice president Stephen Schmidt “With the move to hybrid work environments, due in part to the Covid-19 pandemic, enterprises and government agencies have a growing desire to protect their communications across many remote locations...
1M Naira Up For Grabs In The Infinix Note 10 Pro

1M Naira Up For Grabs In The Infinix Note 10 Pro

TECHNOLOGY
By Emma Ihedirionye  Standing with the mission behind the slogan “The Future is Now”, Infinix keeps on going the extra mile to provide customers with technology to make their day-to-day lives easier. With technology’s advancement, the stake for innovation keeps getting higher and this brand doesn’t intend to be left behind. The NOTE 10 Pro is a device that meets beauty with strength as it balances aesthetics and functionality to meet the needs of smartphone users from its super-fast processor, innovative upgrades, unique colours, style and overall design. It has brilliantly combined the latest innovative technology that combines beauty  — the sleek design and display —  and the beastly mode — the superfast G95 processor  — of the device to offer users the best mob...
US, French Astronauts Make ISS Spacewalk

US, French Astronauts Make ISS Spacewalk

TECHNOLOGY
A French and an American astronaut embarked on a spacewalk Sunday to complete the installation of new solar panels to boost power supplies to the International Space Station (ISS), they announced on Twitter. “Here we go again for episode (2) of the new solar array installation spacewalks,” tweeted Thomas Pesquet, a Frenchman with the European Space Agency. “It is a huge team effort each time and couldn’t be happier to return with @astro_kimbrough,” he said, referring to his American colleague Shane Kimbrough, a NASA astronaut. The two men activated the internal batteries in their space suits at 11H42 GMT, then opened the hatch to the ISS airlock. Their mission includes installing six new-generation solar panels, referred to as iROSA. The new panels, which will power bot...
Microsoft Xbox To Work Directly On Internet-Linked TVs

Microsoft Xbox To Work Directly On Internet-Linked TVs

TECHNOLOGY
Microsoft on Thursday said it is working on software to let people play Xbox video games on internet-linked televisions without the need of consoles. The news came as Microsoft and other video game industry heavyweights prepare to show off coming titles at an annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) being held virtually beginning Saturday due to the pandemic. “As a company, Microsoft is all-in on gaming,” chief executive Satya Nadella said in introducing the plan. “Three billion consumers look to gaming for entertainment, community, creation, as well as a real sense of achievement, and our ambition is to empower each of them, wherever they play.” Microsoft has been playing on the strength of its Xbox unit as it vies with Luna and Stadia cloud gaming services run, respecti...