Home Social networkingSocial networking Features Associated Press, 20 September 2017 Highlights Facebook has been criticised for spreading fake news on its platform
It has also come under scanner for favouring US presidential elections
Facebook prefers to call itself a online site rather than a media house The problems keep piling up for Facebook, and it's unclear how long the internet giant will be able to brush them aside as it barrels toward acquiring its next billion users.
The world's biggest social network has unwittingly allowed groups backed by the Russian government to target users with ads. That's after it took months to acknowledge its outsized role in influencing the US election by allowing the spread of fake news – though before news emerged that it let advertisers target messages to “Jew-haters.”
Now Facebook is under siege, facing questions from lawmakers and others seeking to rein in its enormous power. The company has turned over information on the Russia-backed ads to federal authorities investigating Russian interference in the US presidential election. Critics say the company also needs to tell its users how they might have been influenced by outside meddlers.
Speculation is rife that Facebook executives, perhaps including CEO Mark Zuckerberg, could be called to testify before Congress. Hearings might lead to new regulations on the company.
“Facebook appears to have been used as an accomplice in a foreign government's effort to undermine democratic self-governance in the United States,” writes Trevor Potter, former chairman of the Federal Election Commission and now head of a nonpartisan election-law group, in a letter to Zuckerberg.
“Era of accountability”
Potter's group, the Campaign Legal Center, wants Facebook to make the Russian-sponsored ads public. The company has so far declined to do so, citing the ongoing investigations. It has provided the ads and other information to Robert Mueller, the special counsel in charge of the Russia investigation, Facebook said in a statement, although it declined to elaborate.
The company that nudges its users to reveal intimate details about their lives, it turns out, isn't all that comfortable doing the same. That's true for everything from the secret algorithms that recommend “people you might know” to data on its attempts to clamp down on the spread of false news shared across its network.
The company justifies its secrecy in many ways, having variously claimed legal restrictions, business secrets, security and privacy protections to excuse its opacity. But Jonathan Albright, whose late 2016 research on the “fake news” propaganda ecosystem outlined how propaganda websites track and target users, thinks the current moment may be a turning point for online giants like Facebook.
“Now that it has run directly into something that possibly affected the outcome of the election – but they can't determine how – this may be their era of accountability,” said Albright, the director of research at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University.
There has been no other company on the planet, Albright added, that can provide access to as many real people as Facebook.
Power games and new rules
Facebook prefers to think of itself as an online platform, but in many respects it's also a modern sort of media company, if for no other reason than that so many people rely on it as a source of news and information. In its early years, Facebook even described itself as a “social utility.”
Now the question is whether it should be regulated as one – and if so, how. There aren't many straightforward answers, even where political ads already subject to government rules are concerned.
It's already illegal for foreign nationals to spend money in connection with a US federal election, whether on or off of Facebook. And campaign law requires people who spend money on another person's website to disclose that fact in the ad itself.
Broadcast-era election law, however, can be a poor fit for the Internet Age. Attempts to sway political sentiment on Facebook can be targeted to small groups who share a common background or attitudes, making them difficult to track from the outside. And many such efforts might not resemble traditional advertisements at all. The goal of many Facebook marketing campaigns is to generate posts that regular people will spread widely for free; political persuasion campaigns can work the same way.
“As a practical matter, it is extremely difficult for the US government to regulate content on the Internet that may have an effect on the US election,” said Nathaniel Persily, a professor at Stanford Law School. “If a teenager in his mother's basement in Moscow wants to put up a YouTube video, it's not clear what the US will be able to do about that.”
Difficult doesn't mean impossible. Persily, for instance, thinks that Facebook could use its AI technology to flag election-related ads that don't bear the disclosures required by existing law.
Companies like Facebook could also be required to do some kind of due diligence on who is spending money on their platforms on behalf of candidates, he added. Keeping an online repository of all candidate-related ads within six months of an election, identified by their backers, could also provide an additional check on illegal attempts to sway elections.
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Uber Said to Review Asia Business Over Bribery Allegations in the US

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Home AppsApps News Reuters, 20 September 2017 Highlights Uber is subject to probe following an allegation of breaking bribery laws
The matter has been reported in Indonesia, Bloomberg said
Other Asian operations of Uber are also being reviewed now Uber Technologies Inc, which is the subject of a federal probe into whether it broke bribery laws, has started a review of its Asia operations and notified US officials about payments made by staff in Indonesia, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.
A source familiar with the matter told Reuters that the Bloomberg report was accurate.
Uber said in August it was cooperating with a preliminary investigation led by the US Department of Justice into whether company managers violated US laws against bribery of foreign officials, specifically the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Uber hired law firm O'Melveny & Myers LLP to investigate how it obtained the medical records of an Indian woman who was raped by an Uber driver in 2014, Reuters reported in June.
O'Melveny & Myers is now examining records of foreign payments and interviewing employees, raising questions about why some potentially problematic business dealings were not disclosed sooner, Bloomberg said on Tuesday.
Attorneys are focused on suspicious activity in at least five Asian countries: China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and South Korea, Bloomberg said, adding that Uber's law firm is reviewing financial arrangements tied to the Malaysian government that may have influenced lawmakers there.
Uber and the DoJ could not immediately be reached for comment.
© Thomson Reuters 2017
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TRAI's Cut in Call Connect Charges a 'Retrograde' Move, Says Vodafone India Facebook May Be Facing an 'Era of Accountability'

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Home TelecomTelecom News Press Trust of India, 20 September 2017 Highlights Vodafone has termed TRAI's call connection charge cut move, 'retrograde'
TRAI on Tuesday slashed call termination charge to 6 paise per minute
COAI is planning to counter the decision taken by TRAI India's second largest operator Vodafone Wednesday expressed dismay at the telecom regulator's decision to cut mobile call connect charges to six paise per minute, and termed the move as a “retrograde” measure.
“This is yet another retrograde regulatory measure that, unless mitigated, will have serious consequences for investment in rural coverage, undermining the government's vision of Digital India,” Vodafone said in a statement.
Slamming the latest decision of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Vodafone said the Indian telecom industry was already experiencing the “greatest period of financial stress in its history”.
“We are disappointed with this decision and are now considering our options in response to it,” the company said but did not specify its options.
Vodafone's comments come in response to telecom regulator on Tuesday announcing cut in the mobile call connection charges to six paise a minute, and a complete phasing out of these rates from January 1, 2020, a move that will benefit newcomer Reliance Jio and deal a blow to the incumbent players.
Mobile companies currently charge 14 paise a minute for allowing a domestic call from a rival operator to terminate on their network. This charge, called Interconnection Usage Charges or IUC, will be brought down to six paise per minute from October 1, 2017, TRAI has said.
Earlier Tuesday, cellular industry association COAI termed the move “disastrous”, and said that most of its members will take legal recourse on the issue, to protect their financial interests.
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Home InternetInternet News Associated Press, 20 September 2017 Highlights Avril Lavigne has emerged as the most dangerous celebrity name online
Second is Bruno Mars, followed by Carly Rae Jepsen, Zayn Malik
These names are likely to carry links to malicious websites One-time pop-punk princess Avril Lavigne has beaten superstar Beyonce at something, but she may not be totally happy with her victory – she's been named the most dangerous celebrity on the internet.
Cyber-security firm McAfee said Tuesday that Lavigne, whose last album came out in 2013, was the most likely celebrity to land users on websites that carry viruses or malware. Searches for Lavigne have a 14.5 percent chance of landing on a web page with the potential for online threats, a number that increases to 22 percent if users type her name and search for free MP3s.
Bruno Mars was second in his debut on the list, followed closely behind by Carly Rae Jepsen. Zayn Malik (No. 4), Celine Dion (No. 5), Calvin Harris (No. 6), Justin Bieber (No. 7), Sean “Diddy” Combs (No. 8), Katy Perry (No. 9) and Beyonce (No. 10) rounded out the top 10 list.
It's a dubious step up for Lavigne, who was ranked No. 2 in 2013. Lavigne, whose hits include “Sk8er Boi,” ''Complicated” and “I'm With You,” has been out of the spotlight for several years as she battles Lyme disease.
McAfee had a few suggestions for why Lavigne scored so high on the 11th annual list: Interest after the artist said she's working on a new album, a feature story on her by E! Online and an internet conspiracy that she has been replaced by an impostor.
Lavigne is the first female musician to take the No. 1 spot and replaced Amy Schumer, named the most dangerous celebrity on the internet in 2016. In 2015, it was Dutch trance DJ van Buuren.
The survey is meant to highlight the danger of clicking on suspicious links. McAfee urges Internet users to consider risks associated with searching for downloadable content. The company used its own site ratings to compile the celebrity list and used searches on Google, Bing and Yahoo.
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Amazon Sends Accidental Gift Email to Shoppers Due to Glitch Paytm Mera Cashback Sale Offers: Deals on iPhone 7, Google Pixel, TVs, and More

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Home InternetInternet News Reuters, 20 September 2017 Highlights Amazon mistakenly sent out gift emails to buyers
Many shoppers received gifts without any occassion
Amazon earlier in June faced a glitch that led shoppers to dog's image A technical glitch caused Amazon.com Inc to email some of its customers erroneously that they had received a gift, the company said on Tuesday.
The email displayed an image of a crawling infant and told shoppers they had received a present from their baby registry. A number of recipients, however, reported on social media that they were not expecting a child.
“Amazon just informed me that someone has purchased a gift from my baby registry. My baby is 21, and hopes it's a keg,” Washington Post reporter Karen Tumulty said on Twitter.
Amazon did not say what caused the malfunction or how many accounts were affected.
Major, public glitches are rare for Seattle-based Amazon, which prides itself on being a technology company, not simply an online retailer.
One day in June, some shoppers who were attempting to view product listings on Amazon were instead sent to an error message that showed the image of a dog.
And in February, its cloud storage and computing business, Amazon Web Services, suffered atechnical disruption that was felt more widely.
Clients of the service from news sites to even Apple Inc had temporary difficulties because of the human-inputted error, showing how many have come to rely on Amazon's cloud for parts of their day-to-day operations. Amazon has since made changes to prevent similar future incidents.
Amazon's stock was largely unchanged in after-hours trade.
© Thomson Reuters 2017
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Twitter Says Its Controls Are Weeding Out Users Advocating Extremist Content Avril Lavigne the Most Dangerous Celebrity to Search on the Internet: McAfee

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Home Social networkingSocial networking News Reuters, 20 September 2017 Highlights Twitter claims that it has removed almost 300,000 terrorist accounts
It is a part of Twitter's move to eradicate online extremism & terrorism
Twitter made this information available its latest transparency report Twitter Inc said that its internal controls were allowing it to weed out accounts being used for the “promotion of terrorism” earlier rather than responding to government requests to close them down.
US and European governments have been pressuring social media companies including Twitter, Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google to fight harder against online radicalisation, particularly by violent Islamist groups.
Twitter said it had removed 299,649 accounts in the first half of this year for the “promotion of terrorism”, a 20 percent decline from the previous six months, although it gave no reason for the drop. Three-quarters of those accounts were suspended before posting their first tweet.
Britain's interior minister, Amber Rudd, used a visit to Silicon Valley last month to ask Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and YouTube to step up efforts to remove content that incites militants after four attacks in Britain killed 36 people this year.
“Loser terrorists must be dealt with in a much tougher manner. The internet is their main recruitment tool which we must cut off & use better!” US President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday after a bombing on a London commuter train.
Less than 1 percent of account suspensions were due to government requests, Twitter said, while 95 percent were thanks to the company's internal efforts to combat radical content with “proprietary tools”, up from 74 percent in its last twice-yearly transparency report.
Twitter defines “promotion of terrorism” as actively inciting or promoting violence “associated with internationally recognised terrorist organisations.”
The vast majority of notices from governments concerned “abusive behaviour”, which includes violent threats, harassment, hateful conduct and impersonation.
Twitter said it had removed 935,897 accounts for promotion of terrorism between August 1, 2015 and June 30 this year.
The social media platform said in July it had 328 million average monthly active users in the three months to June 30.
The European Union has threatened legislation on Internet firms removing illegal content if they do not step up efforts to police what is available on the web.
Twitter said it had received about 3 percent more legal requests and court orders to remove content posted by users in the first half of this year than during the last six months of 2016.
About 90 percent of those removal requests came from Turkey, Russia, France and Germany.
The transparency report showed Turkey was the most active country in seeking the removal of content, accounting for 45 percent of all requests worldwide.
Twitter said it had received eight requests from governments to take down content posted by journalists and news organisations in the first half of 2017 but did not act on any of them “because of their political and journalistic nature.”
Of the eight, five were court orders or other legal demands from Turkey ordering Twitter to take down content from journalists or news outlets.
Turkey detained tens of thousands of people including scores of journalists after a failed coup in July last year. The crackdown by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, who has for years tried to stamp out what he sees as illegal online activity, has strained relations with NATO allies and raised alarms among civil liberties advocates.
Twitter said it filed legal objections to court orders involving Turkish journalists and news outlets wherever possible but none of them had prevailed.
© Thomson Reuters 2017
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COAI Says Cut in Termination Charges 'Disastrous', Incumbent Telcos May Move Court Amazon Sends Accidental Gift Email to Shoppers Due to Glitch

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Home TelecomTelecom News Press Trust of India, 20 September 2017 Highlights COAI is discontent with TRAI's decision to cut call connection charges
TRAI on Tuesday reduced call termination charge to 6 paise per minute
COAI may move court against TRAI's latest order Terming the cut in call termination charges as “disastrous”, industry body COAI Tuesday said its members – which include the likes of Bharti Airtel and Vodafone – may move court against regulator TRAI's decision.
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Tuesday announced slashing of the interconnection usage charge (IUC), paid by an operator for termination of mobile call on a rival network, to 6 paise a minute from the current 14 paise.
The new rate will be applicable from October 1, 2017, and will be completely eliminated from January 1, 2020.
“It was a disastrous move… most of the members had indicated that they would probably move court for redressal in the matter because this type of hit to the financial statements of major operators is clearly not something that they can sustain and that has been made very clear to the regulator,” COAI Director General Rajan Mathews said.
Former TRAI Chairman Rahul Khullar agreed with Mathews. “…if you reduce the termination charge, the principal beneficiary is Jio because they are the ones dumping traffic onto other networks. And that is going to be a problem because the amount of revenues involved will be very large and the guys who are existing incumbents are not going to take it sitting down,” he said.
Khullar added that the coming days could see a replay of the events in 2007, when the IUC was reduced from 30 paise to 20 paise.
“At that point, IUC was reduced from 30 to 20 (paise) and these guys went to court…so my greatest fear is once again, you are looking at litigation and that is not good for this industry,” he said.
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WARSAW, Poland — The difference between Apple’s new iPhone models is a bit like flying first class compared with coach. We envy first class, but coach gets us there without breaking the budget.

The iPhone 8 will do just fine for $300 less than the glitzy iPhone X, even though it won’t make your friends and colleagues jealous. It’s also available much sooner — this Friday — starting at almost $700. The X (read as the numeral 10) won’t be out until November.

Still, the iPhone 8 remains a fairly straightforward update of the iPhone 7, which itself was a fairly straightforward update of the iPhone 6S. Then again, no one expects much different from a coach seat.

What you’re not getting
It’s hard to talk about the iPhone 8 without comparing it to my 15 minutes with the iPhone X last Tuesday.

The X wowed with a fancy new display that flows to the edges of the phone. The phone is compact, yet features a screen slightly larger than the one on the supersized iPhone 8 Plus. The X also feature..

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Home MobilesMobiles News Pranay Parab , 20 September 2017 Highlights Apple has removed wish list from iOS 11 App Store
It's not there in iTunes 12.7 for Mac either
This leaves you with no quick way to bookmark apps With iOS 11, you get a truckload of new features but you also lose some pretty useful things. Having already killed 32-bit apps on iOS, Apple has now removed wish lists from the App Store. Since Apple removed iOS apps from iTunes as well, there’s now no way to add apps to your wish list or to see which apps were there in your wish list on iOS 10.
20 Hidden iOS 11 Features You Need to Know About
The wish list was an easy way to bookmark interesting apps. We used it a lot to keep a tab on interesting apps and games. If you found an app that was too expensive for you, you could add it to your wish list and purchase it at a later date instead of going to the App Store and searching for it all over again.
How to Download and Install iOS 11
At the moment it isn’t clear why Apple removed this feature from the App Store, but our best guess is that people probably weren’t using it much. This move kills our hopes of seeing a functional notification system on the App Store, which notifies you when the price of an app drops.
Wish lists are still available for iTunes content like music and movies.
Here's How to Check if All Your Apps Will Work on iOS 11
Wish list are also there in PC game store Steam but it looks like App Store on iOS 11 and beyond will never embrace that idea. If you want to keep your wish lists, then you can either stay on iOS 10 or try the rather risky way to downgrade to iTunes 12.6. Or just take screenshots of your wish list on iOS 10 before upgrading to iOS 11.
We discussed iOS 11 and the future of iPhone and iPad in-depth on our weekly technology podcast – Orbital. You can subscribe to it via Apple Podcasts or RSS or hit the play button below.
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