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PAKISTAN NEWS:
Govt to Launch Online Portal for Registration & Tax Payment of Phones:

The government has come up with a new plan for international passengers who plan on bringing more than one mobile phones with them. You will no longer have to stand in the long queues to get the mobile phone(s) registered either at the airport or the Customs office. Phone owners will soon be able to register their devices in just a few clicks. According to the documents, the Ministry of Information Technology (IT), Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and the members from Customs have informed the Senate Standing Committee on IT and Telecom that the government plans to launch a dedicated online portal for this task.

Seized Mobile Phones to be Released After Paying a Fine:

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), on Wednesday, announced that mobile devices with SIM or IMEI functionality brought into Pakistan, which have been seized or voluntarily presented to Customs authorities after January 15, 2019, shall be released on payment of applicable duty and taxes along with a 10 percent fine.The FBR issued two notifications on Wednesday for Implementation of Device Registration Blocking System (DIRBS).

Google Pays Tribute to Legendary Abdul Hafeez Kardar:

In 1925, Pakistan cricket’s father figure, Abdul HafeezKardar, was born. He went on to lead his country in its first ever Test match in 1952. Search giant, Google, is now celebrating the legendary cricketer’s 94th birthday with a doodle. Kardar played Test cricket for United India before the partition, playing a test series in England in 1946. Later in 1947, he along with Imtiaz Ahmed and Fazal Mehmood were selected for Indian squad for a Test series in Australia.

Telecom & Mobile Imports Decline in 6 Months:

Mobile phone imports witnessed a decline of 3.31 percent in the first half of current fiscal year (July-December) 2018-19 as they stood at $364.047 million compared to $376.495 million during the same period last year. Mobile phone imports in December 2018, which stood at $59.396 million, registered an 18.69 percent decline as compared to $73.045 million imports in December 2017.

Sony to offer Next Flagship & Other Phones Next Month:

Sony’s Mobile division has seen some tough times recently. Although the phones they put up are good, feature-packed devices, the dominance of Apple and Samsung in the European and US markets makes it tough for Sony phones to sell.The lack of proper marketing, not to mention being one of the last major manufacturers to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack from their latest flagship model, made them lose even more sales.

Govt to Increase Duty on Imported Mobile Phones:

The government has decided to increase Regulatory Duty (RD) on the import of cellular phones valuing $60 and above of any brands through the Finance Supplementary (Amendment) Bill, 2018 with an estimated collection of Rs 4.4 billion from this measure during 2018-19. Following the Senate Standing Committee on Finance meeting, senior officials informed media that the government has proposed an increase in the rate of RD within the range of 10-20% on import of expensive mobile phones. Cell phones valuing less than $60 will be charged with Rs 250 RD as usual.

Supreme Court Abolishes 3-Year LLB Programs:

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has put an end to three year LLB programs across the country. The order was given on Friday when the court ordered a law college reform, abolishing law degrees earned via a three-year program. This court ruling will take effect from December 31, 2018. Furthermore, law degrees will now be based on a five-year course.

 

INTERNATIONAL NEWS:
Roku U-turn over streaming Alex Jones’s InfoWars:

Video-streaming service Roku has made a U-turn over its addition of InfoWars – the right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’s channel.Social media activists noticed Roku was offering the channel earlier this week, half a year after YouTube, Facebook and Apple, among others, had banned it. Roku initially defended the decision on the grounds it did not censor content unless it was illegal.

Domino’s Pizza app must be accessible to blind people:

Domino’s Pizza has been told its website and app must be made fully accessible to blind people, after losing a legal case in the US.It follows a complaint from a blind customer who said he first struggled to change toppings and then was unable to complete a pizza’s purchase using the company’s iPhone app.

The plaintiff’s case was initially dismissed in 2017 but was successful on appeal.It may now set a precedent for others.

No-deal Brexit — the data dilemma:

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA), which represents a whole raft of data businesses, says any company that moves data between the UK and an EU country needs to be aware of what will change if we effectively sign out of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Europe’s data protection regime.If we are going to continue to see data flowing freely across borders as now, we will need the EU to give us the kind of adequacy deal it has already granted to 12 other non-EU countries – but it isn’t clear how quickly that would happen.

Nike’s phone-controlled self-lacing trainers:

Nike has launched self-lacing trainers, which fit themselves to the shape of the foot and are controlled via a smartphone.It is the latest iteration of the futuristic footwear, first referred to in the film Back to the Future Part II, and made reality by Nike in 2016. The latest version, called Nike Adapt, will cost $350 and will not require a physical button to activate the laces.

YouTube bans dangerous or harmful pranks:

YouTube clips that depict dangerous or emotionally distressing “pranks” have been banned from the platform.

The move comes in response to so-called “challenges” that have sometimes resulted in death or injury.The Google-owned video sharing site said such material had “no place on YouTube”. The latest change in the policy has come a day after a video went viral in which a teenager crashed his car doing the ‘Bird Box’ challenge.

Forza pulls dances amid Fortnite legal action:

Microsoft has removed two dance moves from its Forza series of racing games, following questions over the legality of such moves in video games.It comes as Epic Games, the creators of Fortnite, faces further legal action, from a mother alleging it had copied her son’s dance without permission.The boy joins rapper 2 Millly, actor Alfonso Ribeiro and floss dancer Backpack Kid in suing the Epic Games.

Sofia Coppola to direct Bill Murray in Apple’s first film:

Sofia Coppola will reunite with Lost in Translation star Bill Murray to make Apple’s first original feature film. News of the film, titled On the Rocks, comes ahead of the expected launch of the tech giant’s own streaming platform. Rashida Jones will star with Murray in the film, which tells of a young mother who reconnects with her playboy father.

Google Maps deterring outback tourists:

Tourism operators in Australia claim inaccuracies in Google Maps are deterring potential visitors, by making remote attractions appear further away than they actually are. The Queensland government in north-east Australia has complained to Google, which says it will look into the issue.Firms looking to promote their small towns as remote tourist destinations say Google Maps inflates travel times.

Upskirting to be crime after Lords back bill:

A woman who launched a campaign against upskirting after being targeted at a festival 18 months ago has said “we did it!” after legislation was passed to make it a crime in England and Wales.The new legislation, approved in the House of Lords and now only awaiting the formality of Royal Assent, will see offenders face up to two years in jail.Gina Martin, 26, said the decision was “politics and society at its best”.

London Uber fares go up:

Uber fares in London have gone up to help drivers buy electric cars, the company said. A clean air fee of 15p per mile will be added to every trip taken in the capital from Wednesday.The ride-hailing firm expects the scheme to raise more than £200m in the coming years, which will be used to help drivers convert to electric cars. Uber said it was “keen to expand” the initiative to other UK cities to help curb air pollution.

Huawei founder denies firm poses spying risk:

Huawei’s founder RenZhengfei has denied Chinese authorities have ever asked his company to help spy on its clients. RenZhengfei was speaking to foreign media in a rare interview, following claims Huawei posed a security risk.He also said he was missing his daughter MengWanzhou “very much”. Ms Meng — who is the technology company’s chief financial officer — has been ordered to stay in Canada, where she is under arrest after being accused of breaking sanctions on Iran.

Driverless car laser ruined camera:

A man who took a photograph of a driverless car on display at the CES tech fair says his camera was damaged as a result. Jit Ray Chowdhury noticed purple spots on all his photographs after taking a photo of a lidar laser scanning system displayed by San Francisco firm AEye. He says the $1,198 (£930) Sony camera was one month old and the firm has offered to buy him a replacement.

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