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PAKISTAN NEWS:
PTA announces fixed number of days for users to pay for phone registration with DIRBS:

With reference to mobile device registration applications, users have been informed that all applications and Payment Slip Identification (PSID) have a validity period of 7 days, during which time the applicant can pay the applicable Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) taxes and duties. In case of non-payment within 7 days from the generation of application/PSID, the application shall be automatically deleted from the system and the deleted PSID will not have validity for payment at local banks, e-payments and online banking systems.

Here’s why Jazz’s Rs1,800 4G phone is the biggest step yet towards digital Pakistan:

Jazz launched a 4G enabled feature phone for just Rs. 1800. The phone can run some “essential” apps, such as Google Maps, Whatsapp, Facebook, YouTube, Google Assistant among others.While telecom operators have introduced several devices in the past, this specific phone is a major breakthrough and I think it has the potential to become one of the major contributors towards the dream of a Digital Pakistan.

Xiaomi Youpin unveils Line Friends wireless earbuds:

Xiaomi, under its Youpin crowdfunding platform, has launched the Line Friends Bluetooth earbuds. Line Friends is a Chinese celebrity brand and is well-known for products launched under the slogan “cuteness overloaded”.These truly wireless earbuds are themed after the famous Brown Bear and Sally characters and come in two models. The earbuds’ storage box is pretty fancy, the brown bear ones have tiny bear ears on them while the sally themed are oval boxes in mustard color.

Did Careem just change its ride package prices?:

Over the past few months, Careem has increased ride fares multiple times and reduced discounts on ride packages. While some of the changes have been forced due to increasing fuel prices, others have not been explained by the company. After the annual budget was announced last year, Careem increased the prices of ride packages, reducing the discounts by up to Rs. 30 per ride.

Facebook blames Apple for Prince Salman hacking Bezos’ phone:

Until now, Facebook had kept its quiet about the Bezos case. However, recently, the social media giant has attempted to put the blame on Bezos’ iPhone. For those who don’t know, Amazon’s CEO’s phone was allegedly hacked by Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman when he sent a malware-laden video to the former. Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook’s vice president for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, while in dialogue with Bloomberg said that the social media giant was taking all the allegations seriously, however, the company is still looking into the matter and refuses to “comment on any individual story.”

Here’s what Samsung Galaxy S20 Series will look like:

Samsung’s most awaited Galaxy S20 series is just a little more than 2 weeks away from its launch. Hence, leaks and rumors have also picked up the pace. The latest leak comes from Ishan Agarwal in partnership with 91Mobiles. It brings the official press renders of all the three smartphones in the series i.e., Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20+, and the Galaxy S20 Ultra. The prices of every device have also been revealed.The vanilla Galaxy S20 render shows the sky-blue variant with a gradient. The smartphone is built around a punch-hole display that curves on the sides. It is protected with 2.5D glass on the front and the back. The S20 comes with a rectangular aisle that houses the triple sensor camera and an LED flash.

Twitter gets Facebook’s Emojis for DMs:

Following in on Facebook’s footsteps, Twitter is now adding the ability to add reaction emojis to direct messages. The news comes from a recent Tweet from the official Twitter Support page that announced that the new feature has rolled out everywhere. Emojis can be added by tapping on the heart-plus icon or double-tapping the message itself. Hovering the cursor on top of the message on desktop also works.

USF approves contracts for Telenor & Jazz:

The Board of Directors (BoD) of Universal Service Fund Company (USF Co) has approved the award of two contracts with a subsidy of Rs. 680 million to Telenor Pakistan and Jazz under the Next Generation Broadband for Sustainable Development (NGBSD) Programme. Federal Secretary Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication, Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui, chaired the 68th Board of Directors meeting of Universal Service Fund Company on Wednesday.

Amazon is the most valuable brand of 2020 beating Google, Apple & Samsung:

According to the latest Brand Finance Global 500 report, Amazon has topped the chart as the most valuable brand, for the third year in a row. The company, at $220.7 billion, has, for the first time, surpassed the $200 billion milestone. Overall, Amazon saw a 17.5% improvement in 2019 as compared to yesteryear. The main reason behind Amazon’s increased revenue is the expansion of its portfolio to cloud computing, streaming services, consumer electronics, and logistics.

Microsoft’s mistake exposes 250 million customer records:

In a recent blog post titled, “Access Misconfiguration for Customer Support Database,” Microsoft announced a massive database error that left around 250 million customer service and support records accessible to anyone with a web browser. Although the loophole has been closed and the company says it found no evidence of malicious use, this is a very alarming situation. Bob Diachenko, a security researcher, and Comparitech made the discovery on 29th December 2019, which was then reported immediately. The unguarded servers included conversation logs of Microsoft and customers dating as back as 2005. According to Microsoft, most of the compromised personal user data has been redacted.

 

INTERNATIONAL NEWS:
Facebook and YouTube moderators sign PTSD disclosure:

Content moderators are being asked to sign forms stating they understand the job could cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to reports.The Financial Times and The Verge reported moderators for Facebook and YouTube, hired by the contractor Accenture, were sent the documents.Moderators monitor objectionable materials and often view hundreds of disturbing images in a day’s work.

UK will not implement EU copyright law:

Universities and Science Minister Chris Skidmore has said that the UK will not implement the EU Copyright Directive after the country leaves the EU. Several companies have criticized the law, which would hold them accountable for not removing copyrighted content uploaded by users, if it is passed.EU member states have until 7 June 2021 to implement the new reforms, but the UK will have left the EU by then.The UK was among 19 nations that initially supported the law.

Facebook’s Sir Nick Clegg criticized over WhatsApp security:

Security researchers have criticized Facebook’s head of communications, Sir Nick Clegg, for his response to the hacking of Amazon chief Jeff Bezos. Mr Bezos’ phone was hacked in May 2018 after he received a WhatsApp message loaded with malware.But in an interview with the Media, Sir Nick said WhatsApp’s encrypted messages could “not be hacked into”.And he failed to acknowledge security flaws in the app that had let hackers compromise their target’s smartphones.

Tinder to add panic button and anti-catfishing tech:

Tinder is adding a panic button and other safety features to the dating app.The new functions will include emergency assistance, location tracking, and photo verification.Tinder will offer the features first in the US from 28 January, but didn’t say when they will be available globally.Parent company Match Group – which also owns PlentyOfFish, OkCupid and Hinge – aims to roll out the features on its other dating platforms later this year.Match Group said it had invested in Noonlight, which provides the online emergency response services and personal safety products that Tinder will use.

Apple says losing Lightning port will create waste:

Apple says being forced to abandon the Lightning connector used on its iPhones would create an “unprecedented amount of electronic waste”.While the latest Android phones have a USB-C port, Apple’s iPhones still use the proprietary Lightning port.Some members of the European Parliament want all phone-makers to adopt a universal port, to reduce waste.But Apple says the move would create more waste by making Lightning-compatible accessories obsolete.

Twitter demands AI company stops ‘collecting faces’:

Twitter has demanded an AI company stop taking images from its website.Clearview has already amassed more than three billion photographs from sites including Facebook and Twitter.They are used by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security and more than 600 other law-enforcement agencies around the world to identify suspects.In a cease-and-desist letter sent on Tuesday, Twitter said its policies had been violated and requested the deletion of any collected data.

Killer plague game tops charts amid coronavirus:

An app that tasks users with spreading a deadly virus around the world has skyrocketed in popularity in China amid the coronavirus outbreak.On Wednesday, eight years after its release, the game became the bestselling app in China.Some players have suggested people were downloading the game as a way to cope with fears surrounding the virus.The coronavirus has so far killed at least 17 people in the country and infected more than 500 others. Developed by UK-based Ndemic Creations, the strategy game, Plague Inc, puts the user in control of a disease they must develop into a global pandemic before the scientific community can develop a cure.

Amazon battles Microsoft over military cloud:

Amazon has asked a court to “pause” Microsoft’s work on a multibillion dollar deal to provide cloud services to the US military.Microsoft was awarded the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (Jedi) contract in October. A month later, Amazon filed a notice in the US Court of Federal Claims, claiming the process had contained deficiencies and “unmistakable bias”.It accused President Trump of political interference.

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