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Tech News In Brief

Tech News for the week to come

Tech News from around the web, in case you missed it: 29/10/2018

1

Facebook, Google May Face Billions in New Taxes Across Asia, Latin America

Wall Street Journal

Europe’s proposal to impose a new tax on tech giants is inspiring other governments.

Read here.

 

2

Warren Buffett’s Firm Invests Millions in Fintech

Wall Street Journal

Berkshire invested around $600 million in recent months in two big financial-technology companies focused on emerging markets: Brazilian payments processor StoneCo. Ltd. and the parent company of India’s largest mobile payments services, Paytm.

Read here.

 

3

Microsoft Defends Its Bid on U.S. Military Contract

Wall Street Journal

Microsoft Corp.’s top executives defended supplying technology to the U.S. military, the second time in months the company has explained its relationship with the government in the face of objections from employees.

Read here.

 

4

This AI Startup Generates Legal Papers Without Lawyers, and Suggests a Ruling

Bloomberg

Prometea can judge you in about 10 seconds. The AI software is being used to automate parts of Argentina's legal system,

Read here.

 

5

The Global Tech Backlash Is Just Beginning

Wall Street Journal

The biggest tech companies have tremendous power over the hearts and minds of people—as much as many of the governments in countries where they operate. All over the world, citizens, bureaucrats and politicians are now pushing back against that power.

Read here.

 

6

The AI Cold War That Threatens Us All

Wired

Read here.

 

7

On Gab, an Extremist-Friendly Site, Pittsburgh Shooting Suspect Aired His Hatred in Full

The New York Times

Early Saturday, moments before the police say he barged into a Pittsburgh synagogue and opened fire, Robert Bowers’s anti-Semitic rage finally boiled over as he posted one last message online.

Read here.

 

8

How Google Protected Andy Rubin, the ‘Father of Android’

The New York Times

The internet giant paid Mr. Rubin $90 million and praised him, while keeping silent about a misconduct claim.

Read here.

 

9

Apple’s Tim Cook makes blistering attack on the ‘data industrial complex’

Tech Crunch

Apple CEO Tim Cook has joined the chorus of voices warning that data itself is being weaponized against people and societies — arguing that the trade in digital data has exploded into a “data industrial complex”.

Read here.

 

10

U.K. to Roll Out Developed World’s First ‘Digital’ Tax

Wall Street Journal

The U.K. will introduce a new tax that targets large technology companies, starting in 2020, treasury chief Philip Hammond said Monday, setting the country on a path to become the first developed economy to do so.

Read here.

 

11

Bradley Tusk, a political ‘fixer’ for tech companies, has a plan to make voting from your phone a reality

Recode

As an investor/political consultant for Uber, Bradley Tusk directed the company’s aggressive efforts to mobilize consumers against New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2015, and has since led similar campaigns for FanDuel and Bird. These experiences gave him a thought: What if voting were this easy?

Read here.

 

12

Here’s why tech billionaires are fighting over San Francisco’s Prop C ballot measure

Recode

Leaders in the tech community are being pulled into a debate about their corporate responsibility in San Francisco and beyond.

Read here.

 

13

IBM is making the third-largest tech acquisition ever

Recode

IBM is making one of the biggest acquisitions of all time in the tech sector, shelling out $34 billion to buy Red Hat, best known for its flavor of the open-source Linux operating system that runs on servers.

Read here.

 

14

Should You Be Afraid of Election Hacking? Here's What Experts Say

Time

After Election Day two years ago, one thing became clear: foreign powers, notably Russia, had attempted to interfere in the American democratic process. They used various methods, and had varying degrees of success. Whether those efforts had a decisive impact is less certain. But such a brazen assault on U.S. elections by an adversarial nation left many Americans worrying: Can our elections be hacked?

Read here.

 

15

African phone companies are evolving into 21st century conglomerates out of necessity

Quartz Africa

Telecoms operators behind Africa’s mobile phone boom over the past decade are increasingly getting into sectors beyond the traditional communications business.

Read here.

 

16

Somalia holds first technology and innovation summit

Africanews

Somali entrepreneurs specializing in new technologies gathered this week in Mogadishu to discuss business and innovation, for a first conference of its kind in a country whose current events often revolve around attacks and suffering.

Read here.

 

17

Do decentralised web programs use as much energy as cloud-based services?

Guardian

Martin is interested in using a DWeb alternative to Google Docs, but worries about the energy use associated with blockchain.

Read here.

 

18

US restricts Chinese chipmaker from buying American parts

CNN

The United States is restricting exports to a state-backed Chinese company that makes semiconductors, the latest escalation in Washington's trade fight with Beijing.

Read here.

 

19

The SaaS VC gap: China & other markets trail the US

Tech Crunch

Chinese startups rule the roost when it comes to total reported venture dollars raised so far in 2018. That is, mostly. In one key category at least — software-as-a-service, better known as SaaS — they do not.

Read here.

 

20

Here are 25 of the most innovative new projects using tech to help refugees and NGOs

Tech Crunch

From humble beginnings as a simple Facebook group I posted in September 2015, Techfugees has come a long way. It was conceived as a vehicle to enthuse technologists about the plight of refugees by waking them up to the idea that their innovation, startup mentality and design-led thinking could potentially bring new, scalable new solutions to the plight of displaced people. Today, Techfugees is an international non-profit with its own CEO, Joséphine Goube and a team based between London and Paris. Not bad for a handful of posts on social media.

Read here.

 

21

California delays its net neutrality law while FCC’s new rules are challenged

Tech Crunch

California’s much-anticipated net neutrality rules, which were signed into law last month, are being put on ice until a challenge to the FCC’s  own rules at the federal level is resolved. It’s unfortunate, but logical — if the FCC rules are undone or modified, the necessity and legality of California’s will also be affected.

Read here.

 

22

China’s ByteDance leapfrogs Uber to becomes world’s most valuable startup

Tech Crunch

Move aside Uber, China’s ByteDance is now the world’s highest-valued tech startup.

Read here.

 

23

Xiaomi looks set to smash its 100M sales target for 2018

Tech Crunch

Despite share price struggles, Xiaomi has revealed that it is on track for a record sales year which will see it easily surpass its goal of selling 100 million smartphones in 2018.

Read here.

 

24

UK watchdog hands Facebook maximum £500K fine over Cambridge Analytica data breach

Tech Crunch

The U.K. Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has confirmed that it has hit Facebook with a maximum £500,000 ($645,000) fine around the way it mishandled user data following the Cambridge Analytica scandal earlier this year.

Read here.

 

25

Google just made it easier to delete your search history: Here's how

CNBC

Google is making it easier for users to delete their search history.

Previously, users had to visit their Google account landing page to see and erase past queries, but now it's possible to do from within search itself.

Read here.

 

26

YouTube's biggest channel is about to get overtaken by a fast-growing Bollywood music label

CNBC

Felix Kjellberg — PewDiePie's real name — has been the most popular YouTube channel for five years. He currently has more than 67 million subscribers.

Now, the growth of one particular channel on Google's video sharing service threatens to usurp him.

Read here.

 

27

MTN vs the Government: Are poor communications hurting Nigeria’s economy?

New African

In what has led to an ongoing dispute, the Nigerian government recently slapped close to $10bn worth of retrospective taxes on Africa’s largest mobile operator: MTN. The South African company suffered heavy losses overnight and have protested the fines ever since. As part of New African’s October cover story ‘Nigeria: A fascinating enigma’ Nkiru Balonwu debates the pitfalls of Nigeria’s public communications in this op-ed. 

Read here.

 

28

Why technological disruption is changing Africa’s business landscape

New African

Astute international investors have begun to take note of Africa’s rising digital economy, which is riding the wave of technological disruption, unlocking new business and investment opportunities across the region. Op-ed by Dominic Rebelo, Partner, Africa Legal Network (ALN) Kenya. 

Read here.

 

29

In conversation with Ahmad Mokhles, Liquid Telecom’s COO

African Business

Ahmad Mokhles, Liquid Telecom’s COO, discusses the company’s plans to install fibre optic infrastructure linking up Central and West Africa. 

Read here.

 

30

Wingtech Technology: all you need to know about Chinese firm behind audacious US$3.6 billion takeover of Dutch chip maker Nexperia

South China Morning Post

Electronics manufacturer Wingtech Technology Co has seen its fortunes prosper since it was founded in 2006 amid China’s development as the world’s biggest smartphone market.

Read here.

The Politics of Facebook