Category Archives: news
Facebook blocks messages promoting terrorist propaganda
Facebook blocks one million messages promoting terrorism or radical ideologies every week, says the head of the United Nations counter-terrorism committee.”We must learn to move through social networks at the same speed or faster than terrorist organisations,” Efe quoted Laborde as saying on Thursday.
Speaking at UN headquarters after a meeting with the private sector, Jean-Paul Laborde said YouTube had cancelled at least 14 million videos of terrorist propaganda in the past two years. The UN must learn to move through social networks at the same speed, or faster, than terrorist organisations, he said. But he warned there needed to be a balance between ensuring freedom and privacy online, while protecting the lives of all the world’s citizens.
Maintaining that balance was “a great challenge” for law enforcement, civil society and private companies, Mr Laborde said.
The UN must first defeat terrorist organisations such as Islamic State on the internet and social networks.
To achieve those goals new relationships and connections must be forged between civil society, UN members and private enterprises such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter, which control exchange of information online, he said.
Sensex tanks 555 points on China rout, closes at 3-week low
The Sensex fell for the fourth consecutive session on Thursday to close at 24,852, down 555 points (2.2%) with all the 30 Sensex stocks in the red. Thanks to the market rout in China,On Thursday morning as the CSI 300 index in Shanghai tanked 7% and Chinese authorities suspended trading for the day, sensex opened more than 1% lower and lost steam through the session to close at a fresh three-week low.
In the process it also broke below the psychologically important 25K mark. Thursday’s was the second 7% fall in the benchmark index for the Chinese stock market this week which came on the back of signs of further economic weakness in the world’s second largest economy.
In India, the Sensex has now lost over 1,300 points since its New Year day closing at 26,161.
On Thursday, the slide in the domestic market was led by BHEL, Tata Steel, Tata Motors and Axis Bank, with each of the stock closing down 5% or more.
Google likely building smarter chatting app to challenge Facebook
Google is said to be building a new messaging app, this time with an intelligent twist: it’ll let you chat with your friends or message a Google bot for answers to your questions. The Wall Street Journal reports that Google has been working on this new service for at least a year, though it isn’t known when it might launch.
It isn’t stated how powerful Google wants this intelligent bot to be at launch. Likely, it would be able to do everything that a normal Google search can, offering up answers when it can and providing links when it can’t. That means you might be able to message it for information on the weather or to look up details on a restaurant.The Journal reports that Google will likely allow other developers to build chatbots that run on the service, so you could receive an answer from an app that has the information you’re looking for. Google declined to comment.
The intention is to prevent Google from losing out on search to other messaging services, like Facebook’s, that have been building in intelligent bots of their own. Google doesn’t currently have a successful messaging app — even Hangouts is kind of a mess — so the implication that Google is building yet another one is reasonable. It could always opt to build this service into an existing chat app as well.
The service sounds like it’s meant to directly compete with Facebook M, a bot that Facebook is testing inside of Messenger. Like what Google is said to be doing, M automatically searches the web for answers to questions, but it takes that one step further: for more complicated queries, a human assistant will take over, allowing M to do things far beyond what a computer could. The Journal doesn’t mention Google considering anything outside of the digital realm — that’s its area of expertise, anyway — but it’ll need to offer something at least as powerful if it wants to hook users. Then there’s just the small question of whether Google can get people chatting with their friends, too.
Top jobs that will rule in 2016
As 2016 approaches, recruiters expect an increase in demand across sectors, be it e-commerce, financial services or mobile product development. There will be many more jobs for those in product development in particular owing to the sharp growth in the number of mobile devices in the country, besides a surge in entry-level openings for data analysts.Companies across sectors are ramping up their digital marketing teams and the job profile is slowly but surely attracting more attention because it’s seen as relatively stable and talent is as yet scarce
1) DIGITAL MARKETING HEADS
More and more companies are looking to beef up their online presence to meet the growing demand amid a sharp increase in the number of people accessing the internet. It is critical for such companies to have the right person to lead the digital marketing team.
SECTORS: Any sector that is consumer-related. E-commerce and retail firms, FMCG and SaaS companies are prime examples.
PAY: Rs 30-60 lakh per annum, depending on experience and seniority of position.
2) PRODUCT DEVELOPERS
With IT companies ramping up their offerings and startups mushrooming in several sectors, product developers are expected to be in high demand in the coming year. This job profile will particularly be much in demand, with new-age companies targeting the younger segments of the population by building mobile and app-friendly products.
PAY: About Rs 15 lakh for junior levels, going up to Rs 50 lakh for senior positions.
3) SKILLED TECHNICIANS
The demand in the IT sector is expected to slow down a tad since the companies in this sector are not expected to grow as fast as they have in the previous years. However, manufacturing sector will see a higher demand for jobs.Skilled technicians in factories, mechanical engineers, electronic engineers and sector specific locomotive engineers will be in great demand in the coming year.
PAY: Rs 2.5-5 lakh for entry-level jobs, with higher salary for wider skill set. For instance, a locomotive engineer will command a higher entry level salary due to his special skill set. With the Narendra Modi government pushing ‘Make in India’ and ‘Skill India’ campaigns, both state-run and private companies are expected to go on a hiring spree.
4) DATA ANALYTICS
In 2016, entry-level jobs for data analysts are expected to be aplenty since companies across the board, from small firms to larger companies like Infosys are looking to expand their footprint in technology. These jobs will require mathematical and analytical skills.
5) SENIOR MANAGERS: E-COMMERCE
6) MOBILE PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
With mobile users set to cross 500-million mark by the end of 2015, according to a GSMA report, mobile product development engineers are expected to be in huge demand next year as software products and apps are being developed in droves. A BTech or a bachelor’s degree in engineering, design or related fields is a prerequisite for such jobs. AutoCAD certification, detailed knowledge of applications development on Android/iOS will steer hopeful candidates smoothly along.
SECTORS: IT consulting firms, e-commerce companies and companies building software products and mobile apps.
PAY:Rs 12-18 lakh at the entry level; Rs 35-40 lakh at higher levels.
Global mobile Internet userbase to touch 2 billion in 2016
More than two billion people globally will use mobile devices to connect to the Internet in 2016, with countries like India, China and Indonesia leading the way.Overall, an estimated 3.2 billion people (or 44 per cent of the worlds population) will have access to the Internet in 2016,research firm IDC said in a statement.
Growth in Internet access is taking place around the world, but some countries are seeing particularly rapid growth. China, India, and Indonesia lead the way and will account for almost half of the gains in access globally over the course of the next five years,. The combination of lower-cost devices and inexpensive wireless networks are making accessibility easier in countries with populations that could not previously afford them, it added.
According to Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), India was expected to reach 402 million by December 2015, registering a growth of 49 per cent over 2014. About 306 million of these are expected to access Internet from their mobile devices.
IDC said the global mobile Internet userbase is forecast to grow at two per cent annually through 2020 unless significant new methods of Internet access are introduced. Efforts by Google, SpaceX, and Facebook among others to make the Internet available to the remaining 4 billion people via high altitude planes, balloons, and satellites are underway.
However, it remains unclear how successful these endeavors will be and when they will be operational at scale, IDC said. “Over the next five years, global growth in the number of people accessing the Internet exclusively through mobile devices will grow by more than 25 per cent per year while the amount of time we spend on them continues to grow. This change in the way we access the Internet is fueling explosive growth in mobile commerce and mobile advertising,” Scott Strawn, Program Director of Strategic Advisory Service said. The study found that more than a billion people use the Internet to bank online, to stream music, and to find a job. More than two billion use email and read news online and more people than ever before are making purchases online, it added.
Yahoo to notify users about hacking attacks
Yahoo has become the latest techno-logy company to promise to alert its users if it thinks their accounts have been attacked by ‘state-sponsored actors’ – hackers working on behalf of governments.
Those actions include turning on two-step verification; changing their password to a stronger one that has never been used before; updating their account recovery info-rmation; and checking recent activity on their account.
Yahoo’s move comes two months after Facebook made a similar announcement in October, telling its users that it would notify them “if we believe your account has been targeted or compromised by an attacker suspected of working on behalf of a nation-state”. In December, Twitter warned a number of its users that they may have been the targets of
a state-sponsored attack, including several experts in info-rmation security and privacy. Google, meanwhile, made this move in June 2012 for a subset of its users who it believed might be targets for phishing, malware or other attacks from state-sponsored ‘bad actors’.
By necessity, all of these companies decline to provide detailed information on the potential attackers they have identified.
The likelihood of online attacks coming from state-sponsored actors has been increasingly talked about in 2015. Richard Ledgett, deputy director of the US National Security Agency, claimed in October that “if you are connected to the Internet, you are vulnerable to determined nation-state attackers.”
Snapdeal to invest more in logistics to compete with Flipkart, Amazon
Online marketplace Snapdeal, backed by Japan’s SoftBank Group and others, will spend more on logistics and technology to better compete with Flipkart and Amazon’s Indian unit, its co-founder said on Monday. Shopping online is becoming more popular in India due to the rising use of cheaper smartphones and e-commerce firms are struggling to cope with the growing demand and make faster deliveries in different parts of the country.
The e-commerce market in India is expected to grow to $220 billion in the value of goods sold by 2025, up from an expected $11 billion this year, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a recent report. Flush with $500 million from a funding round in August, led by China’s Alibaba, SoftBank and Foxconn, Snapdeal is now looking to expand its services.
One area Snapdeal will focus on is to cut delivery times by investing in better data analytics and demand forecasting, co-founder Rohit Bansal told Reuters. Quick and cheap delivery is important to be able to win over customers in a competitive industry in which companies are burning through substantial cash to grow.
Snapdeal, which had $4.5 billion in Gross Merchandise Volumes (GMV), a measure of value of goods and services sold, by August, bought mobile wallet company FreeCharge in April for around $400 million. It has also spent around $35 million to buy about 50 per cent stake in logistics services company GoJavas.
Bansal said that Snapdeal had received interest in part of its stake in FreeCharge to raise funds for the mobile wallet company, but declined to comment further.
In October, the Economic Times newspaper said that FreeCharge plans to raise $300 million as the mobile wallet looks to expand its product range after receiving a specialised payments bank license from the Reserve Bank of India.
Flipkart unveils global brand licensing for Indian sellers
E-commerce giant Flipkart on Monday came out with a new brand licensing initiative to ease the process for international brands entering India and offering consumers more authentic and branded merchandise. In “a first-of-its-kind” arrangement in the industry, Flipkart has tied up with Viacom 18 for the licensing of three large brands — Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Spongebob Squarepants and Peanuts — for sellers.
The brands’ “core pain points” like fakes and lack of transparency on retail sales can be addressed effectively through Flipkart’s “superior analytics system and the tight control” it keeps on product quality, the company has said.
In addition, Flipkart’s expertise across 70 plus product verticals will allow the company to offer these brands in a more innovative approach towards merchandising and sales, it said in a release here.
The sellers, in turn, will have the opportunity to create a better experience for buyers, by assuring them quality of authentic products and differentiating themselves from the clutter on the marketplace, it said further. For international brands, it’s an opportunity to increase the number of brand touch-points through extensions into new verticals where the merchandise was previously not present.
Manish Maheshwari, VP and head -Seller Ecosystem at Flipkart, said international brands that issue licences through the offline model face several challenges when it comes to sales reporting and product quality control, which in turn “heavily” impacts their royalty.
“Through this online licensing concept, we want to simplify this process by connecting international brands with the top-performing sellers on our platform, giving the brands the power to keep track of product sales as well as quality,” he said.
Modi’s Pak trip:3 minutes that changed Indo-Pak ties
In a Christmas surprise, PM Narendra Modi on Friday made a dramatic visit to Lahore to meet his counterpart Nawaz Sharif, boosting the recent turnaround in ties with Pakistan.
Modi stunned one and all with a tweet, hours before his departure from Kabul in the afternoon, that he was going to “drop by” in Lahore for a meeting with Sharif. The Pakistani PM was in Lahore for his granddaughter’s (Maryam Nawaz’s daughter) wedding.
Modi is the first Indian PM to set foot in Pakistan since January 2004 when Vajpayee visited Islamabad for the 12th Saarc summit. That visit resulted in the first-ever commitment by Pakistan to prevent its territory from being used for terrorism. It is again Pakistan’s assurances on terrorism, more specifically on the Mumbai trial, which has been cited by India to resume dialogue.
So what exactly did the Prime Ministers speak about, as they sat together on the sofa of a waiting lounge on the sidelines of the climate change summit? According to sources, each second of the conversation between Mr. Modi and Mr. Sharif was spent on how to resume the dialogue process.
“PM Modi came up to PM Sharif with the words, ‘It is time to start talking again’, after which PM Sharif suggested they sit down and talk,” an official present at the meeting said. Mr. Sharif is understood to have replied that he too wanted to restart dialogue, but that talks were blocked by the failure of the National Security Advisors (NSAs) to meet in Delhi, and that talks must be held on “all issues and without pre-conditions”.
Mr. Modi reportedly agreed to including all issues, including Jammu and Kashmir in the list, which had been omitted in the Ufa statement, and suggested sending the Foreign Secretaries to the meeting as well. “That was it, and the rest is history” a senior Pakistani official said, corroborating the reported version.