New Delhi, Apr 25(AP/UNB) — An Indian court on Wednesday lifted its ban on Chinese social media video-sharing app TikTok on the condition that the platform popular with teenagers would not be used to host obscene videos.
Justices N. Kirubakaran and S.S. Sundar warned TikTok that any video on the app violating conditions would be considered contempt of court.
India is a major market for social media platforms given its population of 1.3 billion people.
In a statement, TikTok welcomed the court decision and said it is committed to enhancing its safety features.
The Madras High Court in southern India imposed the ban on the mobile app earlier this month, expressing concern over pornographic content being made available through such apps.
The ban was challenged by the Chinese company ByteDance, which owns the app. Bytedance approached the Supreme Court to remove the ban, but the case was referred back to the High Court in Tamil Nadu state.
Muthukumar, an Indian who filed a petition in the court, said that TikTok encouraged pedophiles because the contents were very disturbing. Muthukumar, who uses one name, said the children who used the mobile application were vulnerable and may get exposed to sexual predators.
Apple and Google are expected restore the app soon.
Bytedance has stated that it remains "very optimistic" about the Indian market and plans to invest $1 billion in the country over the next three years, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.
In an interview with PTI, Helena Lersch, ByteDance's director of international public policy, said the company already has a content moderation team in India and that it is strengthening the team further.
San Francisco, Apr 25 (AP/UNB) — Facebook said it expects a fine of up to $5 billion from the Federal Trade Commission, which is investigating whether the social network violated its users' privacy.
The company set aside $3 billion in its quarterly earnings report Wednesday as a contingency against the possible penalty but noted that the "matter remains unresolved."
The one-time charge slashed Facebook's first-quarter net income considerably, although revenue grew 26% in the period. The FTC has been looking into whether Facebook broke its own 2011 agreement promising to protect user privacy.
Investors shrugged off the charge and sent the company's stock up more than 9% to almost $200 in after-hours trading. EMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson, however, called it a "significant development" and noted that any settlement is likely to go beyond a mere dollar amount.
"(Any) settlement with the FTC may impact the ways advertisers can use the platform in the future," she said.
Facebook has had several high-profile privacy lapses in the past couple of years. The FTC has been looking into Facebook's involvement with the data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica scandal since last March. That company accessed the data of as many as 87 million Facebook users without their consent.
The 2011 FTC agreement bound Facebook to a 20-year privacy commitment; violations could subject Facebook to fines of $41,484 per violation per user per day. The agreement requires that Facebook's users give "affirmative express consent" any time that data they haven't made public is shared with a third party.
The now-defunct Cambridge Analytica, which provided political data services to the 2016 Trump campaign and others, had wide access to normally private user data. It exploited a Facebook loophole that allowed it to see the data of people's friends, and not just people who explicitly permitted access when they took a personality quiz. While Facebook did have controls in place that allowed people to restrict such access, they are found buried in the site's settings and are difficult to find.
In addition to the FTC investigation, Facebook faces several others in the U.S. and Europe, including one from the Irish Data Protection Commission , and others in Belgium and Germany . Ireland is Facebook's lead privacy regulator for Europe. The FTC is also reportedly looking into how it might hold CEO Mark Zuckerberg accountable for the company's privacy lapses.
The social network said its net income was $2.43 billion, or 85 cents per share in the January-March period. That's down 51% from $4.99 billion, or $1.69 per share, a year earlier, largely as a result of the $3 billion charge.
Revenue grew 26% to $15.08 billion from a year earlier. Excluding the charge, Facebook earned $1.89 per share. Analysts polled by FactSet expected earnings of $1.62 per share and revenue of $14.98 billion.
The company cautioned during a conference call with analysts that it faces "ad targeting headwinds" in the second half of this year. That includes developments such as Europe's new privacy regulation that could impair hurt the company's ability to target ads. Facebook also plans to launch a long-promised "clear history" tool that will let users delete their web-browsing tracks from Facebook's data records while also blocking the social network from tracking the links they click going forward.
Zuckerberg, meanwhile, doubled down on his long-term vision to turn Facebook into a "privacy-focused platform " modeled after its encrypted messaging app WhatsApp. Analysts have questioned the company's ability to make money if its focus shifts to private communications. But Zuckerberg said the company doesn't currently use the content of messages for ad targeting anyway.
Facebook's monthly user base on its flagship service grew 8% to 2.38 billion. Daily users grew 8% to 1.56 billion. The company said about 2.7 billion people used Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, or Messenger each month and 2.1 billion people used at least one of its services daily.
Dhaka, Apr 24 (UNB) - edotco group, a telecommunications infrastructure service company and Zass Energy Services (ZES) is going to introduce first ever methanol based fuel cells in the country.
The Liquid Methanol fuel cell uses greener fuel and operates more efficiently, reducing both noise and environmental pollution. This solution also serves as a viable alternative for diesel generators ensuring reliable power at sites.
Benefits of this new solution include less carbon emission, environment-friendly, safe and no health hazard.
Zass Telecom (Ltd.) (ZES) is the first company to make the methanol fuel cell based power systems commercially available in country in partnership with edotco Bangladesh sites for a 6 month trial.
Rahul Chaudhary, Country Managing Director of edotco Bangladesh said that Edotco is committed to ensure less carbon emission through its continuous innovation and digitalization.
Meanwhile, ZASS CEO, Towfique Malek said “We will offer selected 200W, 3KW, 5KW and 10KW ‘outdoor ready’ fuel cell systems which are noise free, environment friendly and requires less maintenance.”
Dhaka, Apr 24 (UNB)- Grameenphone launched a nationwide call for applications from startups to join its program called GP Accelerator 2.0 at a press conference at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon on Wednesday.
Zunaid Ahmed Palak, State Minister, ICT Division, Ministry of Post, Telecommunication and Information Ministry made the announcement at the event as the Chief Guest.
GP CEO Michael Foley along with Yasir Azman, Deputy CEO & CMO, Grameenphone; Solaiman Alam, Head of Digital, Grameenphone; Talat Kamal, Director, Communications, Grameenphone and Minhaz Anwar, Head of startup Ecosystem, Grameenphone were present for the event to present the details of the program
Tech innovators and startups from across the country can register online at https://www.grameenphone.com/gp-accelerator-2.0.
At the pre-acceleration round 25 selected startups will go through product research, design, validation and company formation. The deadline for pre-acceleration round is until May 15, 2019.
More advanced startups can apply directly for the accelerator program until July 15, 2019 where a four and half month’s training will be provided by expert mentorsfrom home and abroad.
Washington, Apr 24 (AP/UNB) — Google affiliate Wing Aviation has received federal approval allowing it to make commercial deliveries by drone.
It's the first time a company has gotten a federal air carrier certification for drone deliveries.
The approval from the Federal Aviation Administration means that Wing can operate commercial drone flights in part of Virginia, which it plans to begin later this year.
The FAA said Tuesday that the company met the agency's safety requirements by participating in a pilot program in Virginia with the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership and Virginia Tech, and by conducting thousands of flights in Australia over the past several years.
"This is an important step forward for the safe testing and integration of drones into our economy," Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said in a statement.
Wing said the approval "means that we can begin a commercial service delivering goods from local businesses to homes in the United States."
The company didn't name any businesses that would take part in commercial deliveries. It said it plans to spend the next several months demonstrating its technology and answering questions from people and businesses in Blacksburg and Christiansburg, Virginia.
Wing said it will "solicit feedback with the goal of launching a delivery trial later this year."
Wing said that to win FAA certification it had to show that one of its drone deliveries would pose less risk to pedestrians than the same trip made in a car. The company said its drones have flown more than 70,000 test flights and made more than 3,000 deliveries to customers in Australia.
The company is touting many benefits from deliveries by electric drones. It says medicine and food can be delivered faster, that drones will be especially helpful to consumers who need help getting around, and that they can reduce traffic and emissions.
Drone usage in the U.S. has grown rapidly in some industries such as utilities, pipelines and agriculture. But drones have faced more obstacles in delivering retail packages and food because of federal regulations that bar most flights over crowds of people and beyond sight of the operator without a waiver from the FAA.
The federal government recently estimated that about 110,000 commercial drones were operating in the U.S., and that number is expected to zoom to about 450,000 in 2022.
Amazon is working on drone delivery, a topic keen to CEO Jeff Bezos. Delivery companies including UPS and DHL have also conducted tests.