Latest Tech

LATEST TECH NEWS: Facebook deactivates accounts of Trump’s supporter Roger Stone. 4 other things and a trivia you need to know today, July 9, 2020

These 5 latest stories from the tech space will keep you updated with trends today.

1. Facebook deactivates accounts of Trump’s supporter Roger Stone

Nothing less than 50 accounts and pages of the US President’s supporter Roger Stone has been deactivated by the Mark Zuckerberg social networking site. The deactivation of the accounts and pages was finalised on Wednesday, July 8, as the Roger stone prepares ahead to enter prison the coming week. Recall that the President’s associate has been convicted to serve a three year jail term after been pronounced guilty “for lying to authorities, obstructing a congressional investigation and witness intimidation.”

According to the social media platform, Roger Stone “and his associates, including a prominent supporter of the right-wing Proud Boys group in Stone’s home state of Florida, had used fake accounts and followers to promote Stone’s books and posts.” Hence, further cheating the system. The deactivation of the accounts comes as a part of Facebook’s clinical operations as it delisted a number of other offenders, who have violated its community standards. Press noted that among other personalities who got a red flag from Facebook were “accounts tied to employees of the family of Brazilian leader Jair Bolsonaro.

2. Google aborts cloud project for China, other countries

Despite having invested more than a year building a cloud project in China, Google has pulled the plug, discontinuing the “Isolated Region” project. Initially, Google, according to reports, planned to build a facility that would enable “it to offer cloud services in countries that want to keep and control data within their borders”, a development earlier nursed by China and a number of other countries.

In 2018, press recalled that China had stipulated that any foreign tech companies considering entering into its territory would need “to form a joint venture with a local company that would hold control over user data. According to China, such facility will help it address its security concerns. Although, some analysts have suggested that the abortion from Google was influenced by the pandemic or the existing rift between the U.S. and China, Google has, however, disclaimed the statement, arguing that the project was tossed off as a result of new discovery on how to achieve the essence of the project via a new path and strategy.

Tech Trivia:

Which ex-Manchester United player created Axis Stars as a social network for professional sports stars?
A. Ronaldo
B. Ferguson
C. Saha
D. Evra
Answer: See end of post.


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3. S. Africa’s Smart City Innovation Challenge opens call for applications

Smart City Innovation Challenge, an initiative developed by the City of Johannesburg in partnership with Tshimologong Innovation Precinct, on Thursday, announced its call for applications. According to the organising team, two tech startups would win R100 000 each to support their initiatives. An official statement, explaining the aim of the challenge, noted that since “The lockdown protocols have ignited new thinking about the future of our City and its residents.” Hence, “the Smart City Innovation Challenge aims to find and develop digital technology solutions to fit the new normal.

Aside the reward token of R100 000, winning startups would be assisted through a mentoring programme. However, in looking out for a space in the challenge, solutions should work towards saving lives through the means of improved detection, tracking, and prediction of the spread of the virus along with enhancing communication and improving healthcare and security in the city. Meanwhile, the challenge has added that it would look out for “solutions that may additionally enable the city’s citizens to be entrepreneurial and find new ways to sustain themselves.”

4. Twitter hints on launching a subscription platform codenamed Gryphon

Microblogging site Twitter has hinted on developing a subscription platform. Though, uncompleted and without much about it known, a recent online job advert has informed the public on this Twitter development. According to the advert, found on LinkedIn, a remote contractor position is seeking a backend Scala software engineer to work for Gryphon. With Gryphon being a team that is split across Twitter hubs in San Francisco, New York, and London, product analysts suspect Twitter is launching a new product soon.

Supporting the thought of these industry analysts, the job post stated that the offering team Gryphon constituted a mixture of frontend and backend engineers who were “working closely together to deliver something new at Twitter”. It added that the job involved “rebuilding some of Twitter’s services to produce a subscription management platform.” Confirming to press that the product will charge users to pass as a subscription platform, the job role noted that the ideal candidate will “lead the payment and subscription client work.”

5. 3 ITU Innovation Challenges invites African startups to apply

In a bid to facilitate the attendance of African startups to the flagship ITU event, and ensure they gain support in scaling, the body has invited African startups to apply for 3 ITU Innovation Challenge. According to a press release by the team, the 2020 edition of the ITU Innovation Challenge is a global open competition platform for innovators and ecosystem builders to present their ideas and projects. As a community-focused initiative, the idea is to empower them to transform their communities into thriving digital societies.

Explaining the modalities of the challenge, the team hoped to feature three distinct challenges. While the first, which is Women in Technology Challenge, is designed for innovators with digital projects that create impact for women in their communities; the second part would be the Digital Change-maker Challenge, for those with ideas that create digital impact in their communities. Speaking further on the categories, the team noted that the third challenge was initiated as Ecosystem Best-practice Challenge, to serve ecosystem builders with good practices that nurture an enabling environment for innovators in their communities.

Tech Trivia Answer: Louis Saha

The former France international striker and ex-Manchester United star launched the company in 2013, the same year he retired after 23 years in the game. Taking inspiration from his career in sport, Axis Stars provides financial advice for professional athletes, coaches and agents with the aim of preventing bankruptcy – something that has plagued many once-wealthy stars down the years.

Sportsmen who signed up have included Andy Murray, Didier Drogba, Phil Neville and Florent Malouda. The network gives them a place to chat about lifestyle, insurance finance, physios, sponsorship and anything else related to their careers.

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