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A consortium of nine technology companies – Intel, Cisco, Dell EMC, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Facebook, Google, Alibaba and Huawei – has been formed in order to create and launch a new standard, called Compute Express Link (CXL). This project will accelerate ever-expanding data workloads, such as high-performance computing, artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), rich media services, and cloud applications. Jim Pappas, director of technology initiatives at Intel, said in a statement: “CXL is an important milestone for data-centric computing and will be a foundational standard for an open, dynamic accelerator ecosystem. Like USB and PCI Express, which Intel also cofounded, we can look forward to a new wave of industry innovation and customer value delivered through the CXL standard.” The new cluster of tech giants, described as “the biggest group of influencers driving a modern interconnect standard”, also affirmed the CXL Specification 1.0, which enables…

Telefonica and Facebook have joined forces to launch an open access wholesale rural mobile infrastructure operator, Internet para Todos (IpT) Peru, together with IDB Invest (Inter-American Investment Corporation) and CAF (Development Bank of Latin America). The project aims to bring faster mobile Internet to rural markets and consequently bridge the digital divide in Latin America. An estimated 20 percent of the Latin American population, which is around 100 million people, lack sufficient access to mobile broadband and therefore are deprived of enjoying the benefits offered by the digital economy. “Our new approach will leverage our network as a service to bridge the digital divide as fast as possible while providing any mobile network operator access to rural markets,” said Teresa Gomes, Managing director of Internet para Todos. “Our goal now is to launch and scale the project in Peru and prove what’s possible to the rest of Latin…

The problems for the social networking giant Facebook continue to mount as yet another data-sharing scandal has exploded. The New York Times (NYT) has published a thorough investigation detailing Facebook’s data sharing practices, and reported that the social network provided some well-known tech companies with access to hundreds of millions of users’ data without their consent. Interviews with former Facebook employees and its corporate partners, as well as hundreds of pages of documents obtained by the NYT, confirmed that Facebook made the questionable arrangements with partners such as Amazon, Spotify, Netflix and Microsoft. These alliances enabled the companies to “read, write and delete users’ private messages, and to see all participants on a thread”. The records revealed, that “Facebook allowed Microsoft’s Bing search engine to see the names of virtually all Facebook users’ friends without consent. The social network permitted Amazon to obtain users’ names and contact information…

Tim Berners-Lee, the tech pioneer who invented the World Wide Web back in 1989, revealed his plans for a contract to ensure that the Internet is safe and accessible to everyone. Speaking at the Web Summit 2018 in Portugal, the British tech genius recounted how he envisaged the Internet as being a platform for sharing information, but the current use of the Internet has digressed from the initial vision that its founders had in mind almost 30 years ago. “All kinds of things have gone wrong. We have fake news, we have problems with privacy, we have people being profiled and manipulated,” expressed Berners-Lee with concern. The tech pioneer has invited governments, companies and citizens to fight against hate and negativity, breach of privacy and political manipulations on the Internet by creating a complete “Contract for the Web” by May 2019, the date by which half of the…

The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has issued Facebook a penalty notice requiring the payment of £500,000 due to “a very serious data incident”. The fine is the maximum that can be imposed under the United Kingdom’s Data Protection Act 1998, which was the ruling document when the incidents occurred. “We considered these contraventions to be so serious we imposed the maximum penalty under the previous legislation. The fine would inevitably have been significantly higher under the GDPR. One of our main motivations for taking enforcement action is to drive meaningful change in how organisations handle people’s personal data,” commented the UK’s Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham. The data breach incidents occurred between 2007 and 2014, when Facebook failed to properly monitor the developers using the Facebook platform to build apps, and allowed them access to user information without clear consent. This particular case concerned Aleksandr Kogan and his…

The Beta testers of WhatsApp for Android can now be the first to enjoy the long-awaited voice and video group calling on their mobile devices. These latest features are available on Android Beta versions 2.18.189 and 2.18.192, but first the user has to enroll in the WhatsApp Beta tester program via the Google Play store. Arranging a group voice or video call on WhatsApp is simple; start a call with one person and once the call gets connected, an icon “Add person” appears in top right corner of the screen. On selecting that icon, users will be redirected to a contact list where an additional participant may be selected. Currently, the voice and video group calls only support up to four participants, including the person who initiated the call. The Facebook-owned company’s group calling features were officially announced during the F8 conference this May, and since then only a selected number…

The U.S. Congress is concerned about revelations of a deal that was made between Facebook and the Chinese device maker Huawei. Huawei is not the only device constructor to have a privilege access to data from Facebook, as Lenovo, Oppo and TCL are also on that list “Concerns about Huawei aren’t new – they were widely publicized beginning in 2012, when the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released a well-read report on the close relationships between the Chinese Communist Party and equipment makers like Huawei,” said U.S. Senator Mark Warner. In an investigation done by the House Intelligence Committee, it was stated that “Huawei did not fully cooperate with the investigation and was unwilling to explain its relationship with the Chinese government or Chinese Communist Party, while credible evidence exists that it fails to comply with U.S. laws”. Moreover, the Chinese company has an history of collaboration with the…

To compete with Facebook’s Messenger and WhatsApp as well as Apple’s iMessages, Google is looking for bold new ideas. They have had a number of failures in this area, having tried Talk, Hangouts and Allo! But for an American company, there’s no such thing as failure – there’s just the gaining of experience. Looking forward, Google will focus on delivering their new calling and messaging system called “Chat.” Chat aims to replace SMS, and uses the RCS protocol (Rich Communication Service) to achieve its goals. With Chat, users no longer need to download an application and keep that application updated, and the open-source nature of the RCS protocol will make this platform accessible to developers. According to The Verge media publication, more than 60 companies all over the world, including developers and operators such as Orange, Samsung and Asus have already committed to supporting Chat. For its part, Google promises…