Facebook, Instagram hit by 13hr outage, Zuckerberg not stepping down as chairman

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Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp were yesterday hit by a 13-hour outage that affected some users throughout the world, the company confirmed. The outage comes at a particularly sensitive time when businesses use Facebook and Instagram to promote pivotal Black Friday sales, some of which have already started. “Earlier today, a server configuration caused intermittent problems across all apps globally creating a degraded experience for users. The issue has since been resolved, we are back to 100 percent for everyone and we’re sorry for any inconvenience,” a Facebook spokesperson told ABC…

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Instagram is making a bold move on fake likes and follows

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Instagram is preparing for a huge purge on automated apps people use to leave spammy comments or follow then unfollow others in hopes of growing their audience. Any fake likes and follows from accounts that use third-party services to get more engagement are going to now be removed the company announced as part of policy change today. Instagram says, We’ve built machine learning tools to help identify accounts that use these services and remove the inauthentic activity. This type of behavior is bad for the community, and third-party apps that…

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IBM reveals plans to acquire Red Hat for a record $34 billion

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IBM is acquiring Red Hat, a major distributor of open-source software and technology, in a deal valued around $34 billion, the companies announced on Sunday. According to a joint statement, IBM will pay cash to buy all shares in Red Hat at $190 each. Shares in Red Hat closed at $116.68 on Friday before the deal was announced. The open source, enterprise software maker will become a unit of IBM’s Hybrid Cloud division, with Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst joining IBM’s senior management team and reporting to CEO Ginni Rometty.…

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Tether burns 500 million Tether coins (USDT) to reduce circulation

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Tether has announced the destruction of 500 million Tether coins (USDT). The cryptocurrency issuer said this week that “Tether has redeemed a significant amount of USDT from the circulating supply of tokens.” “In line with this, Tether will destroy 500m USDT from the Tether treasury wallet and will leave the remaining USDT (approx 466m) in the wallet as a preparatory measures for future USDT issuances,” the company added. Tether said that the coin reserve’s destruction, which is a move not often seen in the cryptocurrency space, is in line with…

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Tech and sports titans pay tribute to Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen who has passed at 65

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Paul Allen, who co-founded Microsoft Corp. with fellow billionaire Bill Gates and used the fortune he made from the iconic technology company to invest in professional sports teams, cable TV and real estate, has died. He was 65. Allen, along with Gates, helped create an entire industry selling software for a new breed of smaller, more affordable and widely accessible computers. Allen died on Monday in Seattle from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, according to a statement from Vulcan Inc., his investment firm. Allen’s source for his varied investments and sizable…

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Sophia Bekele honoured with Champion of Development Award at the 2018 AfricaLink Solidarity Awards in Switzerland

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Sophia Bekele, Founder and CEO of DotConnectAfrica Group, has been honoured with Champion of Development Award during the 2018 AfricaLink Solidarity Awards and symposium in Switzerland  for her initiative Miss.Africa Digital Initiative which hundreds of young women and girls have benefited from through training opportunities or applications supported by the Miss.Africa Seed Funding. Three other leaders and two organizations we also awarded during the same ceremony, they are: Mr. Léonard H. Bindzi, Mr. Osvaldo dos Santos Varela, Ms. Claudinah Ntini Ramosepele while the two organisations are Fund for Development and Partnership…

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Distribution Is The Real Disruption, Mobile phones game-changing agri-tech in Africa

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While emerging technologies like blockchain and artificial intelligence can capture our imagination, some of the most game-changing innovations for smallholder farmers are more modest. Seeds. Roads. Electricity. While such technologies may seem mundane, they are anything but. Reaching smallholder farmers in rural areas takes a nuanced combination of appropriate innovations, sophisticated distribution systems, and a human touch. One organization celebrated for its approach is One Acre Fund, a non-profit social enterprise working with 600,000 farmers in East Africa. I spoke with Ilana Kessler, Impact Ventures Growth Director, about scaling innovative approaches to help…

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Rogue Move? Facebook to start flooding WhatsApp with Ads in 2019

WhatsApp launches end-to-end encryption on messages for all its users
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WhatsApp has been free, but soon users can expect a significant change in their experience of WhatsApp. The Android and iOS chat app, originally released in 2009, will start to embed paid-for content in the app’s Status feature from 2019. The Status feature is similar to Stories on Instagram and Facebook, letting users upload Snapchat-style pics and videos that can be viewed for 24 hours. Facebook wants to interrupt some of these Statuses with short ads, although details are light. WhatsApp’s co-founders were famously against ads, and supportive of encrypted…

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Mobile now accounts for 47% of all online transactions in Middle East and Africa, Criteo

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The advertising platform Criteo released its 2018 Q2 Global Commerce Review, having analysed browsing and purchasing data from over 5,000 retailers in more than 80 countries. Michele Iozzo, managing director for the Middle East & Africa, Criteo, says, “Mobile continues to command a higher share of the online transactions pie driven by high smartphone penetration across the MEA region. The study has revealed a year-on-year increase of the share of In-App Transactions for retailers who promote their shopping app, proving that it isn’t enough to just launch an app, but…

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Competitive Edge: Tech Giants spent a combined $80 billion last year on big-ticket physical assets stockpile

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General Motors Co. and Google couldn’t be more different. GM musters an army of people and machines to produce the 10 million cars it sells each year. What Google makes doesn’t really exist: You type on a laptop or click play on a YouTube video, and Google zips back bits of digital information. But Google parent Alphabet Inc. and the other four dominant U.S. technology companies—Apple, Amazon​.com, Microsoft, and Facebook—are fast becoming industrial giants. They spent a combined $80 billion in the last year on big-ticket physical assets, including manufacturing…

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