Tesla Entry App Malfunction Locks Out Car Owners

Some Tesla owners reported being locked out of their vehicles on Monday evening because the electric car’s app was down. The problem is, app connectivity shouldn’t have any effect on unlocking a Tesla. Downdetector, a tracker for users to report technical difficulties with web-based services, also showed that many users were having trouble with Tesla’s app. @Tesla your server is down for maintenance and we’re locked out of the car. What’s your ETA? — Melissa Chan (@melissachanhk) September 2, 2019 On Monday, numerous drivers found their apps were down “for maintenance”…

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Instagram yanks marketing firm Hyp3r off its systems for grabbing users’ data

Hyp3r was scraping profiles, copying photos and siphoning off data supposed to be deleted after 24 hours, according to a Business Insider investigation. Instagram said Hyp3r had “violated” its policies and had been sent legal papers telling it to stop collecting data. Hyp3r said it complied with privacy regulations and the terms of service for the social networks it targeted. Business Insider said Instagram’s owner, Facebook, should have been more diligent about preventing data grabbing in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The investigation claimed Hyp3r had been “stitching”…

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Nigeria proposes law to tax local online purchases

Nigeria proposes law to tax local online purchases

Online purchases in Nigeria could soon come with a tax bill in part of plans to raise more revenue to fund a record budget, Nigeria’s government is considering a 5% Value Added Tax (VAT) specifically for online purchases. Babatunde Fowler, head of Nigeria’s federal tax agency, says the government may appoint banks as agents to deduct 5% VAT on all local online purchases with a bank card. The policy could be in place by early next year, Fowler said in an interview with Premium Times, a local online newspaper. This…

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Meet Google’s new Gallery Go, an offline, lightweight alternative to Google Photos

Meet Google's new Gallery Go, an offline, lightweight alternative to Google Photos

Gallery Go is a new app from Google designed to let people with unreliable internet connections organize and edit their photos. Like Google’s regular Photos app it uses machine learning to organize your photos. You can also use it to auto-enhance your pictures and apply filters. The difference is that Gallery Go is designed to work offline, and takes up just 10MB of space on your phone. Gallery Go is just the latest lightweight version of an app designed for developing markets like Nigeria, where Google announced the new app.…

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French TV Canal+ acquires ROK film studio from IROKOtv for an undisclosed amount

French television company Canal+ has acquired the ROK film studio from VOD company IROKOtv for an undisclosed amount. The company founded by Jason Njoku in 2010—and backed by $45 million  in VC—IROKOtv boasts the largest online catalog of Nollywood film content in the world reports TechCrunch Based in Lagos, ROK film studios was incubated to create original content for IROKOtv, which can be accessed online anywhere in the world. Actress and producer Mary Njoku—IROKOtv CEO Jason Njoku’s wife—founded ROK studios and will stay on as Director General under the Canal+…

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Regulate? Mobile-based online lending firms may be money laundering channels says Central Bank of Kenya governor

Mobile-based lenders pose money laundering risk, says CBK

Mobile-based online lending firms should be regulated to avoid their usage as channels for introducing illegally-obtained cash into the financial system, Central Bank of Kenya governor Patrick Njoroge has said. In a presentation to parliamentarians Wednesday, Dr Njoroge singled out Tala, Branch and Okash — three highly-popular digital money lenders — as credit-only mobile lending institutions that could be easily used to launder illicit cash. Money laundering, which involves transferring and disguising illegally obtained cash to make it look legitimate, is mostly used by criminals and the corrupt to clean…

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Payment app Venmo has 40 million users, parent company PayPal discloses

payment app Venmo has ushered in 40 million users to the platform, its parent company PayPal announced

Popular payment app Venmo has ushered in 40 million users to the platform, its parent company PayPal announced on Wednesday. This is the first time PayPal has disclosed user numbers for the millennial-focused, peer-to-peer app. In its first-quarter earnings report, PayPal said it now has a total 277 million total customer accounts — including 22 million merchant accounts. Total payment volume for Venmo grew 73% year over year to $21 billion in the first quarter, the company said. PayPal said Venmo is still on pace to do $100 billion in…

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Google debuts Google News Initiative challenge for Middle East, Africa, Turkey

Google on Tuesday opened the Google News Initiative (GNI) challenge for media publishers in the Middle East, Africa and Turkey. The Head of Google News Initiative Innovation, Ludovic Bleacher, made the disclosure at the unveiling of the initiative in Lagos. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Google News Initiative is a journalism-focused programme that will help publishers earn money and fight fake news. It will also introduce an open-source tool called Outline, which will make it easier for news organisations to set up secure access to the…

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A world of new possibilities from Mobile apps to the blind and visually impaired

Facebook

Ask anyone who was around before smartphones, and they’ll tell you life was different. But for Nutsiri “Earth” Kidkul, who went blind eight years ago, life-changing doesn’t begin to describe the impact of mobile apps. Before specialized apps came along, Kidkul would have to plan and prepare much more for basic tasks like grocery shopping, traveling or reading documents. What’s more, Kidkul often needed assistance from other people to go about her day. “I was always at the mercy of their time or schedule,” Kidkul says. Kidkul uses, for example,…

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Millions of Instagram influencers data scraped and exposed from a Mumbai-based Chtrbox database

TechCruch has detailed massive database leak containing contact information of millions of Instagram influencers, celebrities and brand accounts has been found online. The database, hosted by Amazon Web Services, was left exposed and without a password allowing anyone to look inside. At the time of writing, the database had over 49 million records — but was growing by the hour. From a brief review of the data, each record contained public data scraped from influencer Instagram accounts, including their bio, profile picture, the number of followers they have, if they’re…

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