Facebook-owned Instagram to allow users to apply for verification

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Users will soon apply for verification on Instagram as the social media giant platform rolls out a number of new features aimed at increasing transparency and engagement. Instagram said it was rolling out the feature locally to clear the air around its verification process which had become the centrepiece of several conspiracy theories including paid-for blue badges and fake influencer accounts. “Our community asked us for more transparency around this issue, and with today’s announcement we’re sharing clear details about verification requirements and eligibility criteria,” Instagram’s strategic partner manager APAC,…

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Pitch: Pinterest to give advertisers promoted video tool that takes up the width of the entire screen

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Pinterest is continuing its push into video as a potential avenue for advertisers by today saying that it will offer advertisers a promoted video tool that takes up the width of the entire screen. While Pinterest normally offers users a grid that they can flip through — compressing a lot of content into a small space — taking up the full width of the screen with a promoted video would offer advertisers considerable real estate if they’re looking to get the attention of users. The company also said it’s hired…

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Data-stealing spyware traced to Lebanon

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A security bug that has infected thousands of smartphones has been uncovered by campaign group the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). Working with mobile security firm Lookout, researchers discovered that malware in fake messaging designed to look like WhatsApp and Signal had stolen gigabytes of data. Targets included military personnel, activists, journalists and lawyers. Researchers say they traced the malware to a Lebanese government building. The threat, dubbed Dark Caracal by the researchers, looks as if it could come from a nation state and appears to use shared infrastructure linked to…

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Bitcoin and Ethereum hit by massive decline, Other cryptocurrencies dropped even worse

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Most major digital currencies sold off sharply on Tuesday, but the declines in bitcoin, ethereum and litecoin prices weren’t as bad as much of the rest of the market.  Bitcoin was down 17 percent at that time, ethereum was down 19 percent and litecoin was down 19 percent, according to the same site. The declines followed speculation in the market about what regulators in Asia may be planning for digital tokens. On Monday, a report from Bloomberg, citing unnamed sources, said Beijing plans to block domestic access to Chinese and…

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Mobile phone and broadband services need ‘radical improvement’

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The head of the UK National Infrastructure Commission has called for urgent action to tackle poor mobile phone coverage. Lord Adonis has written to the telecoms regulator Ofcom urging it to take action to deal with the issue. It follows a report that one million homes have poor broadband and large parts of the UK have no 4G coverage. On Friday Ofcom said calls and text messages could not be sent on all four mobile phone networks in 30% of the entire UK landmass. It is not the first time…

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DotConnectAfrica founder, Sophia Bekele, wins monumental court case against National Bank of Ethiopia

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Photo: DCA Founder and CEO Sophia Bekele speaking during the African Women’s Forum Special Program, Crans Montana Forum, #CMF17 Barcelona (Spain). Sophia Bekele, an Ethiopian native with American nationality has won a milestone legal battle against Ethiopia’s Central Bank – that is the National Bank of Ethiopia – whose decision led her to lose shares she inherited from her late father, the Founder of both United Bank and United Insurance,  at an undervalued rate at both institutions. Ms. Bekele, a global entrepreneur and the CEO of DotConnectAfrica (DCA) Group – one…

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You can now import your Instagram contacts into Messenger

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Facebook and Instagram have begun testing a feature that allows you to more easily bring your Instagram contacts into Messenger. The experience, which is entirely opt-in for the app’s users, is the latest in a series of integrations between Instagram and Facebook’s properties, which has earlier included the cross-posting of Instagram Stories to Facebook as well as the ability to launch the Instagram app directly from Facebook.  This time around, the two apps are making it simpler to sync your Instagram and Messenger accounts with one another. In Messenger, you…

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The UK’s cybersecurity agency issued a new guidance to ministries about using Russian antivirus software

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The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has issued a new guidance for how the country’s various ministries should closely manage their use of antivirus software supplied by a foreign nation, such as Russia’s Kaspersky Lab. In a letter to to heads of government ministries, NCSC CEO, Ciaran Martin said that organizations need to be vigilant to the risk that an [antivirus] product under the control of a hostile actor could extract sensitive data from that network, or indeed cause damage to the network itself. He went on to specifically…

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Parking Insider is a mobile wallet dedicated to helping you avoid parking tickets

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Parking Insider is a smart app with a mobile wallet expressly dedicated to enabling its users to quickly and seamlessly pay for parking spots by the minute. The app also invites users to earn free minutes of parking by snapping pictures of free parking spaces, photos that it will use to create a heat map that enables others users to find open parking spots. It’s the second go at this idea by two of Parking Insider’s three creators. Shruti Kuber  and Advait Kumar are both getting their master’s degrees in…

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Facebook, Google and others join The Trust Project to fight Fake News

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Fake news” and other misinformation, online propaganda, and satirical content people believe is true have filled the web via search engines and social media, and have caused a rift in how people perceive today’s news organizations and the quality of their coverage. A nonpartisan effort called The Trust Project is working to address this situation by helping online users distinguish between reliable journalism and promotional content or misinformation. Today, a key part of that effort – called “Trust Indicators” – are going live on Facebook, offering easy-to-access, transparent information about a news…

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