Spotify in advanced talks to acquire Gimlet Media for over $200

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Spotify is in talks to acquire Gimlet Media, one of the leading podcast production houses. If this deal completes, it will signify a major change in the trajectory of podcasting as an industry. The significance of the deal goes well beyond that of the eye-opening $200 million valuation being discussed. Gimlet has raised approximately $28.5 million in venture funding from investors including WPP, Stripes Group, LioneTree Partners, Graham Holdings, Betawarks, Cross Culture Ventures, and Lowercase Capital. Two years ago, the startup was reportedly valued at roughly $70 million. Podcasting has…

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Microsoft to offer paid Windows 7 Extended Security Updates after January 14, 2020

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Microsoft said last Fall that it would offer paid Windows 7 Extended Security Updates on a per-device basis for big customers willing to pay for them after the company ends Windows 7 support on January 14, 2020. Microsoft officials wouldn’t talk about how much those updates would cost, beyond saying they’d get more expensive over time.  Windows 7 Extended Security Updates for three years, meaning through January 2023. These will be security patches/fixes like the ones Microsoft is currently providing for free for Windows 7 users, as Windows 7 is still in “Extended”…

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WhatsApp to limit text to 5 individuals or groups to reduce fake news

WhatsApp launches end-to-end encryption on messages for all its users
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n its efforts to fight fake news and it’s spread, Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp has announced that it has globally lowered the forward limit for chats to five contacts or groups. “We’re imposing a limit of five messages all over the world as of today,” Victoria Grand, vice president for policy and communications at WhatsApp, said at an event in the Indonesian capital. Before, WhatsApp allowed users globally to forward messages for up to 20 chats (either individuals or groups). VentureBurn reports that WhatsApp first initiated the lower limit in India back…

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Vodacom to pay ex-worker who invented the ‘Please Call Me’ idea after gridlock

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Nkosana Makate,  the former employee behind the Please Call Me service, says he is exploring his options after Vodacom decided on a “ridiculous and insulting” sum of money to settle a long-standing dispute between them. Vodacom said over the weekend it considered the matter  “finally settled and closed” after its CEO, Shameel Joosub, had decided on a “reasonable” payment for Makate, the former employee who came up with the idea in late 2000. The mobile operator did not disclose the amount, citing a confidentiality agreement. This comes nearly three years…

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Facebook handed over 150 companies intrusive access to your data

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Facebook gave over 150 companies almost unfetted intrusive access to users’ data than previously admitted, exempting them from its usual privacy rules, according to the New York Times. It has emerged that companies like Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Netflix, Spotify, and Yandex had special arrangements to retain access to users’ data (and data on their friends), despite platform changes in 2014 that restricted the practice. For example: — Netflix and Spotify were able to read users’ private messages — Microsoft had access to the names of virtually all users’ friends, without consent…

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Facebook Transparency Report reveals fewer user data requests by African Governments

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According to the recently released Facebook Transparency Report for the six months from January to June 2018, demands by African governments for information on Facebook users remain low compared to other countries, Globally over the six-month period there were 103 815 requests and in 74% of those requests Facebook produced some data. This was a 26.1% increase when compared to the last six months of 2017, when there were 82 341 requests. It is also an increase of 31.6% from the first half of last year, when there were 78…

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Nearly half of young users have deleted Facebook, Pew survey shows

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Pew surveyed more than 3,400 U.S. Facebook users in May and June, and found that a whopping 44 percent of those ages 18 to 29 say they’ve deleted the app from their phone in the last year. Some of them may have reinstalled it later. Significant shares of Facebook users have taken steps in the past year to reframe their relationship with the social media platform. Just over half of Facebook users ages 18 and older (54%) say they have adjusted their privacy settings in the past 12 months, according…

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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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Hackers Are Snatching High-Profile Instagram Accounts

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In the Wild West of “influencer” marketing, there are few protections and plenty of easy marks. Hackers sometimes create their own fake brands to phish influencers, but often they pretend to be representatives from real companies, this is according to a new report by TheAtlantic “They’ll set up some sort of username that’s something that seems like it would be legit, like @LuluLemonAmbassadors,” he said. “They’ll use all the company logos, make it seem as legit as possible, make the bio seem normal. Use the company’s mission statement. It’s super…

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