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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Tala Microloan Startup gains $110 Million In latest Funding

Mobile-based lenders pose money laundering risk, says CBK

Tala, a Los Angeles startup that makes microloans to consumers and small business owners in emerging markets, is announcing today that it has raised $110 million in funding. The new Silicon Valley venture capital firm RPS Ventures, cofounded by Kabir Misra, former managing partner at Softbank’s $100 billion Vision Fund, is leading the round. Tala’s backers include PayPal, billionaire Steve Case’s VC firm Revolution, Chris Sacca’s Lowercase Capital and Data Collective, among others. The new funding values Tala at nearly $800 million, according to an investor. Tala has raised more…

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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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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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Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram in worst ever worldwide outage for the internet giant

Facebook said it was “back at 100 percent” after an outage on all of its services affected users in various parts of the world. Online monitoring service DownDetector reported on Wednesday that the outage began around 12:00 GMT and affected Facebook as well as its Instagram and WhatsApp services. “The issue has since been resolved and we should be back at 100 percent for everyone,” the company tweeted at 00:06 GMT on Thursday, adding they were sorry for “any inconvenience”. A Facebook spokesperson, also speaking on behalf of Instagram and…

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goAfrica partnership with Foxconn, iFP targets local market with cheaper iPhones

Ordinary Kenyans can now afford to buy iPhones at lower prices after goAfrica, an online platform, partnered with Foxconn and iFP to ship reconditioned smartphones to the local market. The smartphones are expected to retail at between 20 and 30 percent lower than what new smartphones cost in Apple Stores. “We are offering quality products to the market at an affordable price,” said goAfrica general manager Boniface Munywoki. The appetite for iPhones has grown steadily in the local market in the past few years, but the high cost of new…

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Vodacom and Safaricom in a bid to buy M-Pesa brand from parent company Vodafone

Vodacom

Vodacom and Safaricom are in the process of buying the M-Pesa brand from parent company Vodafone, in a deal reportedly worth over R190 million. Vodacom mentioned the deal in its recent full year results announcement, saying it expected the acquisition of the popular mobile money service to “further accelerate our mobile money growth plans in Africa”. Vodacom group CEO Shameel Joosub confirmed the plans in an interview with ITWeb, saying Vodacom, through a joint agreement with Safaricom, has done a deal with Vodafone to “take over M-Pesa completely”. “So, Safaricom…

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Google cuts ties with Huawei, to stop licensing its Android OS to the Chinese phone maker

Alphabet Inc’s Google has suspended business with Huawei that requires the transfer of hardware, software and technical services except those publicly available via open source licensing, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Sunday, in a blow to the Chinese technology company that the U.S. government has sought to blacklist around the world. Holders of current Huawei smartphones with Google apps, however, will continue to be able to use and download app updates provided by Google, a Google spokesperson said, confirming earlier reporting by Reuters. “We are complying…

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