Facebook institutional investors want Zuckerberg ousted as chairman

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Amidst increasing incidences of data breaches such as the Cambridge Analytica scandal that saw the personal data of 87 million Facebook members used without permission, to Russian sourced posts aimed at influencing the midterm elections, a report from Reuters states that four institutional investors in Facebook are looking to have Zuckerberg replaced by an independent chairman. A similar proposal was defeated by stockholders in 2017. The filing asking for a vote to remove Zuckerberg was made to Facebook’s board by the state treasurers of Illinois, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania, who…

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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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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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No VC: Facebook is not making any direct investments to African tech startups

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Facebook has been scaling up its operations in Africa and engaging more intently with tech startups on the continent, but the company has decided it will not be making any direct investments, Disrupt Africa reports That is according to Julien Decot, director of platform partnerships for EMEA at Facebook, who was speaking at last week’s MEST Africa Summit in Cape Town. He said the decision not to become an investor had come straight from Zuckerberg himself. “That was a Zuckerberg decision. The way Mark thought about it was – “this…

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Gaming Disorder Officially Recognized by WHO

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For most of us, a round or three of Fortnite can serve as a playful escapism. But for a small number of people, the World Health Organisation is warning gaming is developing into an unhealthy addiction. The United Nations’ health agency for the first time listed gaming as an addictive behaviour disorder in its latest international classification of diseases, the ICD-11. The disorder, a “genuine” and “harmful” mental health condition, can also contribute to other problems such as lack of physical activity, an unhealthy diet, sleep deprivation and aggressive behaviour. “What…

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Children exposed to horror film ads on YouTube

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Children were left distressed after seeing ads for a horror film on YouTube, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has revealed. Three parents contacted the ASA after their children saw ads for Insidious: The Last Key – rated 15 in the UK. One ad for the film was shown before videos of songs from Frozen, instructions for building a Lego fire station and a clip from the cartoon PJ Masks. The ASA has upheld the complaints. In a second ad, the ASA said a young woman was seen “lying on a…

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UN CSTD: Next generation tech-preneurship will be led by Teenpreneurs, Bekele

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Start-ups need to stridently move from talking the blue-print to tangibles in the tech space and that next generation tech-preneurship will be led by #Teenpreneurs, who have it in their DNA . The 21st Commission on Science and Technology for Development  UNCSTD was held at the United Nations HQ, Palais des Nations, Geneva, from Monday, 14 May to Friday, 18 May 2018. Among the distinguished speakers sat in a high level panel included Sophia Bekele Founder & CEO of DotConnectAfrica who discussed the impact of rapid technological change on the…

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Google to warn when humans chat with convincing bots

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Google says it will take steps to ensure that humans are not fooled when they get called by software bots that can convincingly mimic the human voice. Anyone called by the bot will be told they are conversing with a machine, Google told tech news site the Verge. The vocal skills of the Duplex bot were demonstrated at Google’s I/O developer conference this week when it was shown booking a hair appointment. The demo left one technology expert “horrified” by what she had seen. Social impact In its statement, Google…

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Google Assistant to make phone calls for owners

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Google has unveiled artificial intelligence software that books appointments over the phone on behalf of users by conducting voice-based conversations on their behalf. Chief executive Sundar Pichair said that Google Duplex would launch as an “experiment” over the coming weeks. The facility was unveiled at the firm’s annual IO developers conference. Experts have said that if it works it could give the firm a major advantage over rival virtual assistants. Pre-recorded demonstrations played back to the audience featured the software first booking a haircut and then making a restaurant reservation…

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Google Changes Rules on Election Adverts

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Google is demanding that those placing political ads during the forthcoming US elections must prove they are US citizens or permanent residents. The demand is part of an update to its policies that tries to make political adverts more “transparent”. In addition, advertisers must reveal who has put up the cash for the advert. Social media firms have updated their policies in the wake of revelations that their ad platforms have been abused by Russian propaganda outfits. Google’s new policy follow similar changes at Twitter and Facebook governing who can…

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