Internet users in Middle East approach 150 million mark

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Conventional travel agencies are losing ground in favour of their online counterparts, with recent statistics showing that the use of Internet in the Middle East region is increasing by 15 percent annually, the world’s highest growth rate, approaching the 150 million mark. This came during panels sessions featured by the Digital Transformation Summit, held on the sidelines of the now-running Arabian Travel Market 2017 in Dubai. Participants in the summit called for examining recent trends in tourists’ use of technology to discover, plan and provide untraditional options that are likely…

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Google launches in Cuba as first foreign internet company

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Google’s servers in Cuba went live on Wednesday, making the internet giant the first foreign internet company to host content within the long cut-off country. The internet giant opened a new data centre in Cuba yesterday where it will store information such as popular YouTube videos. In a move that indicates Cuba is opening its doors to modernisation and greater access to information, the on-island servers will make it easier for Cuban people to access Google’s services.  Until now information from across the internet had to travel to the island through a submarine cable from Venezuela,…

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Twitter to broadcast live video 24 hours a day

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Twitter is making a play to dominate even more of your time by streaming live video around the clock. The social networking platform is hoping to land deals for streaming pay TV channels on its site and apps. Users have to subscribe to existing TV service for this to work, but it would be much more powerful. “We will definitely have 24 hours  a day content on the platform,” Twitter’s Anthony Noto said during an extensive interview about the company’s live video strategy last week. “Our goal is to be…

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Google to limit offensive & inaccurate search results

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Google is looking forward to impementing changes to its Search Quality Ratings Guidelines in an effort to limit offensive and inaccurate results on its search engine. The tech giant has recently updated its Search Quality Rater Guidelines, which human evaluators use to gauge the quality of search results. The updated guidelines provide clearer examples of low-quality results, including “misleading information, unexpected offensive results, hoaxes and unsupported conspiracy theories,” engineering VP Ben Gomes wrote in the blog post. Google has also tweaked its algorithms to prioritize authoritative results. Human evaluators use…

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Phishing attacks using internationalized domains are hard to block

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Attackers can evade a security mechanism and abuse Unicode domains to phish for the login credentials of Chrome, Firefox, and Opera users. Security researcher Xudong Zheng has developed a proof-of-concept that exploits an issue in some web browsers. Attackers can abuse this sleight of hand to redirect users to phishing websites. All they need to do is use Punycode, which relies on ASCII characters to convey foreign characters.  The Punycode domain “xn--pple-43d.com” is equivalent to “apple.com”, for example. As long as a web browser translates the Punycode into what’s known…

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Only 4% of Uber drivers remain on the platform a year later

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Uber’s accelerating driver drop off rate is partially due to increased competition from companies like Lyft. But the number one complaint among Uber drivers is the pay, according to undisclosed data seen by The Information. Many Uber drivers have complained about unfair compensation for long trips, and not being able to accept tips. A spokesman’s reports that they recognize we need to improve our relationship with drivers and their experience using Uber. The ride hailing firm firm is working on a range of improvements across our products, our policies, our customer support and…

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Microsoft to make major changes to Windows twice a year

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Microsoft just released its most recent version of Windows, the Windows 10 Creator’s Update, and said the next feature update is currently targeted for release in September. The tech giant is set to release windows 10 update twice a year, each September and March. The company is committing to this predictable twice-per-year feature release schedule,  aligning with Office 365 ProPlus. The next Windows 10 feature update will be targeted for September 2017. Each Windows 10 feature release will be serviced and supported for 18 months. This is consistent with our current Windows 10…

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Google to refresh play store

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Google has recently started testing a Google Play Store “Refresh” button which allows users to manually check for updates for their Android apps. The button is a part of a larger set of experimental changes that the Mountain View-based tech giant is currently testing and is only available to select users. Provided that the company greenlights the change, the Refresh button will likely roll out to users worldwide in a few months, presumably during the second quarter of the year. The video and screenshots showcasing the latest experimental version of…

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In 2017, 17% of startups have a female founders

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The percentage of startups that have at least one female founder was flat in the first quarter of 2017. From 2009 to 2012, the percent of venture-funded companies with women founders increased by nearly 8 percent; however, the percentage of women-founded venture-backed companies has plateaued at approximately 17 percent since 2012. And as we look at Q1 2017 data, that percent doesn’t appear to have changed. For those who are keeping track, that’s nearly five years with no percentage growth in women-founded venture-backed startups. The absolute number of companies (along…

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Microsoft to allow Logins Without Password

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Building technology that is both secure and easy to use is a tricky proposition. Microsoft is trying to make strides by giving customers a way to sign into their Microsoft accounts with smartphones—but without having to enter passwords. As explained in a Microsoft blog post on Tuesday, customers must have either the Android or iOS version of the Microsoft Authenticator app on their smartphones, then enter their usernames as usual. Then, instead of keying in a password, they’ll receive notifications on their phones. Tapping the “Approve” notification unlocks the phone.…

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