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Facebook announces $4.5 mn investment to help news industry

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San Francisco, Aug 3: Facebook has announced to invest an additional $4.5 million towards helping the news industry globally.

The social media giant, that reported more than $5 billion in profit in the second quarter this year, said it will give $3.5 million towards “Facebook Membership Accelerator”, a three-month pilot programme designed to help news organisations with membership models.

“We are going to continue to coach the group of metro news publishers from the pilot programme through the end of this year, and we will reconvene with them in 2019 to focus on subscriber retention,” Campbell Brown, Global Head of News at Facebook, said in a blog post on Thursday.

Facebook also announced to contribute $1 million to the 2018 “NewsMatch” campaign which matches individual donations to more than 100 non-profit newsrooms around the country.

“Last year, ‘NewsMatch’ helped make 2017 a record-breaking year for giving to non-profit journalism and we are excited to help NewsMatch expand in 2018,” said Brown.

The “Facebook Membership Accelerator” will help non-profit news organisations and local, independent publishers with membership models build sustainable businesses, by providing supporters access to exclusive content and experiences through memberships.

An earlier “Local News Subscriptions Accelerator” programme from Facebook was designed to test strategies focused on growing digital subscription acquisitions for local publishers.

“We’re encouraged by the early successes of this programme, and proud of the tangible business results that publishers have accomplished so far,” Brown noted.

Facebook said it is also working with publishers across the US and Europe to test support for subscriptions in “Instant Articles”.

“Moving forward, we’ll also be exploring ways to support emerging models like membership directly on Facebook,” said Brown.

On Thursday, Facebook announced its first partnership in India with Chennai-based Asian School of Journalism (ACJ).

Part of the Facebook Journalism Project, the partnership will establish a scholarship programme at ACJ and support five students in four career specialisations — print, new media, radio and television.

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MTNL plans to sell assets in Mumbai through DIPAM

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New Delhi, Sep 19 : State-run telecom operator MTNL has submitted a set of assets for monetisation through the framework of the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), which comes under the Finance Ministry.

The assets proposed for sale include land, staff quarters and telephone exchange in Mumbai, said Anurag Thakur, Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs, in reply to a question in the Lok Sabha.

“MTNL has submitted a set of assets for monetisation through the DIPAM Framework…. No property in Delhi is presently under monetisation through the DIPAM Framework,” he said.

He informed the Lok Sabha that international property consultants have been appointed for end-to-end transaction advice on monetisation of these properties.

Noting that the asset monetisation process is a complex one involving multiple stakeholders and agencies, he said that a specific time frame for the completion of these monetisation transactions cannot be defined at present.

The value at which the assets would be monetised would depend on the feasibility of monetisation of the asset, the monetisation model and the market conditions prevailing at the time of monetisation, Thakur said, adding that it would be difficult to anticipate the sale proceeds presently.

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Mozilla bug may let hackers target Firefox for Android browsers

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Mozilla has fixed a vulnerability in the popular Firefox browser that can be exploited by hackers to hijack Firefox for Android browsers on the same WiFi network and send users to malicious sites, urging the people to install the latest browser update.

The bug was found in Firefox SSDP component by Chris Moberly, an Australian security researcher working for GitLab, reports ZDNet.

The Simple Service Discovery Protocol (SSDP) is a simple protocol designed to solve the problem of service discovery over a local network.

“Any Android owner using a Firefox browser to navigate the web during this kind of attack would have his mobile browser hijacked and taken to a malicious site, or forced to install a malicious Firefox extension,” the report mentioned.

The bug has been fixed in Firefox 79. Mozilla said users should update as soon as possible to Firefox v79 for Android to remain safe.

Attackers could leverage exploits to take over outdated routers, and then spam a company’s internal network and force employees to re-authenticate on phishing pages.

The new Firefox for Android now offers Enhanced Tracking Protection (ETP), providing a better web experience.

“The revamped browsing app comes with our highest privacy protections ever – on by default. ETP keeps numerous ad trackers at bay and out of the users’ business,” the company said last month.

The Enhanced Tracking Protection automatically blocks many known third-party trackers, by default, in order to improve user privacy online. Private Mode adds another layer for better privacy on device level, it added.


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OnePlus 8T likely to launch on October 14

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 Smartphone brand OnePlus is reportedly planning to unveil OnePlus 8T on October 14 with OxygenOS 11 based on Android 11 and 120Hz refresh rate.

OnePlus generally launches its a T series in the month of September but there is a slight change in the launch timeline due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, reports MySmartPrice.

The OnePlus 8T will succeed the OnePlus 7T that launched in India in September 2019. Rumours suggest that the OnePlus 8T will be much more powerful when compared to the OnePlus 8.

The device is codenamed ‘Kebab’ and will feature a 6.55-inch AMOLED display just like the regular OnePlus 8 but with a 120Hz refresh rate.

The smartphone is expected to come with four cameras at the back, with a 48MP primary lens joined by a 16MP wide-angle module, 5MP macro, and 2MP portrait lens, according to the report.

In terms of processor, the smartphone is likely to feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus chip with 8GB RAM, 128GB internal storage.

In addition, OnePlus is also planning to unveil another device with Snapdragon 662 or 665 chip for a price tag between Rs. 16,000-Rs 18,000.

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