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Have responsibility for getting things right in tech: Sundar Pichai

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San Francisco, May 9: Amid a global call to regulate digital platforms and safeguard users’ data privacy, Google’s Indian-born CEO Sundar Pichai has reiterated that the tech companies have a “deep responsibility to get things right”.

Kicking off the annual “Google I/O” developer conference at its Mountain View campus in California on Tuesday, Pichai said we’re at an important inflection point in computing, and it’s exciting to be driving technology forward.

“But it’s clear that we cannot just be wide-eyed about what we create. There are very real and important questions being raised about the impact of technology and the role it will play in our lives,” Pichai told the gathering of over 7,000 developers.

“We know the path ahead needs to be navigated carefully and deliberately — and we feel a deep sense of responsibility to get this right,” Pichai added.

Pichai’s call came after Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on Monday stressed that the company is determined to ensure users’ data and is building secure solutions towards preserving data privacy.

“We have the responsibility to ensure that the new-age technology is empowering everyone, creating equitable growth for all while creating employment on the global scale,” Nadella said at the annual Microsoft “Build 2018” developers’ conference.

Echoing Nadella, the Google CEO said that “the need for useful and accessible information is as urgent today as it was when Google was founded nearly two decades ago”.

“What’s changed is our ability to organise information and solve complex, real-world problems thanks to advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI),” he added.

Betting big on AI, Pichai said there’s a huge opportunity for this technology to transform many fields.

“Already we’re seeing some encouraging applications in healthcare. We’ve also found that our AI models are able to predict medical events, such as hospital readmissions and length of stays, by analyzing the pieces of information embedded in de-identified health records,” he said.

“Another area where AI can solve important problems is accessibility,” he added.

During an earnings call in April, Pichai said that Google was ready for the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to harmonise data privacy laws that would come into effect on May 25.

After four years of debate, the GDPR was finally approved by the EU Parliament on April 14, 2016. Organisations that fail to comply with the new regulation may face hefty fines.

In a blog, Google said it was informing advertisers and publisher partners about changes to its ad policies.

“Google already requires publishers and advertisers using our advertising services to get consent from end users to use our services, as required under existing EU law. However, the GDPR will further refine these requirements,” the post added.

“To comply, we will be updating our EU consent policy when the GDPR takes effect and the revised policy will require that publishers take extra steps in obtaining consent from their users,” it added.

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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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