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Mark Zuckerberg has a secret TikTok account: Report

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

San Francisco, Nov 14 Probably to crack the TikTok model, Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been spotted via a ‘secret account on the Chinese short video-sharing app TikTok which has become a headache for the social networking giant — from the US to India.

The account is not yet verified but uses the handle “@finkd”, which is the same as Zuckerberg’s handle on Twitter, BuzzFeedNews reported on Wednesday. The account has a modest 4,055 followers without any post.

The account currently follows 61 celebrities like Ariana Grande and Selena Gomez, but mostly TikTok superstars like Loren Gray and Jacob Sartorius.

The report said that in 2016, Zuckerberg invited Musical.ly cofounder Alex Zhu to Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters in California but the talks did not materialise.

In 2017, Musical.ly was bought by Chinese tech giant ByteDance for around $800 million and merged with its existing short-form video app Douyin to form TikTok which has over 800 million users globally, including 200 million in India.

To take on TikTok’s growing popularity, Facebook-owned Instagram has launched a new video-music remix feature called “Reels”.

“Reels” will let users make 15-second video clips set to music and share them as Stories.

Just like TikTok, users can soundtrack their ‘Reels’ with a huge catalog of music, or borrow the audio from anyone else’s video to create a remix of their meme or joke.

Zuckerberg recently said that in India, TikTok has gone ahead of Instagram. He also mentioned that TikTok works much like Instagram’s Explore feature.

Platforms such as Instagram and Facebook are facing strong competition from TikTok in India. TikTok owner now plans to invest $1 billion in India despite the calls to ban the app.

In November last year, Facebook quietly released a stand-alone app called “Lasso” to compete with TikTok.

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Airtel has liquidity, Vodafone to face challenge on AGR: Report

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New Delhi, Jan 20 : The dismissal of the review petition by the Supreme Court of Airtel and Vodafone poses a stiff challenge to Vodafone Idea’s survival while Airtel has prepared itself with funds to meet the payments on time, ICICI Securities Limited said.

Bharti Airtel has raised capital to meet the liability, but VIL remains challenged. Airtel last week raised capital of US $3 bn, which should help it meet its AGR liability with the help of additional debt.

VIL promoters, Vodafone Plc and Aditya Birla Group, have already mentioned that if the entire AGR liability has to be paid, they will have to shut shop.

“We don’t see the situation for VIL being salvaged without government intervention. Apart from other stakeholders in VIL, the government too could be one of the most impacted parties if the company shuts down as it is owed Rs 900bn in deferred spectrum dues, besides the AGR liability,” ICICI Securities noted.

“We also see indirect impact on PSU banks if VIL fails to cough up the money”, it noted.

The Supreme Court has dismissed the review petition filed by telcos on its AGR ruling, which means the October 24 order continues to hold good.

Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea (VIL) have disclosed their potential AGR liabilities at Rs 343 bn and Rs 442bn respectively, which have to be paid by January 23. Bharti Airtel has already raised capital of US $3 bn, which should help it meet the burden.

“But the same remains a herculean challenge for VIL –a challenge that cannot be resolved without government intervention, in our view. We continue to prefer Bharti Airtel in the telecom sector as it is better prepared for a worst-case scenario on the AGR front in addition to its superior operational execution”, I-Sec said.

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Will fix Internet Explorer security bug under attack: Microsoft

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San Francisco, Microsoft has confirmed a security flaw affecting Internet Explorer is currently being used by hackers and it is working on a fix, to be released at a later date.

The vulnerability was first reported by US Homeland Security on Friday evening, although the issue is not limited to American devices.

Overall, Microsoft said all supported versions of Windows are affected by the flaw, including Windows 7, which after this week will no longer receive security updates.

The vulnerability was found in how Internet Explorer handles memory. An attacker could use the flaw to remotely run malicious code on an affected computer, such as tricking a user into opening a malicious website from a search query or a link sent by email, TechCrunch reported recently.

“The company is only aware of limited targeted attacks for which it is already working on a fix,” the report quoted a Microsoft spokesperson.

The tech giant assigned the bug with a common vulnerability identifier, CVE-2020-0674, but specific details of the bug have yet to be released.

Qihoo 360, a China-based security research team helped Microsoft in finding this flaw and it is believed to be a similar vulnerability as one disclosed by Mozilla, the maker of the Firefox browser.

As per report, neither Qihoo, Microsoft, nor Mozilla said how attackers were exploiting the bug, who the attackers were, or who was being targeted.

Microsoft assigned the bug with a common vulnerability identifier, CVE-2020-0674, but specific details of the bug have yet to be released.

Additionally, according to information gathered by PreciseSecurity.com, Microsoft Office products were the most commonly exploited by cybercriminals around the world and nearly 73 per cent of cyber exploits were performed in MS Office products in the third quarter of 2019.

MS Office products were followed by Browsers with 13.47 per cent of the total number of exploits by cybercriminals, Android with 9.09 per cent, Java with 2.36 per cent, Adobe Flash with 1.57 per cent and PDF with 0.66 per cent.

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WhatsApp hits 5bn installs on Android

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San Francisco, Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp for Android has now notched up a staggering five billion downloads, making it only the second non-Google app to achieve this milestone.

As with most Android applications that reach large amounts of installs, this number does not just include downloads from the Play Store, but also pre-installed copies like Samsung and Huawei has bundled the app with some smartphones in the past, AndroidPolice reported.

According to Statista, WhatsApp is most popular global mobile messenger app worldwide with approximately 1.6 billion monthly active users, outranking Facebook Messenger at 1.3 billion and WeChat at 1.1 billion users in 2019. Following Facebook and YouTube, it is the third most popular social network worldwide.

As for the Google Play store, South Korea was the fastest-growing WhatsApp market, with downloads of the mobile messaging app increasing almost 56 percent in 2019. Additionally, Google for the first time in five years, unseated Facebook as the top publisher of mobile apps.

In the last quarter of 2019, Google amassed close to 850 million downloads compared to Facebook‘s nearly 800 million, analytics firm Sensor Tower revealed recently. When it comes to overall downloads for the year, however, Google still trails behind Facebook.

While Google raked in nearly 2.3 billion downloads, Facebook gained almost 3 billion downloads over the past 12 months.

Facebook owns four out of the top five most downloaded apps worldwide, including WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and Messenger, that does not come as a surprise.

ByteDance-owned video sharing app TikTok was the world’s second-most downloaded app in 2019.

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