Technology

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WhatsApp to Delhi HC: No deferment of privacy policy, trying to get users on board

India|Media|: New Delhi: Mobile messaging service WhatsApp on Monday told the Delhi High Court that it has not deferred the May 15 deadline for users to accept its new privacy policy. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing WhatsApp, submitted before a bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh that it is trying to get users on board, but if they do not agree to the privacy policy, then the company will slowly delete these user accounts. Sibal submitted before the court, "there is no deferment of policy." Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Chetan Sharma, representing the Centre, submitted there are concerns that the policy was in violation of the Information Technology Act, 2000 and Rules thereunder. Sharma informed the bench that the government has written to the CEO of the company, and it is waiting for a reply. The updated policy will allow WhatsApp to share some data about users' interactions with business accounts with its parent company Facebook. Read more India needs stricter action as WhatsApp privacy policy goes live WhatsApp adds voice and video calling feature to desktop version Most WhatsApp users reconsidering its usage; Telegram leading as an alternative: Study 'Committed to privacy' WhatsApp announces updated policy Is Signal better, safer than WhatsApp? Telegram launches new feature to import WhatsApp chat history Senior advocate Arvind Datar, representing WhatsApp along with Sibal, objected to an argument made by advocate Manohar Lal who claimed that users who had not consented to the privacy policy were not being allowed to use the app. Datar submitted, "Our privacy policy does not violate the IT Rules, we can go rule by rule." The High Court has adjourned the matter till June 3. The ASG submitted the court should record the WhatsApp's counsel statement that the company will conform with the Indian law. He added that the company should maintain status quo where neither the account nor the data is deleted if users' revoke their consent for the new privacy policy.WhatsApp's counsel objected to the stay and submitted that they would not make any such statement. The High Court was hearing a plea filed by Seema Singh and law student Chaitanya Rohilla against WhatsApp's new privacy policy. The petitioners sought directions to the Centre to direct WhatsApp to roll back their policy or provide an option to the users of opt-out of the January 4, 2021, update. In February, the High Court had issued notice on the plea. The Centre had told the court that the new privacy policy does not provide the opportunity to review or amend the full information submitted by a user. In the backdrop of 2011 IT Act, the Centre had argued the new privacy policy fails to specify the types of "sensitive personal" data being collected, and with whom this information was being shared.

GulfNews Technology

Toshiba Gulf dominates storage market in Saudi Arabia, UAE and South Africa

Technology|: Toshiba Gulf FZE, the wholly owned subsidiary of Toshiba Corporation, highlights the significant surge in its market share in key geographies of UAE, Saudi Arabia and South Africa over the past year. Having concluded its FY 2020 on high growth, the storage leader has also garnered a greater market share for its Surveillance HDD portfolio and has built on the positive reception of its recently launched cutting-edge products. Santosh Varghese, Vice President – MEA, Toshiba Gulf FZE, commented, “At Toshiba Gulf, our focused priority continues to be to empower customers navigate the increasingly digital landscape with world-class storage solutions. We have positively grown our market share over the past 12 months, and we attribute this success to unsurpassed quality and expansive product range, relentless dedication of our valued employees and channel partners, and innovative go-to-market strategies.” The storage pioneer has invested substantially in strengthening its channel ecosystem. It has provided in-depth training workshops, resources and tools to manage challenging market dynamics and operate effectively in the new normal along with highly incentivized programs. By continuing its ‘go wide, go deep’ channel policy and excellent product offering in 2020, Toshiba Gulf has seized a significant 45% market share in Saudi Arabia and a notable 30% in UAE and South Africa, cementing its leadership position in the storage sector across these territories. Santosh Varghese, Vice President – MEA, Toshiba Gulf FZE Image Credit: Supplied The ongoing pandemic has accelerated the immediate need for organizations to digitalize their operations, which in turn has snowballed demands for data storage. According to World Economic Forum, by 2025, it is estimated that 463 exabytes of data will be created each day globally. This number will only get bigger as a result of the continuing impacts of COVID-19. The pandemic has compelled organizations and educational institutions to adopt work-from-home and remote learning models, leading to a further explosion of data generation, and fueling the demand for personal storage. Identifying the opportunities, Toshiba has doubled down on its HDD portfolio, with its Surveillance HDD line-up clocking a notable 17% climb in 2020 from 0.7% in 2018 in the Middle East and Africa region. Toshiba’s recent launches in its Canvio Portable Storage lineup has been well-received by the regional market and will continue to see a strong demand during the course of this year. The company expects to leverage the trends in the growing gaming market and position itself as a differentiator in the sector. Canvio Flex is the new USB-C portable storage designed for PCs/Mac, computers/iPad Pro and mobile digital devices/Tablets for cross platform compatibility. Canvio Gaming is the new portable game storage designed for game consoles and gaming PCs. The Canvio Advance and Canvio Ready feature a new design that offers advanced and easily accessible portable storage. This next generation of Canvio designs delivers seamless portability, high storage capacity and broad compatibility for various USB devices. Varghese said, “The regional ICT industry will experience incremental growth as enterprises underpin their digital transformation strategies and modernize their operations. Toshiba Gulf aims to continue enabling customers achieve their digital ambitions with excellent and reliable product offerings. Over the last year, we have further differentiated our portfolio through innovation and strategic planning. Toshiba’s brand equity has soared across all segments, thanks to our loyal channel partners. We have several exciting market plans and launches in the pipeline, and we look forward to collaborating even more closely with our channel partners this year.”

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Why Microsoft board asked Bill Gates to step down

Technology|Americas|: San Francisco: Some of the Microsoft board members last year wanted Bill Gates to step down amid an internal investigation into his alleged affair with an employee, The Wall Street Journal reported. Gates finally resigned from the Microsoft board in March 2020 before the investigation had been completed, the report said on Sunday. "Microsoft received a concern in the latter half of 2019 that Bill Gates sought to initiate an intimate relationship with a company employee in the year 2000," a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement to the WSJ. "A committee of the Board reviewed the concern, aided by an outside law firm to conduct a thorough investigation. Throughout the investigation, Microsoft provided extensive support to the employee who raised the concern," the company spokesperson added. A spokesperson for Gates, however, denied that his resignation from the board was related to the investigation. "There was an affair almost 20 years ago which ended amicably," the spokesperson was quoted as saying, adding that his "decision to transition off the board was in no way related to this matter". According to the report, some Microsoft board members "decided it was no longer suitable" for Gates to remain a director at Microsoft after the alleged affair came into limelight. Gates announced in March last year that he was stepping down from the board of directors of Microsoft, the company he co-founded in 1975 with the late Paul Allen. "I have made the decision to step down from both of the public boards on which I serve - Microsoft and Berkshire Hathaway - to dedicate more time to philanthropic priorities including global health and development, education, and my increasing engagement in tackling climate change," Gates said via LinkedIn. Gates then began to shift his attention to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Earlier this month, the mega-billionaire couple Bill and Melinda Gates announced they were divorcing because their 27-year marriage has "irretrievably broken". The financial magazine Forbes has estimated Bill Gates is worth more than $100 billion.

GulfNews Technology

UAE Snapchat users can start making money by getting creative on 'Spotlight'

Markets|Technology|: Dubai: Snapchat users in the UAE and Middle East have a chance to get creative – and get paid for it, with the messaging platform adding the ‘Spotlight’ feature for users here. Local Snapchatters can earn a share from uploading their creative efforts. They don’t have to be a celebrity, influencer, or public figure to earn from their Snaps. Snapchatters do need to be 16 or older to earn, and where applicable, obtain parental consent. Pay for creatives has been hugely popular within the TikTok community, and with Spotlight, Snapchat wants to raise the competitive stakes. What’s Spotlight about? Spotlight shows up the most entertaining Snaps from the digital community all in one place, and will be tailored over time based on the user’s preferences. The entertainment platform for user-generated content has had more than 100 million users as of January, just two months after its release in the US and elsewhere. Hussein Freijeh, General Manager of Snap Inc. in the Middle East, said: "Our hope is that Spotlight continues to break down barriers to content creation and by democratising both distribution and the ability to earn, encourages Snapchatters to be creative and express themselves.” Consumption rates on Snapchat in the MENA region are often higher than the global average, with over 85 per cent of daily users interacting with Lenses every day. The region’s Snapchat generation is 1.2 times more likely than non-Snapchatters to feel like they are a part of others’ lives via their stories on social, communication, and camera apps.

GulfNews Technology

Is restrictive pricing of software limiting your business’s growth?

Technology|: A lasting effect of Covid-19 is that it accelerated the pace of digital transformation around the world. As businesses rush to capitalise on the growth opportunities and realise the cost efficiencies of the new norm, they face one challenge that has disappointedly remained unchanged by the pandemic - the cost of purchasing software. Despite the digital revolution that has been going on around us, technology and software wastage is an issue that remains broadly ignored. According to IT experts, wastage results from either software simply not being used perhaps because of a company introducing a reduction in staff, initiating a merger, or making change in the IT or business operations. In addition, it is not uncommon for a business unit or individual to overstate their initial software requirements. In these instances, elements of the software just never get used. Resale of used software Over the past ten years as companies have grown, the reselling of used software has become increasingly commonplace, especially in Europe. It is based on the simple premise that if we are comfortable buying and selling second-hand laptops and PCs, why should we not do the same with the software that we use on these devices. The resale market offers software that has been previously used or which remains unused having been installed but never actively deployed. In both the scenarios the usability of the software remains the same, and unlike hardware it has no depreciating value. One company’s unused software frequently has value to another. According to a study from EHI Retail Institute, a German-based scientific institute, a significant number of companies would have a strong interest in the commerce of second-hand software in order to reduce costs. Second-hand software licences can be acquired at a discount when compared to price of new ones and, in addition, the resale of used licences can provide a capital gain on the IT department’s balance sheet. Other reasons that push companies to look at second-hand software include a need to ensure software stability and to reduce a costly dependency on continuous upgrades from software vendors. Big money Recent research carried out by 1E, a UK IT solutions company, estimated the value of unused software in the US to be worth $12 billion (Dh44 billion) and £1.7 billion (Dh8.68 billion) in the UK. 1E concluded that on average each year businesses install, but do not actually use, more than $100 worth of software on each PC. Taking into consideration the historical volume of unused software already installed on any business PC, the value of the used software increases to over $400 suggesting a total value of approaching almost $50 billion. These figures support other research undertaken by Munich Strategy Group, a German-based consulting company, which estimated the value of unused software in Europe to be close to €10 billion (Dh44.4 billion), with Germany, Europe’s largest economy, the home to over €2 billion. Now one of the world’s leading resellers of business software, Wiresoft is launching in the UAE and it is on a mission to offer genuine software to the region’s businesses at a fraction of the normal cost, realising its ambition of making original software more accessible to businesses looking to grow and thrive. Originally launched in Germany in 2012, Wiresoft legally acquires original Used Software, including licences from reputable businesses. With more than 1 million satisfied clients, including many of the world’s largest and most successful brands, it has established itself as a trusted reseller of used original software. For more information visit www.wiresoft.ae