Zoom down for more than a thousand users - Downdetector
Technology|: Zoom Video Communications Inc's video-conferencing platform was down for more than a thousand users on Wednesday, according to outage tracking website Downtector.com. Downdetector showed there were nearly 2,000 incidents of people reporting issues with Zoom at its peak, at 9am ET (6pm UAE time). Zoom has seen a meteoric rise in users thanks to remote work and online learning against the backdrop of stay-at-home orders. Telecom operator Verizon Communication Inc's services were also down for nearly 5,400 users at its peak, at 10am ET (7pm UAE time), according to Downdetector. Verizon did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Downdetector tracks outages by collating status reports from a series of sources, including user-submitted errors on its platform. The outages might be affecting a larger number of users.
Japanese billionaire invites 8 people to join SpaceX mission around the Moon
Japanese fashion mogul Yusaku Maezawa, who first announced his intention in 2018 to take a group of artists with him on a six-day trip around the Moon, said Tuesday that he's inviting the public to apply to fill eight open seats on the mission now slated to take off in 2023.
Right-wing misinformation on Facebook is more engaging than its left-wing counterpart, research finds
By now it's well known that Facebook has a misinformation problem. The company has tried to address it in various ways, from labeling false claims to reducing its visibility in users' feeds. But a new study from researchers at New York University finds that not all misinformation on Facebook is created equal when you factor in political ideology.
University of Alberta students call for end to online exam monitoring
News/Canada/Edmonton: Many classes at the University of Alberta use online proctoring services to monitor students as they write tests and catch suspicious activity. But with final exams approaching, some students are calling for an alternative.
TikTok empowered these plus-sized women, then took down some of their posts. They still don't know why
After losing her marketing job due to the pandemic and then gaining 40 pounds, Remi Bader, 25, began spending more time on TikTok. She built up a following by posting about clothing items not fitting her correctly and her struggle to find larger sizes in New York City stores.
Yard sale find turns out to be Chinese artifact worth up to $500K US
News/World: A small porcelain bowl bought for $35 US at a Connecticut yard sale turned out to be a rare, 15th-century Chinese artifact worth between $300,000 and $500,000 US that is about to go up for auction at Sotheby's.
Middle East's music streaming portal Anghami to list on Nasdaq New York in June
Markets|Technology|: Dubai: Abu Dhabi headquartered music streaming platform Anghami is to hit the charts on Nasdaq – making it the first tech company of Middle East origin to list on the New York exchange. The listing is in all likelihood happening in June and provide further impetus to a super-charged tech scene in the Middle East, with private equity and venture capital funds actively scouting around for the next big thing. The Anghami listing will be done via a process – SPAC (Special Purpose Acquisition Company) – that’s been trending in recent months when it comes to public listings. It will see Anghami, which launched as a startup in Lebanon, merge with Vistas Media Acquisition Company Inc., which is a publicly traded SPAC. Anghami - founded in 2012 by Eddy Maroun and Elie Habib - expects to have approximately $142 million of cash on its balance-sheet at closing and to be used primarily to fuel additional growth. Read More Coronavirus: How music streaming services entertain those in isolation Arabic music streaming platform Anghami picks Abu Dhabi for global headquarters The deal with Vistas values Anghami at around $220 million, or 2.5 times 2022 estimated revenues. Once that merger processes are done, the entity will head into the actual listing. (Going to market using a SPAC comes as an alternative to initial public offerings. With SPAC, the listing entity would have already drawn in funding commitments from investors, mostly institutions.) With the global success of Spotify as well as the presence of Apple, subscription-based music streaming services have had some spectacular growth rates in the last two to three years. More so, in the last year when people found their schedules and life upended by COVID-19. According to Maroun, “Today, we have taken a significant step forward in our growth plans in seeking to become the region’s first Arab technology company to list on NASDAQ. Being a US listed public company gives us access to growth capital and a global platform that is the best in the world.” After the deal Once the deal with Vistas is effected, Anghami co-founder and CEO Eddy Maroun will continue to manage it. Co-founder and Chairman Elie Habib will remain as CTO. F. Jacob Cherian, CEO of Vistas Media Acquisition Company Inc. is expected to join the Company as Co-CEO for a period of one year. Win for Shuaa It will also mark a milestone for Dubai-based Shuaa Capital, the asset management company that invested in Anghami early January. “We picked a minority stake then, by turning a convertible bond into equity,” said Jasim Alseddiqi, CEO of Shuaa. “What all of this proves is that the Middle East’s technology scene is a global one. “Anghami on Nasdaq New York is a great first step, and sets a precedent for future companies from the Middle East that this is the avenue they can go on to.” Alseddiqi did not say what Shuaa’s stake will be post the listing. Shuaa and Vistas have so far gathered commitments of $40 million in PIPE (Private Investment in Public Equity) financing. (Along with SPAC, PIPE too is gaining in popularity in investment circles. It essentially involves selling of publicly traded common shares to private investors.) Why NY? Given its Middle East lineage, couldn’t Anghami and Shuaa have sought a listing within the region? Why New York, in particular? “We did not go to New York - we were approached by a SPAC out of Nasdaq that wanted to engage with Anghami,” said Alseddiqi. “Yes, Anghama is very much a regional player – but the global market of Nasdaq understands the dynamics of tech and music streaming.” One big library Anghami currently has more than 57 million songs, with more than 70 million registered users and around 1 billion streams per month. (Spotify has 155 million premium subscribers.) Rabih Khoury, Managing Partner of Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP), said: “As the largest institutional investor in Anghami, we are delighted that one more of our top portfolio companies will list on NASDAQ. We partnered with Eddy and Elie from the outset in 2012 and continuously supported Anghami starting with its seed round and all its subsequent funding rounds."
Fly me to the Moon: Japan billionaire offers space seats
It's the sort of chance that comes along just once in a blue Moon: a Japanese billionaire is throwing open a private lunar expedition to eight people from around the world. Yusaku Maezawa, an online fashion tycoon, was announced in 2018 as the first man to book a spot aboard the lunar spaceship being developed by SpaceX.
How Apple makes sure your hearing is not impacted
Technology|: New Delhi: As the Indian market gets flooded with all kinds of wearables and wireless earphones/headphones, monitoring your daily audio exposure is critical as long exposure to sound can impact hearing abilities in the long term. On the World Hearing Day that fell on Wednesday, your iPhone, iPod touch, or Apple Watch can measure your headphone audio levels so you can monitor your audio exposure over the past hour, day, week, month or year in the Health app. The Noise app on Apple Watch also measures ambient sound levels in your environment to identify when the decibel level could negatively impact your hearing. If sounds are too loud, Apple Watch users can receive alerts with a tap on the wrist. All your information is stored in the Health app for easy access to your data. "Whether you're listening to music, watching a movie, or talking to a loved one, Headphone Accommodations help you customise your audio experience to make the world sound crisp and clear," according to Apple. Amplify soft sounds and adjust certain sound frequencies based on your individual hearing needs. If you already have your own audiogram, you can add it to your settings. If not, you'll walk through a series of listening tests that allow you to set up as many as nine unique profiles based on your personal sound preferences. Sound Recognition feature listens for certain sounds and uses on-device intelligence to notify you when a specific sound is detected. "Whether you're using your iPhone or iPad, you'll receive a notification when a particular type of sound or alert, such as a fire alarm or doorbell, is detected," according to the company. Stereo recordings usually have distinct left- and right-channel audio tracks. "Mono Audio can help streamline the differences by playing both audio channels in both ears. You can adjust the balance for greater volume in either ear, so you won't miss a single note of a concerto or word of an audiobook," reads the information on the company's Accessibility page.
Canada seeks green energy exemption from Biden's Buy American policies
News/Politics: With the prospect of a blanket exemption from Buy American policies now looking unlikely, Canada is seeking a deal that would allow Canadian firms to take part in the Biden administration’s green energy push, said Canada’s chief trade negotiator.
Harvard professor explores how technology shaped the role of women in society
Radio/Ideas: In her new book Work Mate Marry Love, Harvard professor Debora Spar argues that nearly all the decisions we make in our most intimate lives — whom we marry, how we have children, and how we build families — have always been driven by technology. She explains how these changes in technology have also affected the role of women in society throughout history.
B.C. paleontologists find new category of insect fossils related to damselflies
News/Canada/British Columbia: Bruce Archibald, a paleontologist at Simon Fraser University, and his colleagues have been studying insect fossils from southern B.C., and northern interior Washington for 30 years.