EU antitrust officials are investigating Google's vast ads business
The European Union has launched an antitrust investigation into Google's vast advertising business, claiming that the company may have disadvantaged rival services, making it harder for brands to reach consumers and for publishers to fund their content.
Great Barrier Reef should be listed as 'in danger,' UN says, upsetting Australia
News/World: The Great Barrier Reef should be added to a list of World Heritage Sites that are "in danger," a United Nations panel said on Tuesday, drawing an angry response from Australia, which called the recommendation politically motivated.
Biologist estimates helium balloons are ending up in Great Lakes by the hundreds of thousands
News/Canada/London: An Ontario biologist estimates as many as 960,000 plastic helium balloons may end up in Lake Erie every year, based on a nearly two-week cleanup effort across seven kilometres of beach. She hopes sharing her work will help people understand the environmental consequences of releasing them.
Buy Now Pay Later portal tabby picks up a cool $50m in record fintech funding
Dubai: The Buy Now Pay Later phenomenon sweeping through UAE and Gulf retail and consumer space is not abating. One of the key platforms offering such financing support, tabby, has picked up a staggering $50 million from Partners for Growth – the biggest such facility to date in the region for a fintech company. This investment will "bolster tabby’s capitalization to expand lending capacity and support the company’s growth," said a statement. "The vision is to grow the size of the facility as tabby’s underlying sales scales over time." "As our transaction volumes and merchant numbers have continued to surpass all our expectations, it was essential for us to partner with an organization that would support our current and long-term growth,” said Hosam Arab, CEO of tabby. Read More FAB’s Magnati partners with Al-Futtaim to offer Buy-Now-Pay-Later at IKEA online UAE consumers could soon be paying off school or medical bills on 'Buy Now Pay Later' - and on 0% Palazzo Versace Dubai becomes first luxury hotel in Gulf to offer ‘buy now pay later’ At a time when consumers are still squeamish about spending on anything other than essentials, the BNPY platforms allow them to pick their choice of goods or service and pay in short monthly instalments. No interest rates are charged. These portals have carved up quite a good deal of visibility within the broader fintech space - the $50 million funding just proves that. “tabby is one of the fastest growing companies in the MENA region and they have an attractive market opportunity ahead," said Max Penel, Investment Director at PFG. "We are excited to support the tabby team and provide financing that can enable tabby to scale the platform, harnessing the continuous growth of the buy now pay later sector both regionally and globally.”
'Living fossil' fish surprises scientists with 100-year lifespan
News/Science: The coelacanth — a wondrous fish that was thought to have gone extinct along with the dinosaurs 66 million years ago before unexpectedly being found alive and well in 1938 off South Africa's east coast — is offering up even more surprises.
What it's really like to be an Amazon warehouse worker during Prime Day
For much of the past 16 months, Amazon's warehouse workers have faced grueling pressure to keep up with the demand from households for online goods during the pandemic. Now, workers must endure the stress of meeting a spike in orders from Amazon's summer shopping holiday, which kicks off Monday.
Don’t count on needing a Covid booster shot, WHO scientist says
“We do not have the information that’s necessary to make the recommendation on whether or not a booster will be needed,” Soumya Swaminathan, the World Health Organization’s chief scientist, said in an interview Friday. The “science is still evolving.”
Facebook launches Clubhouse-like live audio rooms and podcasts
Media|World|Business|: Facebook Inc on Monday launched its own Clubhouse-style live audio rooms and a way to find and play podcasts on its platform, marking a push into social audio by the world's largest social network. Facebook's rollout of a potential Clubhouse rival follows the explosive early success of the invite-only live audio app, which became a hit as people stayed at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was one of the Silicon Valley celebrities who have made appearances on the app, which recently expanded to Android users. Facebook, which has said it wants to make audio a "first-class medium" on its platforms, joins Twitter Inc and messaging platform Discord which have already launched their own live audio offerings. Spotify debuted its own version, "Greenroom," last Wednesday. Slack, Microsoft Corp-owned LinkedIn and Reddit are also working on similar products. Public figures and certain Facebook Groups in the United States using iOS will be able to create live audio rooms, with up to 50 speakers and unlimited listeners. These users can also invite people without a "verified badge" to speak, Facebook said in a blog post. Users on iOS and Android can listen to the rooms. The company, which has been vocal about its push to attract content creators, said it is partnering with public figures including musicians, journalists and athletes in the live audio rooms rollout. Listeners will be able to send Facebook's virtual currency "stars" to creators in live audio rooms. Zuckerberg has said the company will not take a cut of creator revenue until 2023. A number of select podcasts will also be available on Facebook to US listeners and the company said it would soon add to this initial slate. Facebook, which has been criticized for its handling of problematic content across its products, will face the challenges of moderating live and recorded audio content, including in private Facebook Groups. Facebook is also working on a project with Spotify to share and listen to music on the platform.
3 coyote attacks on people in northwest Calgary believed to be by lone 'unusually bold and aggressive' animal
News/Canada/Calgary: The northwest Calgary community of Nolan Hill is dealing with a series of coyote attacks on humans — all believed to be caused by a lone, "unusually bold and aggressive" animal, the city says.
India responds to UN, says new IT rules 'designed to empower ordinary users of social media'