Obstacles for tech start-ups
14 December 2017 | 11:00 am
Obstacles for tech start-ups.
We take a look at the jabs, jokes and frenzy over Facebook's seven-hour outage. But first, the French press is widely covering a damning report about paedophilia in the French Catholic church. We also find out about the uncertain, perilous fate of a tanker off the coast of Yemen.
Without access to social media, many users felt lost. Their explanations for the technical glitch ranged from wild conspiracy theories to the not-too-far-fetched concern that governments could be blocking the platforms.
What did the planet learn from six hours without Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram? The glitch triggered by an update on servers went on long enough to remind us how much we put our lives in the hands of a single social media behemoth. It was a chance to realise that we depend on Facebook for everything from private messages to real-time business communications and even payments. Livelihoods depend on it.
Singapore has trialled patrol robots that blast warnings at people engaging in "undesirable social behaviour", adding to an arsenal of surveillance technology in the tightly controlled city-state.
In recent days, two former African presidents have been the targets of fake news. In DR Congo, a photo of Joseph Kabila has been circulating with the claim he stood alongside the former head of the rebel group ADF, which has links with the Islamic State group. Another video, meanwhile, purports to show a crowd of supporters of Alpha Condé gathering in Paris... although the man they are shouting in support of is not the ousted Guinean president and it wasn't filmed in Paris at all.
Following revelations by whistleblower Frances Haugen and a global outage, the US company faces renewed scrutiny. It could mark a tipping point and prompt lawmakers to get tough on the tech giant.
Users have been facing issues accessing the social media giant's apps and services for the second time in a week. The company said a configuration change was behind the outage, which is under control.
Facebook is facing a historic crisis. Revelations by former data scientist-turned-whistleblower Frances Haugen have shed light inside the notoriously secretive tech giant. She says Facebook harms children, sparks division and undermines democracy in pursuit of astronomical profits. Her allegations are backed by the leak of tens of thousands of internal documents.
US cyber defense capabilities are at "kindergarten level" in some government departments, the Pentagon's former chief software officer told a British newspaper.
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