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Tech
Twitter service restored following global platform outage

Twitter said the global outage was caused by a technical problem. SAN FRANCISCO: Twitter was restored Thursday evening after a technical problem caused a global outage of nearly two hours on the social media platform used by hundreds of millions worldwide. The outage marked a new setback for the company, which for the past two days has been fending off accusations of bias over its decision to block a news report critical of Democratic White House candidate Joe Biden. “We are continuing to monitor the issue, and things appear to have returned to normal,” Twitter’s application programming interface site said at 7.11am Thailand time on Friday. The California-based company tweeted earlier: “We had some trouble with our internal systems and don’t have any evidence of a security breach or hack.” According to downdetector.com, users on every continent had reported being unable to use the platform, but the outages were concentrated on the east and west coasts of the United States, as well as Japan. The outage appeared to have started around 4.30pm Thailand time.

Tech
Tax rebate expected to prop up phones

The Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max being unveiled during a virtual product launch on Tuesday. The event was streamed from Tiskilwa, Illinois in the US. Bloomberg The new 5G-compatible iPhone 12 line could help push up demand in the smartphone market, with the government’s tax rebate “Shop and Payback” scheme anticipated to be a key driver for the segment in the fourth quarter, according to tech pundits. Apple unveiled its iPhone 12 range at a virtual event on Tuesday. They consist of the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, with starting prices of US$699, $799, $999 and $1099, respectively. The US tech giant has yet to announce when the iPhone 12 line will be made available in Thailand or the pricing in baht. Narathip Wirunechatapant, chief executive of Jaymart Mobile, the handset distributor arm of SET-listed Jay Mart, said the

Tech
Twitter suspends fake Black pro-Trump accounts

Twitter forbids using the platform “to artificially amplify or suppress information or engage in behavior that manipulates or disrupts people’s experience” on the platform. SAN FRANCISCO: Twitter said Tuesday it had suspended several fake accounts purporting to be African Americans who support President Donald Trump and which had succeeded in garnering several thousand followers in just a few days. “Our teams are working diligently to investigate this activity and will take action in line with the Twitter rules if Tweets are found to be in violation,” said a spokesman for the San Francisco-based company. Darren Linvill, a professor at Clemson University who specialises in disinformation on social media, published some examples of the fake accounts on Twitter, accusing them of using “digital black face”. “Yes IM BLACK AND IM VOTING FOR TRUMP!” said one of the examples he shared, under the name of Ted Katya on Sept 17. “Libs wont like that but I dont care!!!” The tweet was shared 6,000 times and “liked” more then 16,000 times. Most of

Tech
In the shadow of TikTok, China's apps quietly hoover up downloads

China’s app makers are having to be agile in a world where key markets have turned hostile to their country’s tech. BEIJING: While SHEIN has its origins in China it is one of the biggest shopping apps in the United States, SHAREit has been banned in India despite being massively popular elsewhere, and Likee is chasing TikTok — but desperate to avoid a similar fate. China’s app makers are having to be agile in a world where key markets have turned hostile to their country’s tech. They are either going under the radar in territories where the war over privacy, security and geopolitics rages — or are moving to friendlier markets to win millions of downloads. Experts say that could signal an unstoppable rise for China’s smart and responsive tech, depending on the long-term damage that security and diplomatic squabbles may bring to the Made in China brand. For now, the strategies of Chinese-owned

Tech
Cyber warriors sound warning on working from home

‘Large scale use of remote work has attracted spies, thieves and thugs,’ says Jaak Tarien, head of Nato’s Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence. TALLINN: Cyber warriors on Nato’s eastern edge are warning that the growing number of people working from home globally due to the pandemic is increasing vulnerability to cyber attacks. The Baltic state of Estonia hosts two cyber facilities for the Western military alliance — set up following a series of cyber attacks from neighbour Russia more than a decade ago. “Large scale use of remote work has attracted spies, thieves and thugs,” Jaak Tarien, head of Nato’s Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE), told AFP in an interview. The increased amount of information travelling between institutional servers and home networks is creating new challenges for employers. “Tackling these new challenges is complicated and requires a lot of resources as well as a different

Tech
ESports fights cheating bugs, bots and hacks

Two teams face off in a Counter Strike tournament in Berlin PARIS – The rapid growth of eSports has increased the financial gains at stake and created a pressing need to fight the cheats and maintain the booming sector’s integrity. In September a scandal broke out over a tournament for Counter Strike, the highly popular 20-year-old game in which teams role-play a group of terrorists or counter-terrorists in hostage-taking or bombing missions. In a game of strategy, speed and 3D immersion, teamwork is essential as contestants engage in breathtaking two-minute missions. After the scandal emerged, 37 team coaches were sanctioned by the ESports Integrity Commission (ESIC) after being found to have exploited a bug in the game to spy on rival teams’ strategy. The professional, semi-professional and amateur coaches were barred for periods ranging from a few months to several years. The suspensions sent a shockwave through the gaming community and a number of teams including German outfit Mousesports, who parted company with coach Allan “Rejin” Petersen over the cheating. He has been banned

Tech
Chinese app offers peek behind Great Firewall

Chinese app offers peek behind Great Firewall But users must register with a mobile number and some content is still censored A security guard walks past a Google sign at the China Digital Entertainment Expo in Shanghai in 2018. (Reuters File Photo) BEIJING: A developer backed by the Chinese cybersecurity giant 360 Security Technology Inc has introduced a browser that allows mainland Chinese users to access previously blocked sites like Google and Facebook, partially bypassing Beijing’s Great Firewall. But there’s a catch: The browser, named Tuber, requires mobile number registration before use. That makes users’ browsing activities traceable and can identify people because smartphone numbers are linked to unique Chinese identification numbers. Blocked websites that can be accessed via Tuber include YouTube, Instagram and The New York Times. The app appears to be providing a government-approved platform for the country’s 904 million netizens to legally visit overseas websites. Mainland Chinese use virtual

Tech
Mail delivery robot makes test run on Tokyo road

Japan Post makes the first test run on a public road of its self-driving mail delivery robot in Tokyo on Wednesday. (Photo: Kyodo) TOKYO: Japan Post on Wednesday unveiled a self-driving mail delivery robot, the first of its kind on a public road in Japan, as demand grows for minimising human contact amid the coronavirus pandemic. Using built-in cameras and sensors, the red robot, which is the size of a wheelchair, travelled along a footpath in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward, dodging obstacles such as utility poles, and crossed an intersection with traffic lights. The robot is in the middle of a series of test runs that began on Sept 18 and runs through late October that sees it travel 700 metres from a convenience store in a hospital to a local post office in about 25 minutes. The red-coloured DeliRo robot developed by ZMP Inc is capable of carrying packages weighing

Tech
'Smart' male chastity device vulnerable to locking by hackers

A security flaw in an internet-connected male chastity device could allow hackers to remotely lock it, researchers have warned. HONG KONG: A security flaw in an internet-connected male chastity device could allow hackers to remotely lock it — leaving users trapped, researchers have warned. The Cellmate, produced by Chinese firm Qiui, is a cover that clamps on the base of the male genitals with a hardened steel ring, and does not have a physical key or manual override. The locking mechanism is controlled with a smartphone app via Bluetooth — marketed as both an anti-cheating and a submission sex play device — but security researchers have found multiple flaws that leave it vulnerable to hacking. “We discovered that remote attackers could prevent the Bluetooth lock from being opened, permanently locking the user in the device. There is no physical unlock,” British security firm Pen Test Partners said Tuesday. “An angle grinder or other suitable heavy tool would be

Tech
Apple stops selling rival's headphones and speakers

The Apple Inc logo is seen hanging at the entrance to the Apple store on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, New York. (Reuters photo) Apple Inc has stopped selling headphones and wireless speakers from rivals including Sonos Inc, Bose Corp and Logitech International SA as the company gears up to launch its own new audio products. The Cupertino, California-based technology giant has long sold third-party hardware on its website, one of the largest e-commerce operations in the world. All headphones and speakers from Bose, speakers from Logitech’s Ultimate Ears brand and Sonos’s latest smart speaker disappeared from Apple’s online store at the end of last month, according to checks by Bloomberg. Employees at Apple’s physical retail locations were also instructed to remove the products for sale at stores in recent days. The moves come as Apple develops multiple new products to expand on its audio strategy. The first Apple-branded over-ear headphones