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Apple Pulls WhatsApp And Threads From App Store On Beijing’s Orders

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HONG KONG — Apple said it has deleted Meta’s WhatsApp messaging service and Threads social media program from the service Store in China in accordance with Chinese authorities’ requests.

Chinese officials withdrew the apps from the store on Friday, citing unspecified national security concerns.

Their departure coincides with heightened tensions between the United States and China over trade, technology, and national security.

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Apple Pulls WhatsApp And Threads From App Store On Beijing’s Orders

The United States has threatened to ban TikTok due to national security concerns. However, while TikTok, owned by Chinese technology giant ByteDance, is popular in the United States, apps such as WhatsApp and Threads are not widely utilized in China.

Instead, the texting program WeChat, owned by the Chinese giant Tencent, dominates.

Other Meta apps, like as Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger, remained available for download, however usage of such international apps is prohibited in China due to the country’s “Great Firewall” network of filters, which restricts access to foreign websites like Facebook and Google.

“The Cyberspace Administration of China ordered the removal of these apps from the China storefront based on their national security concerns,” the company stated in a statement.

“We are obligated to follow the laws in the countries where we operate, even when we disagree,” the company added.

Meta didn’t immediately respond.

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Apple Pulls WhatsApp And Threads From App Store On Beijing’s Orders

Apple, previously the world’s leading smartphone manufacturer, has lost that position to Korean rival Samsung Electronics. The US company has faced headwinds in China, one of its top three markets, with sales falling after Chinese government agencies and state-owned company employees were told not to bring Apple devices to work.

Apple has been expanding its production sites beyond China.

Its CEO, Tim Cook, has been visiting Southeast Asia this week, visiting Hanoi and Jakarta before concluding his trip in Singapore. On Friday, he met with Singapore’s deputy prime minister, Lawrence Wong, and “discussed the partnership between Singapore and Apple, as well as Apple’s continued commitment to doing business in Singapore.”

Apple has vowed to invest more than $250 million to develop its campus in the city-state.

Cook visited with Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh earlier this week in Hanoi, promising to spend more money on Vietnamese suppliers.

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Apple Pulls WhatsApp And Threads From App Store On Beijing’s Orders

He also met with Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo. Cook later told reporters that they discussed Widodo’s intention to increase manufacturing in Indonesia, and that Apple will “look at” it.

SOURCE – (AP)

Kiara Grace is a staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. Her writing focuses on technology trends, particularly in the realm of consumer electronics and software. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex topics, Kiara delivers insightful analyses that resonate with tech enthusiasts and casual readers alike. Her articles strike a balance between in-depth coverage and accessibility, making them a go-to resource for anyone seeking to stay informed about the latest innovations shaping our digital world.

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Sony Says Focus Is On Creativity, With Games, Movies, Music, Sensors, IP, And Not Gadgets

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TOKYO — Sony, a Japanese electronics and entertainment company, says it will focus on innovation in movies, animation, and video games rather than traditional gadgetry.

Its CEO, Kenichiro Yoshida, described the company’s plan Thursday, saying Sony was assisting creative workers in delivering what he called “kando,” a moving experience.

Yoshida would not comment on claims that Tokyo-based Sony and Apollo Global Management are interested in acquiring Paramount Global.

Sony

Sony | Pixa Bay Image

Sony Says Focus Is On Creativity, With Games, Movies, Music, Sensors, IP, And Not Gadgets

Yoshida stated that the business now focuses on the creative process rather than valuing prior items such as the Walkman portable music player and Trinitron color televisions. He stated that “synergies” are no longer defined by entertainment and electronics but by intellectual property encompassing animation, music, gaming, and films.

In an online briefing, he stated, “We will continue to support people’s creativity through our technology.”

Sony is adapting to harsher circumstances, as competitors produce cheaper but competitive gadgets. According to critics, pursuing careers in film, music, and other forms of entertainment can be financially difficult.

Beginning with the acquisition of EMI Music Publishing in 2018, Sony has invested over 1.5 trillion yen ($10 billion) in the last six years to boost its content creation.

Sony

Sony | Pixa Bay Image

Sony Says Focus Is On Creativity, With Games, Movies, Music, Sensors, IP, And Not Gadgets

In 2021, it bought Crunchyroll, which has over 13 million paid customers and distributes Japanese cartoons worldwide. Another was Yoasobi, a Japanese music duet that uses Vocaloid technology, or singing voice synthesizer software, and has gained a global following.

Sony’s real-time computer technology, which records “this moment,” as Yoshida called it, is employed in sports cameras because it can catch fast-moving subjects without distortion

According to Yoshida, it is also utilized for news coverage and editing, 3D video and computer graphics, including successful movies like “Godzilla Minus One” and games based on human athlete movements

Sony

Sony | AP News Image

Sony Says Focus Is On Creativity, With Games, Movies, Music, Sensors, IP, And Not Gadgets

Sony recently recorded a quarterly profit of 189 billion yen ($1.2 billion), up from 141 billion yen the year before. The PlayStation gaming machine manufacturer’s quarterly revenue increased 14% to 3.48 trillion yen ($22 billion).

However, for the fiscal year ending March 31, Sony’s profit fell 3% to 970 billion yen ($6.2 billion) due to poor performance in its financial services sector, which will be largely split off next year.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Harvard Holding Commencement After Weekslong Pro-Palestinian Encampment Protest

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CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts – Harvard University planned to host its commencement ceremony on Thursday, following a weeks-long pro-Palestinian encampment that closed off Harvard Yard to save individuals with university links and heightened campus tensions.

Those tensions were heightened on Wednesday when school authorities revealed that 13 Harvard students who participated in the encampment would not be permitted to graduate alongside their classmates.

Those in the encampment demanded a cease-fire in Gaza and Harvard’s divestment from firms that support the war.

Also on Thursday, Northwestern and Rutgers University presidents are scheduled to speak before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on concessions they made to pro-Palestinian protesters to cease campus rallies. The Chancellor of the University of California, Los Angeles, was also due to attend the most recent hearings looking into how universities have responded to the protests and charges of antisemitism.

Harvard

Harvard | AP News Image

Harvard Holding Commencement After Weekslong Pro-Palestinian Encampment Protest

The decision by the school’s top governing board comes after faculty members recommended on Monday that the 13 students be allowed to graduate despite their participation in the encampment.

However, Harvard’s governing board, the Harvard Corporation, stated that each 13 had been determined to have violated university standards during the camping protest.

“In coming to this determination, we note that the express provisions of the Harvard College Student Handbook state that students who are not in good standing are not eligible for degrees,” the company stated in a written statement.

The statement did not rule out the possibility of an appeals procedure, stating that the corporation knows “that the inability to graduate is consequential for students and their families” and supports the Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ goal to accelerate the examination of appeal requests.

Harvard

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Harvard Holding Commencement After Weekslong Pro-Palestinian Encampment Protest

“We care deeply about every member of our community — students, faculty, staff, researchers, and alumni — and we have chosen a path forward that accords with our responsibilities and reaffirms a process for our students to receive prompt and fair review,” said the statement.

Protesters packed up their things and departed a pro-Palestinian campsite at Drexel University in Philadelphia on Thursday after the school announced a decision to have police clear the area

Supporters of the students said that the decision not to allow them to earn degrees at commencement violated a May 14 agreement between interim President Alan Garber and the Harvard Out of Occupied Palestine alliance, which would have allowed them to graduate.

Protesters opposing Israel’s war with Hamas willingly demolished their tents after university administrators agreed to hear their concerns over the endowment, bringing a peaceful end to the types of demonstrations that were broken up by police on other campuses.

The group issued a statement late Wednesday, claiming that the decision jeopardizes the 13 students’ post-graduate careers.

“By rejecting a democratic faculty vote, the Corporation has proved itself to be a wholly illegitimate body, and Garber an illegitimate president, accountable to no one at the university,” claimed the organization.

Harvard

Harvard | Harvard Crimson Image

Harvard Holding Commencement After Weekslong Pro-Palestinian Encampment Protest

“Today’s actions have plunged the university even further into a crisis of legitimacy and governance, which will have major repercussions for Harvard in the coming months and years,” claimed the organization.

Supporters of the protestors planned a vigil outside Harvard Yard on Thursday to support the 13 and urge for a cease-fire in Gaza.

Protesters packed up their things and departed a pro-Palestinian campsite at Drexel University in Philadelphia on Thursday after the school announced a decision to have police clear the area. A wave of pro-Palestinian tent encampments on college campuses has resulted in over 3,000 arrests nationally.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Using AI, Mastercard Expects To Find Compromised Cards Quicker, Before They Get Used By Criminals

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Mastercard | AP news Image

NEW YORK  — Mastercard said Wednesday that it hopes to detect that your credit or debit card number has been compromised long before it falls into the hands of a cybercriminal.

Mastercard’s most recent software upgrade incorporates artificial intelligence into its fraud-prediction system, which it hopes will allow banks to replace stolen cards before criminals use them.

“Generative AI is going to allow us to figure out where you possibly got your credentials compromised, how we can identify how it happened, and how we can very quickly remedy that situation not only for you, but also for other customers who don’t know they are compromised yet,” said Johan Gerber, executive vice president of security and cyber innovation at Mastercard, in an interview.

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Using AI, Mastercard Expects To Find Compromised Cards Quicker, Before They Get Used By Criminals

Mastercard, based in Purchase, New York, says that with this new update, it can use other patterns or contextual information, such as geography, time, and addresses, and combine it with incomplete but compromised credit card numbers that appear in databases, allowing it to reach cardholders sooner and replace the bad card.

The patterns can now be applied in reverse, potentially employing batches of faulty cards to identify potentially hacked businesses or payment processors. According to Gerber, pattern identification goes beyond what humans can perform with database queries or other typical approaches.

Billions of stolen credit and debit card numbers are floating on the dark web, ready for purchase by any thief. Most were stolen from merchants in data breaches over the years, but a substantial number were stolen from unwary customers who used their credit or debit cards at the incorrect gas station, ATM, or online shop.

These compromised cards may go undiscovered for weeks, months, or even years. Only when the payment networks themselves dig into the dark web to look for stolen numbers, a merchant discovers a breach, or a criminal uses a card do the payment networks, and banks realize a batch of cards may be compromised.

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Mastercard | Youtube Image

Using AI, Mastercard Expects To Find Compromised Cards Quicker, Before They Get Used By Criminals

“We can now actually proactively reach out to the banks to make sure that we service that consumer and get them a new card in her or his hands so they can go about their lives with as little disruption as possible,” Gerber stated.

The payment networks are primarily attempting to transition away from “static” credit card or debit card numbers — card numbers and expiration dates that are used consistently across all businesses — and toward unique numbers for specific transactions. However, that transformation could take years, especially in the United States, where payment technology uptake is typically slow.

While chip cards are currently used in more than 90% of all in-person transactions worldwide, EMVCo, the technological body behind the chip in credit and debit cards, estimates that the proportion in the United States is closer to 70%.

Mastercard

Mastercard | Mastercard Image

Using AI, Mastercard Expects To Find Compromised Cards Quicker, Before They Get Used By Criminals

Mastercard’s announcement comes as its main competitor, Visa Inc., looks for ways to force users to discard their 16-digit credit and debit card numbers. Visa revealed big changes to how credit and debit cards will work in the United States last week, implying that Americans will carry fewer physical cards in their wallets and that the 16-digit credit or debit card number inscribed on each card will become less relevant.

SOURCE – (AP)

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