Nepal social media bill sparks freedom of speech concerns

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AFP) — Nepal’s government on Wednesday tabled draft legislation that would impose harsh penalties for “improper” social media posts, igniting concerns it could be used to suppress freedom of speech and stifle dissent. Under the proposed law, the government would have the power to block social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube unless they register in Nepal. And social media posts deemed defamatory or against national sovereignty could be punished with up […]

Hello Kitty Cafe makes pit stop in Tampa

By Angelo Corpuz EBC Florida Bureau TAMPA, Florida (Eagle News)– Hundreds of mallgoers created lines that stretched from one side of the Westshore Plaza Mall to the other, as fans of Sanrio products were eager to see what the Hello Kitty Cafe touring truck had to offer. One couple was determined to brave the long line and buy limited time Hello Kitty products, however, they were expecting a little more from the cafe. “I was […]

Alibaba takes stake in Chinese video platform Bilibili

BEIJING, China (AFP) — Alibaba has bought an eight percent stake in Chinese online video sharing and entertainment service Bilibili for an undisclosed amount, state news agency Xinhua reported. Alibaba’s e-commerce arm Taobao will reportedly own 24 million shares in Nasdaq-listed Bilibili, which claims tens of millions of regular users, mainly among young anime, comic and computer game fans in China. Chen Rui, Bilibili’s CEO and chairman, said he hoped the collaboration would help Bilibili […]

Two top executives leave Facebook PR team

SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — Two of Facebook’s top executives in its public relations team are leaving the company, stepping away after the most tumultuous period in the history of the social networking giant. Caryn Marooney put out word on Wednesday that she is quitting her job as leader of Facebook’s communications group after eight years at the social network and is working with chief executive Mark Zuckerberg on finding a replacement. Marooney wrote […]

Facebook lets senders undo sent Messenger missives

SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — Facebook on Tuesday added a Messenger feature for anyone who has fired off a comment they regretted — a way to take it back. Messenger users will now have a 10-minute window after sending a message to undo it, leaving behind a note telling everyone in a conversation that the remark was removed, according to the leading online social network. “Have you ever accidentally sent a message to the […]

Zuckerberg sees ‘positive’ force of Facebook despite firestorm

  SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — Mark Zuckerberg said Monday he sees Facebook as a largely “positive” force for society as the embattled social network marked its 15th anniversary. Even as Facebook is facing a wave of criticism over issues of manipulation, misinformation, abuse and other social ills, Zuckerberg said it would be a mistake “to overly emphasize the negative” impacts of social media and the internet. The Facebook co-founder and chief executive said […]

Facebook at 15: a titan with grown-up woes

by Glenn CHAPMAN Agence France Presse SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — Fifteen years after its founding, Facebook has made strides toward Mark Zuckerberg’s goal of connecting the world. But it has also made some huge missteps that have turned some of its cheerleaders into vocal detractors. The online social network founded on February 4, 2004 in Zuckerberg’s Harvard University dorm heads into adolescence with the grown-up burdens of being held accountable for its behavior […]

Microsoft delivers robust profit, but shares take a hit

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Microsoft said Wednesday it swung to profit in the past quarter on gains in cloud computing and business services, but shares took a hit on disappointing revenue growth. The US tech giant said profit was $8.4 billion in the fiscal second quarter to December 31, compared with a loss in the same period a year ago on funds set aside for one-time charges, Revenues in the period rose 12 percent […]

Apple profit stable as service gains offset iPhone slump

by Glenn CHAPMAN Agence France Presse SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — Apple said Tuesday that profits held steady in the most recent quarter, with revenue growth in music, movies, apps and other services offsetting slumping iPhone sales, sparking a rally in shares of the California tech giant. Profit in the final quarter of last year was $20 billion, a dip of less than one percent, on revenue of $84.3 billion even as money from […]

For bruised Apple, a need to go beyond the iPhone

by Glenn CHAPMAN Agence France Presse SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — Apple is aiming to show it can do more than just make iPhones in a quarterly update Tuesday for investors who are skeptical over whether the culture-changing company can regain the momentum from its glory days. In recent weeks, Apple shares have been hammered on concerns that its best days are over, with smartphone sales slipping and no new “big thing” on the […]

Misinformation woes could multiply with ‘deepfake’ videos

by Rob Lever Agence France Presse WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — If you see a video of a politician speaking words he never would utter, or a Hollywood star improbably appearing in a cheap adult movie, don’t adjust your television set — you may just be witnessing the future of “fake news.” “Deepfake” videos that manipulate reality are becoming more sophisticated due to advances in artificial intelligence, creating the potential for new kinds of misinformation […]