Windows 10X was originally meant for foldable and dual-screen devices, but last year Microsoft announced it was reworking the software for single screen PCs. The result looks to be an experience that will provide users with access to Microsoft services in a more affordable package.
We’re expecting the first Windows 10X devices to launch later this year, but an exact timeframe hasn’t been revealed. Similarly, we’re not sure how much these devices will cost, but if we had to venture a guess they’ll be in the $400 to $700 range.
In Windows Central’s video, we get a good idea of what using Windows 10 will be like, from the reworked taskbar to running progressive web apps (PWA). The video demonstrates some of the software’s settings, the process of installing a PWA, and running apps side-by-side. It’s an interesting glimpse at what Microsoft has planned for those who want a more lightweight, tablet-esque experience.
Windows 10X isn’t something you’ll be able to upgrade to. Rather, the software will come pre-installed on new machines similar to laptops that run Chrome OS. If you’ve been tempted by a Chromebook but are embedded in Microsoft’s ecosystem, the arrival of Windows 10X will be exactly what you’re looking for.
S.No Mobile Phones having C&F value (US Dollars) Fixed Rate (Amount in Pak Rs.) 1 Upto 30 $ Rs. 300 2 Above 30$ and up to 100$ Rs. 2,940 3 Above 100$ and up to 200$ Rs. 4,510 4 Above 200$ and up to 350$ Rs. 6,180 5 Above 350$ and up to 500$ Rs. 17,650 6 Above 500$ Rs. 31,520
Note: The above rate duty/taxes is for Baggage Imports and not for Commercial Imports.
The Hash Mall, one of the leading & prominent projects in Bahria Town has been launched to get the attention of local & foreign investors. An iconic project of its kind that has brought emulative investment opportunities for the investors who have money in their hands & looking for safe & secure investment. The Hash Mall is the region’s premier family-oriented Shopping Mall, Dine-in & entertainment hub to enhance the living standard of the people as you ever dream. This elite project is quite an attraction & adds value to the heart of Bahria.
فیڈرل بورڈ آف ریونیو (ایف بی آر) امپورٹڈ فونز پر محصولات میں 50 فیصد تک کمی لانے کے لئے تیار ہے۔ اس سلسلے میں سمری وزارت خزانہ کو ارسال کردی گئی ہے۔ اس کا کہنا ہے کہ اس اقدام کا مقصد عام آدمی کو ریلیف فراہم کرنا ہے۔
PTA Tax Calculator
ایف بی آر کا خیال ہے کہ ایسا کرنے سے مجموعی طور پر وصولی پر کوئی اثر نہیں پڑے گا کیونکہ کم فرائض سے لوگوں کو پاکستان میں زیادہ موبائل درآمد کرنے کی ترغیب ملے گی۔
“ڈیوٹی / ٹیکس میں اس کمی سے پاکستان میں موبائلوں کی درآمدی مقدار میں اضافے کی توقع کی جارہی ہے ،” سمری نے کہا ، اس سے اس پیمائش کے بصورت دیگر منفی اثرات کو کسی حد تک بے اثر کردیا جائے گا۔
گذشتہ بجٹ میں حکومت نے موبائل فون پر ڈیوٹی اور ٹیکس کم کیا تھا۔
100 to سے 200 of تک کی حدود میں موجود ہینڈسیٹس پر ریگولیشن ڈیوٹی میں 50 فیصد تک کمی کی تجویز ہے۔ یہاں ، موجودہ RD کی شرح Rs. 2،430 روپے آدھے سے زیادہ کم کرکے Rs. 1200۔
اسی طرح $ 200 اور اس سے زیادہ 350 ڈالر تک مالیت کے اسمارٹ فونز کی ریگولیٹری ڈیوٹی میں 500 روپے کا مادہ کم کیا جائے گا۔ 740 ، جبکہ Rs. phones 350 سے اوپر اور $ 500 سے کم فون پر 4500 کی کمی ہوگی۔Mobile Phones (C&F Value in USD) Existing RD (Rs) Proposed RD (Rs) Upto 30 165 165 Above 30 and upto 100 1620 1000 Above 100 and upto 200 2430 1200 Above 200 and upto 350 3240 2500 Above 350 and upto 500 9450 5000 Above 500 16650 9000
PTA Tax Calculator
مزید تفصیلات کے لئے ، نیچے دیا گیا ٹیبل ملاحظہ کریں:
مزید یہ کہ ایف بی آر نے امپورٹڈ استعمال شدہ کپڑوں اور پالئیےسٹر فائبر پر بھی کم ڈیوٹی تجویز کی ہے۔
As social marketing experts, we’ve been asked so many time this question by clients.
“So Google Ads vs Facebook Ads"
1. Which is better for my business?”
And almost every time we have a similar response – it depends!
Google and Facebook are great, and yes one can be better than the other depending on your business, your audience, and your goals. Let’s take a look, shall we?
The Most common Debate on Google Ads vs Facebook Ads
We understand that small businesses often have a low marketing budget and deciding where to use their ad spend money can be extremely challenging. Let alone completely understanding the difference between Google Ads vs Facebook Ads. Which is why we are taking it upon ourselves to solve and put out some clarity to this debate once and for all. And in the process, help fellow business owners decide which one gets the best return on their marketing investment.
Before jumping straight to the part where we tell you which of them one gets you a far better ROI within the epic battle of Google Ads vs Facebook Ads, let’s start by watching a number of the most differences between the 2 .
What are Google Ads?
The advances in technology over the years has given us as marketers and even consumers more choices than we could have possibly imagined in our lifetime. As a result, it’s changed how we discover , deliver, and receive information. it’s even changed the way to buy and buy products today.
One such internet company who has not only embraced change but helped cultivate it’s Google. Founded in 1998, Google may be a program that’s employed by nearly 70% of online users to look for love or money and everything under the sun. Literally. Thousands of best results concerning products, tips, videos, local businesses and far more during a fraction of a second. Google today processes quite 40,000 search queries every second, quite 3 billion per day and a touch over a trillion per annum . And it’s shown this consistent growth since the first 2000. Imagine how this has and can still change the advertising landscape.
Formerly referred to as Google AdWords, Google Ads has become one among the world’s largest and hottest pay per click advertising platforms. Meaning advertisers on this platform only pay when a user clicks on their ad. Other search engines use similar techniques for his or her advertising platforms also . But Google is so commonly employed by consumers and advertisers alike the term paid search is most famously related to Google Ads.
The image above shows a fast Google search of house cleaners near me. Notice how all of the listings are marked with a green “Ad” label to the left of the listing or “Sponsored” within the top right corner of the screen. Google not only showed me ads most relevant to my search query, they also showed me relevant results supported my location.
Now that you simply understand a touch more of what Google Ads are, take a moment to observe this clip from one among our staff experts as he explains a preview of Google Ads vs Facebook Ads.
What are Facebook Ads?
If Google Ads are popularly mentioned as paid search, then Facebook Ads most definitely are given the title of paid social. Changing consumer behaviors and patterns have undeniably given rise to social media giants that permit consumers connect with their friends, voice concerns about their experiences, and have interaction with topics and businesses they like.
In a previous article, we explained why business owners got to include Facebook advertising in their marketing plans. We highlight how Facebook has become the social powerhouse today with 2.27 billion monthly active users (and counting).
Setting an example for why Facebook ads are so popular among advertisers and business owners. Boasting such impressive user data, it’s of no surprise that last year alone, Facebook Ads accounted for 25% of all online ad spend.
Probably the most important advantage of Facebook over Google is that the incontrovertible fact that it knows our social behavior. We might not be fully conscious of it but we subconsciously reveal information on Facebook about ourselves quite what we shall .
Yes, Facebook collects tons of knowledge . Maybe quite you even realize. The pages you wish , topics you engage in, your friends, your birth date, your current location, your vacation in 2018 then on. Imagine what value can such a knowledge bank created for advertisers looking to focus on specific users. And these emotions, our behavior and what we like features a huge impact on our purchasing decision.
Introducing…(drumroll please)…Facebook Ads!
The below graphic shows Facebook Ads targeting options available to advertisers.
facebook custom audience
For this reason alone, Facebook Ads remain popular among many small business owners as they provide the power to pinpoint your target customer and only advertise to people that are literally likely to get your product or service.
Another example of this is often with Facebook Google Search. you’ll have seen some ads on Facebook for products or services that you simply had previously researched, and located yourself asking, “how does Facebook know what I searched on Google?” Facebook itself doesn’t know this information, however, if a business is partnered with or connected to Facebook, then that data are often wont to wont to show their ads on your Facebook feed.
This amount of specificity are some things that not many advertising platforms can provide, a minimum of not in as great of detail.
facebook google search ad example
Schedule a consult our digital experts today to ascertain how (not if) Facebook ads will help solve your business objectives.
Google Ads vs Facebook Ads – How They Work
What’s the difference between Facebook Ads and Google Ads? the most difference is how products/services are shown to consumers. Facebook shows ads to users supported their interests, while Google shows relevant ads to those that are specifically checking out a product. In simple terms, Facebook tends to specialise in brand outreach, while Google focuses on lead conversion.
Let’s explore both during a little more detail.
Google Ads with its paid search based offerings, lets business owners target users supported the search query they enter on Google, also referred to as keywords. Primarily text based, these ads are aimed toward showing relevant promoted results to users which will help them in their search further.
From a user’s point of view, once they perform a Google look for a specific keyword, they’re shown pages of leads to usually but one second. But at the beginning of every search result page, the initial few listings (the ones with the tag “Ad” on them as seen below) are the promoted listings that advertisers have paid to showcase when that specific keyword is searched.
From an advertiser’s point of view, the Google Ad platform lets them create campaigns which will only appear when users search a keyword that they need to advertise for. For a good more targeted approach, local businesses can target people checking out their keywords in specific geographical area . That way they don’t waste paid clicks on a customer in Wyoming who will probably never visit their mechanic shop in Florida.
Once these campaigns are found out , your ads enter a bidding round with advertisers who have selected similar keywords. and eventually , Google will show the ad that has the very best bid and with the foremost relevant content. Of course, there’s a military of tools Google provides to line up these campaigns but these are the fundamentals you would like to understand .
Facebook Ads on the opposite hand, allows you to target your ad to people supported the behaviors and patterns you select as a targeting profile on its platform. Unlike Google Ads, it’s not supported a user’s search query. Not only does it provide a good range of targeting options supported demographics, it also lets an advertiser target users supported their behaviors, likes, and dislikes.
For these reasons, you would like to form sure you truly know your customer. If you would like help figuring this out, one among our social media advertising experts can put together a customer avatar profile for you.
The below image shows an example of the various ad formats available in Facebook Ads. Choose different display formats (image, video, carousel) and placements.
What Exactly is that the ROI for Google Ads vs Facebook Ads? How can we Determine It?
There was a time when traditional channels like print ads were the go-to-market strategy for business owners. counting on mass communications in local newspapers then hoping that somebody sees their ad and visits them to form a sale . Not knowing needless to say how effective their recent advertising campaign was.
We have come an extended way from those times and today business owners and advertisers have advanced digital tools at their disposal. The newer advertising technologies lets them promote their businesses in several ad formats all while targeting specific customers.
It gets better…
Computer science and data analytics has made it possible to trace these campaigns and count conversions right down to the very hour that they occur. it’s wonderful how advertising platforms tag each and each visit to your website that happen through the ads. Further, the tag follows them even while they create a sale or bounce off. This level of detail means there’s more data than ever before to assist you optimize your campaign’s performance.
We at as Marketing, have technical experts that love taking over this challenge. We track conversions on a day to day and inform business owners how their campaigns are performing.
Moreover, we also help our clients put codes and scripts on their websites that capture website visitors. We then create remarketing campaigns on both Google Ads and Facebook Ads targeting people that have visited our website landing pages before. the power to retarget those past visitors is when the important ROI gets rolling. Because now, you’re not only sending out touches to users once and hoping that they purchase from you. Instead, you’re retargeting everyone who visited your website but didn’t convert.
Testing Google Ads vs Facebook Ads
So, which one finally generates a far better ROI? And make a tough choice simple.
For a business owner, the talk on Facebook Ads vs Google Ads boils right down to one thing and one thing only – which of the 2 choices will provide the foremost profit? and that we completely understand that.
For this reason, we decided to conduct a test of our own then let our opinions be known. The test subject we began to review was an area gym business. The client came to us with the first business objective of accelerating memberships to the gym. And a secondary objective of accelerating awareness of his new business.
We found out two campaigns and ran them for 30 days to measure the marketplace for the merchandise before we presented our recommendations. The below two tables is what our campaigns achieved at the top of this trial period .
We first checked out the Facebook campaign. It did great! Exceeded our client’s expectations, even. By getting over 103 membership purchases and quite 150K impressions we thought we had a transparent winner during this test. Further, it helped achieve this at a price per conversion of $11. Not bad, right? The client was blown away with the results and was happy to continue the Facebook ad campaign knowing these results could only improve over time.
Next up, we checked out the Google Ads we had created. Not only did it spend but what we had found out the campaign to spend, it also helped us get quite 200 memberships at the speed of only $4 per conversion. We found some pretty interesting data points to optimize our campaigns further. By the top of the test, our Google Ads had been seen by users specifically checking out gym memberships. We knew they might become lifelong customers. These sorts of results during the invention phase are an excellent indication of what sort of ads work best for our client.
The campaign found out and infrastructure are often overwhelming. But trust us, we’ve been doing this for a short time now (8 years to be precise). and that we skills to urge you the results you would like . Get a free consultation with our digital marketing experts today to ascertain how you’ll get the simplest return on your investment.
If you’re still trying to make a decision between Google Ads vs Facebook Ads, our experienced staff knows just the way to make that call . We don’t promise overnight success, but we’ll scale business opportunities for you and obtain you the higher ROI you crave.
Our Recommendation within the Google Ads vs Facebook Ads Debate
If the judgement goes to be supported return on the particular investment dollars spent, Google Ads has often proved to be the undisputed king. the very fact that we managed to realize more purchases all by utilizing a lesser ad spend, goes on to point out the effectiveness of Google Ads in terms of ROI.
The answer might surprise some but from what we saw through this test, just reconfirmed what we’ve believed for a short time . If you’re a replacement business and wish to form a tough choice supported getting more sales immediately , a lead campaign on Google will provide you with the higher return on investment, supported a sales outcome.
Even though Google Ads generally require a bigger advertising budget, they also require experience. Google wants to deliver the simplest to its user, so you’ve got to deliver an equivalent . the standard of your ad and website content instead of the ad spend may be a significant Google ranking factor when it involves ad bidding wars and your ads being shown over the competition. to form sure you’re the triple threat you would like to be, we highly suggest working with workplace who has advertising experts in your industry.
So with all of this being said, if you’re a replacement business with an honest budget and an easy goal, Google Ads could be the simplest option for you when trying to find an easy answer within the battle of Google Ads vs Facebook Ads.
The Flip Side to Our Recommendation in Google Ads vs Facebook Ads
Facebook Advertising beyond a doubt should be at the middle of a business owner’s marketing plan. Especially when it involves his/her paid social strategy. Not only does it offer you a deeper insight into your audiences’ social behaviors, but also allows you to grow a social community around your business.
One that we all know is that the most vital factor for business growth – word of mouth. No other advertising platform has greater power when it involves creating communities and fan experiences around businesses like Facebook does.
The return on investment from Facebook Ads is far deeper than something are often measured by dollar amount alone. We all know the large potential of the channel and the way big of a crowd puller it are often . that creates its advertising platform a force to be reckoned with.
As we said, every business is different.
With different products and unique customer profiles.
This means what might work for one business owner, won’t for an additional . this is often certainly true once you are judging your return on investment in advertising.
Talk to our team today to ascertain how different ad platforms fit into your business and find out how we will get you a far better return on your investment.
Our Final Verdict
Sure, we had a transparent winner during this particular debate. But the larger debate of paid search vs paid social is clearly one that needs tons of testing with many various variables. We also understand that the solution isn’t always as simple because the one we discussed today. the selection depends on various factors like your business objectives, your business type or your customer audience. All have an equal role to play within the success of a campaign and therefore the ROI achieved.
The choice might not always be clear. But we often recommend business owners to seem beyond ROI and consider judging campaigns supported the entire value they carry to your business – even within the case of Google Ads vs Facebook Ads. Value are often anything from building brand awareness to reaching potential customers or getting more leads, conversions, and purchases.
We want to wrap it up and leave you with the subsequent thought:
Google Ads will assist you find new customers directly and within the process, offer you a moment return on your marketing investment. While Facebook Ads will help new customers find and explore you. And this manner offer you a far better ROI within the end of the day .
Interested to find out more or discuss your thoughts? inspect these related articles or drop a comment below to start out a discussion.
Mobile Phones Taxes in Pakistan Calculator: You can Find Out Exact Tax/Customs Rates in Pakistan.Device (Mobile Model) Tax Payable (PKR) Apple iPhone 6 (32GB) Rs. 20,800 Apple iPhone 6 (64GB) Rs. 22,680 Apple iPhone 6 (128GB) Rs. 25, 430 Apple iPhone 6S Plus (16GB) Rs. 21,529 Apple iPhone 6S Plus (32GB) Rs. 25,430 Apple iPhone 6S Plus (64GB) Rs. 28,767 Apple iPhone 6S Plus (128GB) Rs. 30,036 Apple iPhone 7 (32GB) Rs. 25,430 Apple iPhone 7 (64GB) Rs. 28,438 Apple iPhone 7 (128GB) Rs. 30,036 Apple iPhone 7 (256GB) Rs. 34,715 Apple iPhone 7 Plus (32GB) Rs. 31,000 Apple iPhone 7 Plus (128GB) Rs. 37,564 Apple iPhone 8 (64GB) Rs. 34,339 Apple iPhone 8 (128GB) Rs. 37,182 Apple iPhone 8 Plus (128GB) Rs. 38,663 Apple iPhone 8 Plus (256GB) Rs. 45,854 Apple iPhone X (64GB) Rs. 48,157 Apple iPhone X (128GB) Rs. 55,066 Apple iPhone XR (64GB) Rs. 41,248 Apple iPhone XR (128GB) Rs. 43,551 Apple iPhone XR (256GB) Rs. 48,157 Apple iPhone XS (64GB) Rs. 52,810 Apple iPhone XS (256GB) Rs. 59,719 Apple Iphone XS (512GB) Rs. 68,931 Apple iPhone XS Max (64GB) Rs. 57,416 Apple iPhone XS Max (256GB) Rs. 64,325 Apple iPhone XS Max (512GB) Rs. 73,537
PTA Mobile Tax List 2020 Pakistan Updates
Apple (iPhone Devices) Tax on Apple phones in Pakistan
iPhone Tax Calculator
Samsung: Tax on Samsung phones in Pakistan
Nokia: Tax on Nokia phones in Pakistan
Disclaimer: All Taxes & Duties mentioned above are approximate and the amounts may vary between 5% to 10%
How to Calculate Mobile Phone Tax & Duty (Formula):
If you have a device, which is not listed above in the table. Then no worries, as you can calculate the tax & duty of the device that you are bringing in by following simple formula (step-by-step guide) given in the table.
This formula applies on every cell phone and you will need to pay the amount if you are importing mobile device through Aliexpress or any other ECommerce website. Please find the details below on how to calculate tax & duties of any mobile phone that you are bringing in to Pakistan:
Customs Duty Rs. 250 (Fixed Amount)
Regulatory Duty (Based on Phone Price in USD)
= $1 to $60
= Rs. 250/-$61 to $130
= 10% Of Mobile Price$130+
= 20% of the Price of the device
Sales TaxRs. 1500 Additional Sales Tax 3% Fixed IT Duty 9%
Mobile Levy (Based on Phone Price in PKR)
Mobile between Rs. 10,000 to 40,000 = Rs. 1,000
Mobile Price between Rs. 40,000 to 80,000 = Rs. 3,000Mobile
Price Over Rs. 80,000 = Rs. 5,000 Provincial Tax 0.9%
Amazon says it will produce hundreds of thousands of face shields for medics and sell them at cost price in the US.
The internet giant said engineers from its drone and hardware divisions had been tasked with developing the product.
At first, it will sell them to healthcare professionals, before making them available to all Amazon customers.
Amazon is not the first major US firm to use its resources to produce personal protective equipment (PPE).
Apple began sending face shields to hospitals in March. Space X, HP and Ford also used their manufacturing resources to make and donate face shields and other types of protective equipment.
Amazon said that it had donated 10,000 face shields in the US and was “on track” to deliver a further 20,000.
But its plan to sell them at low prices on its website will make them available to the general public, something other firms have not done.
A look on Amazon’s marketplace on Thursday showed face shields sold by independent sellers were priced between $12 (£9.80) and $35.
Once Amazon makes its mask available to all its customers, it could drive the price down significantly.
The online retail giant has faced criticism for undercutting the prices of independent retailers on its sites, but anti-trust experts say its efforts to help in this crisis will likely offset those concerns.
“People who are concerned about Amazon’s predatory behaviour might be concert but more people will be happy Amazon is making sure these are lower cost at a time of crisis,” said Michael Kades, director of markets and competition at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth.
The company said it based its designs on a face shield developed by a community of 3D printing enthusiasts in Washington.
After making some changes, its designs had been approved by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Image copyright Amazon
Image caption 3D printed headbands designed to work with face shields that will be distributed to healthcare professionals
Engineers from Amazon’s drone division specialising in hardware design created a new design within a week that improved the quality of the materials to allow them to be reusable and added an enhanced snap feature to keep the shield in-place to make them safer.
The engineers also amended the geometry of the shields to reduce sharp edges that could snag clothing or hair, thinned the forehead band to reduce pressure on a person’s forehead, and drastically improved print time making them quicker to manufacture.
Amazon’s Brad Porter wrote in a blog post: “Because of the design innovations and the capabilities of our supply chain, we are confident we will be able to list them at a significantly lower price - almost a third of the cost - than all other reusable face shields currently available to frontline workers.”
The internet giant is also making its designs - known as the origami design and brimmed design - open source so that the shields could be 3D printed by anyone.
Both the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the British Standards Institution (BSI) have warned that homemade and 3D printed face shields do not always protect healthcare workers’ faces from exposure to the coronavirus.
But the global shortage of PPE has led to an increasing number of frontline medical workers crafting homemade equipment.
Amazon did not say whether it would provide the masks to workers at its warehouse who have reported a lack of safety equipment during the coronavirus pandemic.
LOCKDOWN UPDATE: What’s changing, where?
SCHOOLS: When will children be returning?
EXERCISE: What are the guidelines on getting out?
THE R NUMBER: What it means and why it matters
LOOK-UP TOOL: How many cases in your area?
KARACHI: Last week, Facebook appointed 20 people from round the world to serve on what is going to effectively be the social media network’s “Supreme Court” for speech, issuing rulings on what quite posts are going to be allowed and what should be taken down.
The list features a former prime minister, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, and a number of other constitutional law experts and rights advocates, including the Pakistani lawyer and founding father of Digital Rights Foundation (DRF), Nighat Dad.
The creation of an oversight board by a social media company isn’t only a primary for internet regulation, but also for Pakistan because the country is now on the worldwide tech map with Ms Dad’s inclusion.
While it’s set a replacement model for accountability on content management, to what extent will it shape the company’s policies?
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Selection of cases
The board will give users an opportunity to appeal against any wrongful removal of their content on Facebook and Instagram. Although, the board will only review a fraction of these appeals as a user must first exhaust Facebook’s appeals before they will involve the board.
According to the board’s leadership, the panel will specialise in the “most challenging” content issues for Facebook, including in areas like hate speech, harassment and protecting people’s safety and privacy.
Oversight board will issue rulings on what quite posts are going to be allowed and what should be taken down
Besides user appeals, it’ll even be ready to hear cases that are referred by Facebook. Facebook will directly refer cases to the board that are significant and difficult.
Significant, as defined within the bylaws, means the content in question involves real-world impact and issues that are important for public discourse.
Difficult means the content raises questions on current policies or their enforcement, with strong arguments on each side for either removing or leaving up the content under review. The board has sole discretion to simply accept or reject cases that are referred through this process.
Facebook has long faced criticism for high-profile content moderation issues, including removal of pro-Kashmir posts, hate speech in Myanmar against the Rohingya and other Muslims.
Recently, the corporate included guidelines on pandemic content to its list of community standards. However, with the platform now relying largely on automated moderation, anti-vaccine activists and conspiracy theorists have already become adept at gaming the platform’s rules.
Unless its policies and moderation improve, the board is a smaller amount likely to cause major change because the final judgment are going to be in accordance with Facebook’s community standards.
Another challenge limiting its efforts is that the global scale at it which it operates. Facebook said the board members chosen collectively have lived in additional than 27 countries and speak a minimum of 29 languages.
Globally, there are 2.5 billion people using the platform in additional than 100 languages.
Regulation in Pakistan
It is important to say that not all content are often submitted to the board for its review.
The board’s decisions are going to be binding “unless implementation could violate the law”, Facebook said.
This is the only reason why the board’s addition is a smaller amount likely to vary much for internet regulation in countries with repressive cyber laws, like Pakistan.
During the primary half 2019, Pakistan reported the very best volume of content (31 per cent) to Facebook.
In its transparency report, Facebook said it restricted 5,690 items within Pakistan. None of the 5,690 items from the Facebook’s transparency report were removed for violating its content policies but under Pakistan’s cybercrime law.
The government has also introduced the web Citizens Protection (Against Online Harm) Rules, 2020.
Under the new rules, social media platforms are going to be required to get rid of any ‘unlawful content’ acknowledged to them in writing or electronically signed email within 24 hours, and in emergency cases within six hours. With the web harm rules in effect, if as an example , the authority now specifies 2,000 items to Facebook for removal, the platform are going to be required to completely suits it.
“Ultimately, Facebook has got to respect local law in every country it operates in, so governments are liberal to introduce laws and Facebook, and therefore the board, would need to follow those laws,” a spokesperson for the overview board told Dawn.
Account suspensions not included
Initially, the board will only review individual pieces of content, like specific posts, photos, videos and comments on Facebook and Instagram.
The scope will expand within the future to incorporate other forms of content, for instance content that has been left up, also as pages, profiles, groups or events.
Last year, Facebook removed 103 pages, groups and accounts on both Facebook and Instagram as a part of a network that originated in Pakistan. during a blogpost on the takedown, Facebook said it had found that the network was linked to employees of Pakistani military.
The spokesperson said the accounts and pages removed over ‘coordinated inauthentic behaviour’ on Facebook won’t be reviewed by the panel for now as Facebook already partnered with “independent people” to review and document its CIB enforcement actions and therefore the results were an outcome of weeks or months of investigations by its teams.
According to the board, members don’t represent individual countries when making decisions.
Each case identified by the board’s case-selection committee are going to be assigned to a five-member panel, four picked randomly from the board at large and one “from among those board members who are from the region which the content primarily affects”.
“A five-member panel will deliberate over a case of content implicating Pakistan would come with a minimum of one member from Central and South Asia, though this might not necessarily be Nighat Dad,” a board spokesperson told Dawn.
As a part of vetting, new board members (including Ms Dad) are required to disclose any potential conflicts of interest, the board added.
Regarding Ms Dad’s advocacy in Pakistan, the spokesperson said the DRF founder will not be advocating with Facebook on to take specific policy positions and can also not have an avenue for escalating content to the corporate as a digital rights activist, it said.
“That said, others at Digital Rights Foundation (DRF), will remain engaged with Facebook — completely break away Nighat and her work on the Oversight Board,” the OB representative added.
HONG KONG: Facebook has apologised for its role within the deadly communal unrest that shook Sri Lanka two years ago after an investigation found that hate speech and rumours spread on the platform may have led to violence against Muslims.
The riots in early 2018 erupted as anti-Muslim anger was whipped abreast of social media, forcing the Sri Lankan government to impose a state of emergency and block access to Facebook.
The tech giant commissioned a search into the part it’s going to have played, and investigators said incendiary content on Facebook may have led to violence against Muslims.
“We deplore the misuse of our platform,” Facebook said during a statement to Bloomberg News after the findings were released on Tuesday. “We recognise, and apologise for, the very real human rights impacts that resulted.” a minimum of three people were killed and 20 injured within the 2018 unrest, during which mosques and Muslim businesses were burned, mainly within the central a part of the Sinhalese Buddhist-majority nation.
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The hate speech and rumours spread on Facebook “may have led to ‘offline’ violence”, consistent with Article One, the human rights consultancy hired to conduct the investigation.
Germany’s forthcoming coronavirus contact-tracing app will trigger alerts only if users test positive for Covid-19.
That puts it at odds with the NHS app, which instead relies on users self-diagnosing via an on-screen questionnaire.
UK health chiefs have said the questionnaire is a key reason they are pursuing a “centralised” design despite privacy campaigners’ protests.
Germany ditched that model in April.
And on Wednesday Chancellor Angela Merkel said there would be a “much higher level of acceptance” for a decentralised approach, which is designed to offer a higher degree of anonymity.
Image copyright EPA
Image caption Germany’s chancellor believes a decentralised app will be more popular
Automated contact tracing uses smartphones to register when their owners are in close proximity for significant amounts of time.
If someone is later found to have the virus, a warning can be sent to others they may have infected, telling them to get tested themselves and possibly go into quarantine.
In the centralised model, the contact-matching happens on a remote computer server.
And the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre has said this will enable it to catch attackers trying to abuse the self-diagnosis system.
By contrast, the decentralised version carries out the process on the phones themselves.
And there is no central database that could be used to re-identify individuals and reveal with whom they had had spent time.
BBC News technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones said: "The NHS is taking a big gamble in choosing to alert app users when they have been in contact with someone who has merely reported symptoms.
“It could make the app fast and effective - or it could mean users become exasperated by a blizzard of false alarms.”
Ms Merkel said SAP and Deutsche Telekom - which are co-developing Germany’s app - were waiting for Google and Apple to release a software interface before they could complete their work.
And BBC News has learned the two US technology companies plan to release the finished version of their API (application programming interface) as soon as Thursday.
Details of Germany’s Corona-Warn-App published on the code-sharing site Github say it depends solely on medical test results to “avoid misuse”.
Media captionWatch: What is contact tracing and how does it work?
Those who test positive will be given a verification code that must be entered into the app before it anonymously flags them as being a risk to others.
Germany has led the way in testing in Europe and currently has capacity to analyse about 838,000 samples per week.
The UK is catching up - but scientists advising the NHS say they can save more lives by also drawing on self-diagnosis data.
“Speed is of the essence,” Prof Christophe Fraser, of the Oxford Big Data Institute, said last week.
It can take several days to obtain Covid-19 test results.
And self-reported symptoms can be acted on instantly.
But an ethics advisory board advising Health Secretary Matt Hancock on the app has warned too many resulting “false positive alerts could undermine trust in the app and cause undue stress to users”.LOCKDOWN UPDATE: What's changing, where? SCHOOLS: When will children be returning? EXERCISE: What are the guidelines on getting out? THE R NUMBER: What it means and why it matters AIR TRAVELLERS: The new quarantine rules LOOK-UP TOOL: How many cases in your area? GLOBAL SPREAD: Tracking the pandemic RECOVERY: How long does it take to get better? A SIMPLE GUIDE: What are the symptoms?
The NHS is currently trialling its app on the Isle of Wight.
There have been reports of some suspected false alerts.
But a Department of Health spokeswoman said this had been expected.
“In a matter of days, more than 50,000 people have downloaded the app with overwhelmingly positive feedback,” she told BBC News.
“But as with all new technologies, there will be issues that need to be resolved in how it works, which is why it is being trialled before a national rollout.”
The NHS is also exploring use of the Apple-Google API, which would entail a switch to the decentralised model.
But it intends to offer users the centralised version first, unless plans to complete the rollout within a fortnight go awry.
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Norway’s data regulator is at odds with the country’s’ National Institute of Public Health about its contact-tracing app
One sticking point could be calls for limits on how the data is used - possibly requiring a new law.
That would avoid the risk of a repeat of the situation in Norway, where the local data protection watchdog has accused the country’s health authority of failing to carry out a proper risk assessment of a centralised contact-tracing app.
Social media and other websites will have just one hour to delete offending content under a new law passed by France’s parliament.
The one-hour deadline applies to content that French authorities consider to be related to terrorism or child sexual abuse.
Failing to act could result in fines of up to 4% of global revenue - billions of euros for the largest online firms.
But critics say the new law could restrict freedom of expression.
The new rules apply to all websites, whether large or small. But there are concerns that only internet giants such as Facebook and Google actually have the resources to remove content as quickly as required.
Digital rights group La Quadrature du Net said the requirement to take down content that the police considered “terrorism” in just one hour was impractical.
“If the site does not censor the content, for example because the report is sent on a weekend or overnight, the police can require [the whole site] to be blocked everywhere in France by internet service providers,” it said.
It said the power to decide what should be removed should not lie with the police but with judges.
Incitement to hatred
France’s new law reflects one proposed at the European Union level, where law-makers last year suggested a one-hour deadline for the removal of content.
But that proposal proved controversial and is currently in limbo.
France pushed ahead with its own version of the law despite the concerns in Europe.
Under the new French law, content judged to be illegal - but not relating to terrorism or child sexual abuse - will have to be taken down within 24 hours of notification.
That includes posts inciting hatred, violence, racism, and sexual harassment.
Failure to remove content could attract a fine of up to €1.25m (£1.1m).
France’s regulator, the Superior Council of the Audiovisual (CSA), will have the power to impose heftier fines of up to 4% of global turnover for continuous and repeated violations.UK plans social media and internet watchdog More powers for Ofcom to police social media firms
Laetitia Avia, the MP from President Macron’s LREM party who proposed the bill, said the law would protect victims, while reaffirming the country’s commitment to freedom of expression.
However, France’s Republicans party voted against the measure.
Member Constance Le Grip told the National Assembly that fighting online hatred could not come at the expense of freedom of expression.
Her colleague in the Senate Bruno Retailleau tweeted that the new law was “incompatible with respect for public freedoms”.
Facebook said it was working closely with French regulator CSA and others “on the implementation of this law”.
YouTube said it already tackled illegal content and welcomed any new partnership with governments.
Twitter’s head of public affairs in France, Audrey Herblin-Stoop, told Reuters that the company would continue to work with the government to fight illegal content and hate speech.
More than a quarter of the most-viewed coronavirus videos on YouTube contain “misleading or inaccurate information”, a study suggests.
In total, the misleading videos had been viewed more than 62 million times.
Among the false claims was the idea that pharmaceutical companies already have a coronavirus vaccine but are refusing to sell it.
YouTube said it was committed to reducing the spread of harmful misinformation.
The researchers suggested “good quality, accurate information” had been uploaded to YouTube by government bodies and health experts.
But it said the videos were often difficult to understand and lacked the popular appeal of YouTube stars and vloggers.
The study, published online by BMJ Global Health, looked at the most widely viewed coronavirus-related videos in English, as of 21 March.
After excluding duplicate videos, videos longer than an hour and videos that did not include relevant audio or visual material, they were left with 69 to analyse.
The videos were scored on whether they presented exclusively factual information about viral spread, coronavirus symptoms, prevention and potential treatments.
Videos from government agencies scored significantly better than other sources, but were less widely viewed.
Of the 19 videos found to include misinformation:
about a third came from entertainment news sources
national news outlets accounted for about a quarter
internet news sources also account for about a quarter
13% had been uploaded by independent video-makers
The report recommends that governments and health authorities should collaborate with entertainment news sources and social media influencers to make appealing, factual content that is more widely viewed.
YouTube said in a statement: "We’re committed to providing timely and helpful information at this critical time, including raising authoritative content, reducing the spread of harmful misinformation and showing information panels, using NHS and World Health Organization (WHO) data, to help combat misinformation.
"We have clear policies that prohibit videos promoting medically unsubstantiated methods to prevent the coronavirus in place of seeking medical treatment, and we quickly remove videos violating these policies when flagged to us. Now any content that disputes the existence or transmission of Covid-19, as described by the WHO and the NHS is in violation of YouTube policies. For borderline content that could misinform users in harmful ways, we reduce recommendations.
“We’ll continue to evaluate the impact of these videos on communities around the world.”
by Marianna Spring, specialist disinformation and social media reporter
In recent weeks, there has been an increase in highly polished videos promoting conspiracy theories being shared on YouTube - and they prove very popular.
So these findings - although concerning - are not surprising.
The accurate information shared by trusted public health bodies on YouTube tends to be more complex.
It can lack the popular appeal of the conspiracy videos, which give misleading explanations to worried people who are looking for quick answers, or someone to blame.
That includes videos such as Plandemic, which was widely shared online last week.
High-quality production values and interviews with supposed experts can make these videos very convincing. Often facts will be presented out of context and used to draw false conclusions.
And tackling this kind of content is a game of cat-and-mouse for social media sites.
Once videos gain traction, even if they are removed, they continue to be uploaded repeatedly by other users.
It is not just alternative outlets uploading misinformation either. Whether for views or clicks, the study suggests some mainstream media outlets are also guilty of spreading misleading information.
Major social networks are rushing to take down a new coronavirus conspiracy theory video which has rapidly spread across the internet.
The so-called “Plandemic” video is edited in the style of a documentary, with much higher production standards than many conspiracy videos.
The video is filled with medical misinformation about where the virus came from and how it is transmitted.
Despite efforts to remove it, users are constantly re-uploading the clip.
Since the 26-minute video first appeared earlier this week, it has exploded across YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other websites, prompting an attempt to remove it.
Among its claims are that the virus must have been released from a laboratory environment and could not possibly be naturally-occurring; that using masks and gloves actually makes people more sick; and that closing beaches is “insanity” because of “healing microbes” in the water.
Such claims are not supported by reliable medical and scientific advice.
The video also suggests that the number of deaths is being deliberately falsified, in order to exert control over the population.
Who spreads ‘fake news’?
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By Marianna Spring, specialist disinformation reporter
Scammers, pranksters and politicians have all been guilty of starting misleading rumours - but people passing themselves off as experts in videos like this one have become crucial to the spread of false claims.
Documentary-style films which promote conspiracy theories are increasingly popular, and a marked evolution from the dodgy medical advice being forwarded on WhatsApp at the start of the pandemic.
Slick production means videos often look quite credible initially - before promoting totally false claims. That makes them as dangerous - if not more so - than advice with a mix of truth and misleading medical myths.
The videos often get a lot more attention than content from trusted media outlets, and the controversial experts they feature have amassed their own fan bases. The misinformation they propagate usually serves to undermine information from trusted health bodies and authorities.
It’s a game of cat-and-mouse for social media sites like YouTube, since the same item can be uploaded again and again by different users.
The video has been viewed millions of times across multiple platforms. Facebook, YouTube, and Vimeo have all removed versions of it from their sites.
But such efforts may benefit the film-maker, who claims that there is a large-scale conspiracy to hide the truth.
In a post saying the 26-minute video is an excerpt from a future full-length documentary, he urges readers to download the video directly and re-post it elsewhere, “in an effort to bypass the gatekeepers of free speech”.
Since the pandemic began, the social networks have all had to adapt their content policies to deal with potentially dangerous misinformation.
Twitter said it would remove “unverified claims” that could prove dangerous, while Facebook has brought in new tools to point users towards reliable sources of information.
YouTube said it removes “medically unsubstantiated diagnostic advice”, and this video was removed for making claims about a cure for Covid-19, even though it is not backed by health organisations.
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When Kainat Naz joined a women-friendly technology camp a year ago, she had no idea it might completely change her life and her views on how women can add conservative Pakistan.
Naz, 22, had never ventured faraway from her range in Orangi Town in Karachi, one among the five largest slums of the planet , but was feeling dissatisfied together with her current teaching job.
So she signed up for a tech programme called TechKaro, an initiative by Circle — a social enterprise that aims to enhance women’s economic rights in Pakistan — and is now working full-time for a software company.
Naz said the course was challenging in some ways but she soon found that the ladies on the training were even as good because the men at tech skills like coding, web development and digital marketing, and also at presenting themselves at interviews. “From developing our CVs, to giving us recommendations on dressing for work, to conducting ourselves during an interview and the way to battle some sticky questions. We were groomed for everything,” said Naz.
Women structure about 25 per cent of Pakistan’s labour force, one among rock bottom within the region, consistent with the planet Bank.
It has set a target to extend this to 45pc, calling for more childcare and a crackdown on harassment to encourage more women bent work and boost economic process .
In Pakistan, women represent only 14pc of the IT workforce, consistent with a 2012 study by [email protected], the Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT and IT-enabled services (ITeS).
Gap within the market
Sadaffe Abid, chief executive of Circle, found out TechKaro with the assistance of a couple of private foundations in 2018 seeing this gender gap, and took on 50 trainees within the first year, of which 62pc were women and 75 in 2019, including 66pc women.
Abid, who previously worked for a micro-finance institution, said she was delighted that ladies like Naz were proving that ladies could achieve the tech world.
“I am a firm believer that one among the foremost powerful uses of technology is to bring it to young women, especially from under-served communities, to unlock their talents, resourcefulness and creativity,” said Abid.
“People told me I won’t find women, or women will drop call at high numbers, or after completing the course, women won’t find employment because the industry won’t be hospitable hiring this unique diverse group with no degree in computing .
But i might say 50pc of the graduates, a majority of whom are women, have found add software companies,” said Abid, who also brought She Loves Tech to Pakistan, one among the world’s largest women and startup competitions globally.
TechKaro is one among the newest programmes within the country aimed toward helping women crack the traditionally male domain. CodeGirls Pakistan, a Karachi-based camp , trains girls from middle and low-income families in coding and business skills.
In 2017, a six-week camp, SheSkills, taught women everything from web development and digital design to social media marketing.
After attending the TechKaro course, Naz found work earlier this year at an IT company earning double the salary she was getting as an educator but which meant leaving her neighbourhood, using conveyance , and dealing side-by-side with men.
“I had never ventured out on my very own and that i was dead scared the primary time I had to try to to it, but now it’s just fine,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in an interview by telephone from Orangi Town.
“The remainder of Karachi isn’t quite the large bad wolf I’d imagined it to be,” said Naz, who navigated an app-based transit startup to scale back her time period by two hours each day .
“It gave me tons of confidence once I asked my employers if they might have a drag with my wearing the niqab (a veil that fully covers the face) and that they said they were only curious about my work performance.”
Work from home
Naz said women trying to interrupt into new careers in Pakistan could face resistance not just within the workplace but reception .
The youngest of seven, she said she had the complete support of her mother, who doesn’t work, and her younger brother.
“But we had to cover this from my older brother, who is married and lives separately, as he was unhappy even with my working as an educator ,” she said.
She described the course of three-hour sessions held 3 times every week for eight months as gruelling but worthwhile.
She paid Rs500 a month for the course that involved 75 men and ladies and another Rs2,400 on bus fares to attend workshops after mornings of teaching, and sometimes spent three to four hours on homework in the dark .
“I had thought men would be better at this, but once I was within the thick of things, I realised that wasn’t the case. Anyone can learn, if they put their mind thereto ,” she said.
A month since the lockdown was announced thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, Naz is functioning remotely.
“We use Zoom and Google Hangout for meetings and our tasks are placed on Trello,” she said, comfortable with the technology.
With no time period or transport costs, she is enjoying performing from home.
“For those women whose families don’t allow them to exit of their homes, this type of labor would be ideal. All you would like may be a computer and therefore the internet,” she said.
Abid said TechKaro has continued its work during the coronavirus lockdown by going “fully digital” so women can still learn tech skills from home.
“We have received applications from all across Pakistan,” she said. “Our aim is to scale this up to thousands of young women for in their success is Pakistan’s prosperity.”tech
he traditional commute may never be the same again once people return to work after lockdown in what is likely to be an era of social distancing.
It’s a particularly big problem for workers in the UK’s largest cities.
One recent report warned that maintaining a 2m (6ft 6in) distance between Tube passengers in London, for example, would reduce its capacity to 15% of normal levels, and buses to 12%.
But if more people take to the streets, will the road network cope?
“If in big cities we are to have a radical shift to bicycles, scooters, other ways of getting about, that would require a sudden and radical change in road use,” said Prof Tony Travers from the London School of Economics.
“You have to move people quickly through streets and the easiest place to do that is main roads. But they are used by buses, taxis, delivery vehicles and other essential vehicles. Changing road use doesn’t happen quickly.”
The use of public transport would also need to be staggered, with “rush hour peaks” lasting perhaps for five-hour stretches, and spaces being allocated, Prof Travers suggested.
Previous experience suggests this would not be an easy change to bring about.
“Public transport operators have spent decades trying to get users to spread the rush hour,” he said.
“It would be hard to do this voluntarily. You would have to have some degree of people, in effect, being allocated slots.”
It would also have knock-on consequences for other aspects of daily life.
“Will cafes, bars and restaurants need relaxed licensing laws so they can be open for longer? How about parents with children who need to collect them from school?” he said.
“It has profound implications for how businesses work.”
So - what is the best alternative?
They’re largely banned on UK public roads and pavements, but e-scooter sales have doubled year-on-year for Somerset-based retailer Pure Electric.
It sold 135 e-scooters in a single day last week, and 11,500 last year.
“Electrification is coming - it’s a low cost, low impact transport,” says chief executive Adam Norris. His firm also sells e-bikes.
Mr Norris’s UK-wide best-selling e-scooter is the M365 from Chinese budget brand Xiaomi.
They have a speed cap of 15km/h (10mph) and he suggests they’re ideal for journeys of around two to four miles, with e-bikes taking a slightly longer haul.
E-scooters are a common sight in many cities around the world including Paris and LA but officially in the UK they are only allowed on private land.
Image copyright Pure Electric
Image caption Adam Norris says e-scooter sales have doubled year-on-year
The government was planning a public consultation prior to the pandemic but campaigners have long warned of the dangers to both pedestrians and riders.
In 2019 TV presenter Emily Hartridge, 35, was riding an electric scooter when she was killed in a collision with a lorry in south London.
However, Mr Norris thinks a change in the law is “logical” following the rise in consumer demand, and he believes that with sensible precautions such as high-vis clothing and newer models with larger wheels to tackle potholes, safety can be improved.
“Safety is important,” he said. “But if they limit all e-scooters to the same speed as electric bikes, what’s the difference?”
Analyst Carolina Milanesi, from Creative Futures, thinks even with the right legislation in place, people may be less likely to want to hire electric vehicles, a service offered by firms like Lime and Bird.
“I am not sure if e-bikes and scooters are necessarily the way people will go unless they invest in them themselves, rather than using hire services which would require them to clean them when they get them,” she said.
Take your own car
Anthony Eskinazi runs the platform Just Park, which lets people offer their parking spaces up for rent. He says the firm is considering turning its own 300 car parks into storage for scooters and bikes.
Image copyright Getty Images
He believes “the balance between congestion and convenience” may mean car owners won’t want to use individual vehicles for very long once traffic builds up.
“I think parking demand will surge after lockdown but it won’t be sustainable,” he said.
“People want a real alternative now. If the government can facilitate it we will see a boom in micro-mobility.”
Get a cab
By its own admission, lockdown has proved to be a challenging time for Uber, which says it is now “preparing for the next phase of recovery”.
Image copyright Getty Images
It is supplying PPE gloves and masks to all its drivers and is considering calls to pay them a small fee if they take time out between passengers to clean their vehicle interiors.
“I do wonder what the impact on Lyft and Uber will be,” said Carolina Milanesi.
“What will these companies have to disclose to grow trust that the driver or the passenger is safe?”
Uber might adapt a newly launched driver ID tool to ask drivers to upload selfies to prove they are wearing masks at work, it said.
The firm is also developing its own driverless car - but it was only allowed back on the roads in California two months ago following a fatal crash in 2018.
If all else fails, how about a flying taxi?
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Volocopter is one of hundreds of eVTOL aircraft under development
You might have problems hailing one. There are 175 drone taxi designs floating around (sorry) but as yet no regular service in any one country.
“I have been watching empty buses drive past for the last few weeks, and every time I think of how great it would be to provide small-scale public transport with robot taxis,” says Dr Steve Wright, associate professor in aerospace engineering at the University of the West of England.
"I really want these taxis to be flying ones too, but I think I am going to have to wait, as the coronavirus is probably going to hinder the Evtol [vertical take off and landing] revolution more than encourage it.
“The meltdown going on in the airlines is probably going to drag down the whole aviation industry.”
Tesla has applied to become an electricity supplier in the UK.
Best known for its electric cars, Elon Musk’s company also makes batteries that store renewable energy on both a domestic and an industrial scale.
And it has developed software, called Autobidder, that sells surplus electricity back to the grid.
It uses Autobidder at its Hornsdale Power Reserve, South Australia, but would not say if it planned to build similar large battery plants in the UK.
The application was lodged last Tuesday with the UK’s Gas and Electricity Markets Authority, for a licence to generate electricity to supply “any premises” in Great Britain.
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There has been lower demand for electricity during lockdown as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, with many factories and major businesses shut.
But electricity supply and demand has to be balanced within the grid for it to function.
The National Grid has said nobody should be concerned about power cuts, however, despite a report in the Times suggesting it was implementing emergency procedures.
“We have comprehensive plans in place to ensure we safely and securely manage the system at all times - including through this unprecedented period,” it said in a statement.
The US has seen foreign spy agencies carry out reconnaissance of research into a coronavirus vaccine, a senior US intelligence official has told the BBC.
Bill Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, said the US government had warned medical research organisations of the risks.
But he would not say whether there had been confirmed cases of stolen data.
UK security sources says they have also seen similar activity.
An international race is on to find a vaccine for Covid-19.
Researchers, companies and governments are all involved. And their efforts are simultaneously being protected by domestic spy agencies, while being targeted by foreign ones.
Mr Evanina’s organisation provides advice on countering the work of foreign intelligence agencies to the US government, businesses and academia.
“We have been working with our industry and government folk here very closely to ensure they are protecting all the research and data as best they can,” he said.
“We have every expectation that foreign intelligence services, to include the Chinese Communist Party, will attempt to obtain what we are making here.”
The US government is trying to aid work on a vaccine with a programme reportedly called Operation Warp Speed.
Whichever country discovers the first effective and safe formulation may be able to ensure its citizens are first to benefit.
“We’ve been in contact with every medical research organisation that is doing the research to be very, very vigilant,” Mr Evanina added.
“In today’s world there is nothing more valuable or worth stealing than any kind of biomedical research that is going to help with a coronavirus vaccine.”
In mid-April, an FBI official said there had been “some intrusions” into institutions working on Covid-related research.
Deputy assistant director Tonya Ugoretz said bio-medical data had long been “a priority target for cyber-espionage” and organisations publicly linked to work on the virus had become a “mark”.
Later in the month, the US assistant attorney general for national security, John Demers, said it would be “beyond absurd” to think China would not be interested in such details.LIVE: LIVE: Latest updates on the virus outbreak AVOIDING CONTACT: The rules on self-isolation and exercise HOPE AND LOSS: Your coronavirus stories LOOK-UP TOOL: Check cases in your area TESTING: Can I get tested for coronavirus?
Canada’s Centre for Cyber Security warned in March that “sophisticated threat actors may attempt to steal the intellectual property of organisations engaged in research and development related to Covid-19.”
US and Western spies are also likely to be interested in what is going on inside China, including any discrepancies over the death toll from Covid-19 as well as its research on vaccines and treatments.
There have also been ongoing concerns about the risks of cyber-attacks against health organisations, which could undermine their ability to respond to the outbreak.
Two hospitals in the Czech Republic reported experiencing cyber-attacks in April. This led to an unusual request from the US Secretary of State.
“We call upon the actor in question to refrain from carrying out disruptive malicious cyber-activity against the Czech Republic’s healthcare system or similar infrastructure elsewhere,” Mike Pompeo said in a statement.
“What if [they] are trying to kill off as many people as possible” reads one Facebook post.
“Eventually, these scum will release something truly nasty to wipe us all out, but first they have to train us to be obedient slaves” reads another.
A third: “Coronavirus is the newest Islamist weapon.”
Many of us by now will have seen something of the “infodemic” the World Health Organization (WHO) warned is swirling across society.
Whether popping into your online timeline or maybe forwarded by a relative, it would have been a rumour or revelation so eye-grabbing, so shockingly different from the norm, that they’re hard to ignore.
Image copyright Facebook
Yet while false claims about coronavirus have been hard to miss, the interests and ideologies underneath them have been far less visible.
Now, a co-investigation by BBC Click and the UK counter-extremism think-tank Institute of Strategic Dialogue, indicates how both extremist political and fringe medical communities have tried to exploit the pandemic online.
Chloe Colliver led the study: “We started doing this research because we were interested to look at the intersection of extremism and disinformation online,” she explained.
“We wanted to know how the coronavirus crisis was affecting those trends.”
First, researchers collected about 150,000 public Facebook posts sent by 38 far-right groups and pages since January.
They used keywords to spot the key themes of each post, and then algorithms to map what each group tended to speak about overall.
Researchers identified five communities, united by the topic of discussion:
The numbers, probably indicative rather than giving the full picture, show that for the first four of these, the scale of activity hadn’t increased in volume since the lockdown.
But while there weren’t more posts about immigration, for example, discussions about the topic had increasingly linked it to Covid-19.
It’s the same for the theme of Islam - the scale was constant, but more and more of the discussion had begun to explicitly link the virus to Muslims, claiming they were exempt from the lockdown, blaming them for its spread, and even hoping they would catch it.
But the fifth and largest community - the one concerning the “elites” - had shown a significant spike in activity during the lockdown.
Discussions included the relationship of these “elites” - like Jeff Bezos, the Rothschilds, George Soros and Bill Gates - to the “deep state”, and their alleged role in causing the pandemic.
The researchers discovered that along with tying it to “elites”, this community was more likely than any other to think the virus was engineered, over-hyped, or had an existing cure.
Image caption Disinformation has also been spread outside Facebook in chat rooms
“This was the big shift,” Colliver explained.
“Anti-elite conversations have escalated dramatically, especially driving home the idea the lockdown is a tool of social control.”
As they dug deeper into the posts, the researchers took note of many thousands of links directing users to fringe political and health websites.
Newsguard, a website-rating organisation, had identified 34 of them as having shared information about the coronavirus that was “materially false”.
“The key interests behind these websites were either fringe politics or fringe health, sometimes both wrapped up together” Ms Colliver continued.
What was surprising to the researchers, however, was the size: “The scale was humungous”.
Image copyright Facebook
They counted the total number of “interactions” - likes, shares, comments, and so on - which each public post on Facebook had received which contained a link to any of these 34 sites.
Over the same time period:
the WHO’s website received 6.2 million interactions
the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), received 6.4 million
TheEpochTimes.com, a news site whose advertising was banned by Facebook, and which was accused of covert inauthentic activity by both Facebook and Twitter last year, received more than 48 million interactions
The 34 websites together received more than 80 million interactions.
almost 150,000 interactions for HumansAreFree.com, which made claims that the “plandemic” had been prepared years before the outbreak
about 1.7 million interactions for RealFarmacy.com, which falsely claims that personal ultraviolet lamps are a safe remedy for coronavirus
“Interactions” do not imply agreement, and they were counted for each website overall, not exclusively for misinformation regarding coronavirus.
“We have removed a number of links shared by BBC Click for violating our policies on hate speech and the spread of harmful misinformation,” Facebook said in response to the study.
“Where a post does not violate our policies but is deemed by third party fact-checkers to be false, we reduce its distribution and show warning labels marking the post as false. When people see these warning labels, 95% of the time they do not go on to view the original content,” it said.
There are also plenty of other ways for the CDC and WHO to get their information out to audiences.
Recent research by the UK watchdog Ofcom suggests that most people learn about the virus from mainstream sources.
However, what the WHO has called an “infodemic” looks more like a parallel world, complete with social organisation, activism and gift shops.
It is one where fringe politics and fringe health have begun to mix. They both carry the idea that the lockdown isn’t about safety but about control, which they promise to “liberate” their followers from.
Given its size and energy, it is a world that also may represent a growing threat to the lockdown itself, and the medical and political consensus on which it is grounded.
YouTube has deleted the conspiracy theorist David Icke’s official channel from its platform.
The Google-owned video clip service acted after repeatedly warning Mr Icke that he had violated its policies by posting misleading information about the coronavirus pandemic.
However, the firm will still allow videos posted by others that feature Mr Icke to remain live, so long as their content does not break its rules.
It follows a similar ban by Facebook.
“YouTube has clear policies prohibiting any content that disputes the existence and transmission of Covid-19 as described by the WHO and the NHS,” a spokeswoman told the BBC.
“Due to continued violation of these policies, we have terminated David Icke’s YouTube channel.”
The channel had more than 900,000 subscribers at the time it was removed. The last clip Mr Icke had posted on Friday - about his Facebook ban - had about 120,000 views.
YouTube confirmed Mr Icke would not be allowed to start again by setting up a new channel.
Last month, a live-streamed interview with Mr Icke posted by another account prompted YouTube to ban all conspiracy theory videos falsely linking coronavirus symptoms to 5G mobile phone networks.
The tech firm subsequently went further by banning any material that:
suggests coronavirus does not exist
contains medically unsubstantiated diagnostic advice about the virus
explicitly disputes the efficacy of guidance about social distancing and self-isolation that has been issued by the WHO and/or local health authorities
Some civil rights groups have previously expressed concern about “growing online censorship around the coronavirus pandemic” by the major social networks.
“It is through a free forum of ideas that citizens understand, contextualise and trust information, not through harsh restrictions on information sharing,” they wrote to YouTube on 16 April.A SIMPLE GUIDE: How do I protect myself? AVOIDING CONTACT: The rules on self-isolation and exercise IMMUNITY: Can you catch the virus twice? HOPE AND LOSS: Your coronavirus stories LOOK-UP TOOL: Check cases in your area
But the latest move was welcomed by the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), a UK-based think tank.
It said that videos of Mr Icke discussing conspiracy theories had been viewed about 30 million times across social media.
“We commend YouTube on bowing to pressure and taking action on David Icke’s channel,” said CCDH’s chief executive Imran Ahmed.
“However, there remains a network of channels and shadowy amplifiers, who promote Mr Icke’s content [and] need to be removed.”
CCDH is now urging Twitter and Facebook’s Instagram to take similar action.
The world online has exploded into battle royale madness, with the launch of a few of giant games. One is Fortnite and therefore the other is PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, or PUBG to its friends.
We’ve talked about Fortnite separately: that game is analogous to PUBG, but Epic - the game’s developer - describes it as a cross between Minecraft and Left 4 Dead, as there is a building element thereto , which does not inherit PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
The important thing about these huge titles is that they’re now both mobile games - hence PUBG Mobile - also as being available across other platforms.
PUBG Mobile: The essential details
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Mobile game is published by Tencent Games and is out there for Android and iOS (i.e., iPhone).
The game is currently undergoing a phased roll-out, from 19 March 2018, but it’s a worldwide roll-out and it’s available within the UK and other territories on Android. The iOS version is additionally available.
You can find the Android version on Google Play and therefore the iOS version on the Apple App Store.
PUBG Mobile minimum requirements
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Mobile game may be a persistent online game, so you will need a connection to the web to play - be that via mobile network or Wi-Fi - but the lower the ping the higher .
The tech specs for Android are Android 5.1 and better and a minimum of 2GB of RAM. We’ve played on a Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and experienced no problems.
The iPhone version needs iOS 9.0 or later, so a full range of iPhone models back to iPhone 5s are supported and iPads back to iPad Mini 2, also as iPod touch 6-gen.
The game is PEGI 16 rated within the UK; Fortnite is PEGI 12 within the UK.
PUBG Mobile: the fundamentals of gameplay
Battle royale basically means all against all, a touch just like the Hunger Games where you begin with nothing and need to scavenge and collect weapons and equipment. the sport is ultimately a battle to the last player standing, with 100 players on an 8 x 8 km island.
There are three modes of play: solo, duo and squad, with the latter letting you team with three other players for a team of 4 . Each may be a little different with various pros and cons, the large pro of team play being that have people to support you, revive you and convey a component of co-operative tactics to the sport .
The game starts with you parachuting onto the sport island. On landing your mission is to collect everything you’ll to assist you win, from clothes to medical supplies to weapons, with a good range of weapons and modifications for those weapons.
Best PC games to shop for 2020: Fantastic games to feature to your collection
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The island may be a mixture of urban and rural environments, detailed within the map within the top right-hand corner of the sport , and therefore the full area is initially playable, but the play areas decreases in size as time progresses.
This forces the players closer along side ever decreasing circles, those left outside the safe play space will start to require damage and eventually die. the sport reaches its climax when the previous couple of players are condensed down into alittle space and one player or team emerges because the victor.
Each game can last up to about half-hour if you’re one among the last standing. Of course, you’ll die almost as soon as you’re on the bottom . Winner, winner, chicken dinner.
PUBG Mobile controls and knowledge
The Mobile game provides an equivalent gameplay elements because the PC and Xbox game, but uses on-screen controls. These are often customised for variety of various layouts and elements to suit the dimensions of your device or preferences.
You can also change the controls for driving vehicles within the game, of which there are variety of options.
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The gameplay is surprisingly good and smooth, although there’s a plus for those with bigger displays and more powerful phones. There are three graphics settings you’ll use and therefore the game will automatically select one. It’s advisable to shut down everything else, happen the brightness and volume for the simplest experience.
How much does PUBG Mobile cost?
The game itself is liberal to download and liberal to play. there’s a rewards system within the sport which will allow you to earn coins for your participation and completing various challenges - like login a day , travel a specific distance or survive a specific length of your time .
These coins can then be wont to buy items within the game - like clothing. Otherwise you’ve got to gather the clothing within the game and you begin in your underwear.
PUBG Mobile servers and problems
We’ve experienced some occasional game freezes which we expect are server side. As this is often a phased roll-out, there’s probably still some server optimisation happening . We’ve arrived within the Lobby to seek out it barren of players, wanting to back out and begin a replacement game to urge it to play.
We’ve also had freezes where the sport is unresponsive. Often it’s just an interruption that lasts about 3 seconds. there’s a ping monitor on the display and sometimes you will see an interruption within the game followed by the ping rising sharply, which might be right down to the house Wi-Fi network demands. Typically the sport runs smoothly with a reported 32ms average ping on our network.
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Excessive battery drain is to be expected. Not only is that this a demanding game graphically, but it needs the display on all the time which persistent connection. If you cannot play plugged in, then consider getting yourself an external battery pack.
Then there are the days that your teammates just run over you during a car and rather than getting bent revive you, they only run over you again and again until you’re dead. Sadly, we do not think anything can ever be done about people like that.
Iraq moves to ban online game PUBG for ‘inciting violence’
Iraq’s parliament on Wednesday voted unanimously to ban the popular but brutal online game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds for “inciting violence” in the war-torn country.
Often likened to the blockbuster book and film series “The Hunger Games”, PUBG game pits marooned characters against one another in a virtual fight to the death.
It is ubiquitous in Iraq, which has been ravaged by decades of consecutive conflicts — most recently the three-year battle against the Islamic State jihadist group.
On Wednesday, Iraqi lawmakers unanimously voted to block video games which “incite violence,” according to parliament’s spokesman.
Specifically naming PUBG and its rival Fortnite, among others, lawmakers said the games “threaten social security, morals, civics and education” in Iraq society.
They asked Iraq’s communications ministry and media commission to block access to the games, although a full ban will need approval by cabinet.
The vote came a week after powerful Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr appealed to young people to stop playing PUBG or watching football matches.
Iraqi media had, for months, alleged that addiction to playing PUBG had caused marital disputes and even divorces.