This Week In Tech And Telco: Huawei Makes Headlines Again

Happy FriYAY! 🙌and November. 🍂Autumn really is a picturesque season, isn’t it? Before you head out for the weekend, here’s what you need to know in the world of tech and telco.

OH.. before you read on... Have you checked out our podcast yet? 👇

Twitter to ban all political advertising

Twitter is banning all political advertising across the globe, saying that the reach of such messages "should be earned, not bought".

The move follows Facebook’s decision to do, well, the opposite.

"While internet advertising is incredibly powerful and very effective for commercial advertisers, that power brings significant risks to politics," company CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted.

Bill Russo, spokesman for the campaign to elect Democratic front-runner Joe Biden, said: "When faced with a choice between ad dollars and the integrity of our democracy, it is encouraging that, for once, revenue did not win out."

>>> Related: more than 250 Facebook employees signing a letter criticizing the decision to allow politicians to lie in paid ads without consequence.

UK to allow Huawei tech into ‘non-contentious’ parts of 5G network

While this isn’t groundbreaking news, it confirms past reports and speculation. According to the Times sources, Boris Johnson is close to allowing the Chinese telco into "non-contentious" parts of 5G service in the country.

While the confirmation lacked detail, it’s long been assumed Huawei would provide technology on the edge of the network, like antennae, where any surveillance capabilities would be limited.

Earlier in the year, the US boycotted Huawei, which has ties to the Chinese government, amid fears of surveillance. America has since pressured its allies to also shun the company’s tech from 5G infrastructure.

>>> Related

The FCC plans to vote on a proposal to prevent carriers from using government funds to purchase gear from vendors, such as Huawei, that are seen as presenting a national security threat.

Homelab backbone
Will Huawei be allowed in our 5G network? Photographer: Thomas Jensen | Source: Unsplash

Google introduces new URL bar shortcuts

Last year, Google introduced a shortcut allowing Google Drive users to create new files, directly from your Chrome browser. For example, typing doc.new into your URL would create a new docs file, as would sheets, calendar events and other Google features.

Some of the new shortcuts:

  • New Spotify playlist - playlist.new
  • List something on eBay - sell.new
  • Github repository - repo.new
  • A short link like Bit.ly - link.new
Tech companies are ever improving our life
Shortcuts are here! Photographer: Benjamin Dada | Source: Unsplash

Facebook’s tool to de-ID faces training recognition tech

Facial recognition technology is a hot topic at the moment, with government agencies around the world using it to keep tabs on the public.

Be it a photo of you somewhere or videos from public camera feeds, these AI systems are trained on publicly accessible data – which means your face.

But now, researchers working with Facebook have developed a system to de-ID you. The system slightly alters your face in video content so that it can’t be identified by facial recognition technology as it can’t be matched to images in its database.

While this may be welcomed by researchers and the general public, as it allows AIs to be trained without infringing privacy, Facebook itself has no plans to use it in any of its own products.

Other tech stories you shouldn’t miss:

  • Amazon has just bought 140 hectares of land in Bahia and Punta Alta, Argentina, and has one year to start building AWS data centers. (La Nueva)
  • How about some robot clones? A secret tech company will pay $190k to put your face on a line of robots aimed at assisting the elderly. (News.com.au)
  • A Russian internet clampdown is coming – traffic must be routed through approved, state-controlled IXPs within the Russian Federation. (One Zero)
  • Facebook-owned WhatsApp is suing spyware firm NSO Group for hacking its users. NSO sent malware through 1,400 devices. (Washington Post)
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