Huawei operating system coming to smartphones in Asia

An update of HarmonyOS, the operating system developed by Huawei, means it will now be installed in a wider range of products, including its smartphones. It is due to roll out across Asia following a launch event on 2 June. There is no date for a global launch yet. A trade ban imposed by the US last year effectively prevented Huawei devices from working fully with Google’s Android platform because it blocked access to essential apps like Gmail. However, Huawei said it did not consider Harmony to be a replacement…

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JBS: World’s largest meat supplier hit by cyber-attack

The world’s largest meat processing company has been targeted by a sophisticated cyber-attack. Computer networks at JBS were hacked, causing some operations in Australia, Canada and the US to temporarily shut down, affecting thousands of workers. The company believes the ransomware attack originated from a criminal group likely based in Russia, the White House said. The attack could lead to shortages of meat or raise prices for consumers. In a ransomware attack, hackers get into a computer network and threaten to cause disruption or delete files unless a ransom is…

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India May Set up New Panel to Study Crypto Regulations

The central government may form a fresh panel of experts to study the possibility of regulating cryptocurrency in India, three sources privy of the discussions told FT. This comes amid the prevailing view that the recommendations by a committee headed by former finance secretary Subhash Garg in 2019 for a blanket ban on these assets had become outdated. The new committee’s ambit could be to explore the use of blockchain for technological enhancement and suggest ways to regulate cryptos as digital assets instead of a currency. The committee may also…

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PhonePe to Acquire Content Discovery Platform Indus OS for $60 million

Digital payments major PhonePe is in talks to acquire homegrown content and app discovery platform Indus OS in a deal valued around $60 million, sources aware of the matter said. Bengaluru-based PhonePe’s rationale for acquiring Indus OS is to boost its ‘super app’ Switch, where it hosts apps across categories such as food, travel, shopping and lifestyle. A super app is simply a platform that offers a wide range of services under one umbrella. Local developers use Indus OS to reach non-English speakers beyond India’s tier 1 cities and allow…

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Samsung Expands Blockchain Support on Galaxy Smartphones Amid Crypto Boom

Samsung Electronics said on Friday it has expanded support for blockchain users trading virtual assets on its Galaxy smartphones amid rising interest in cryptocurrencies. The South Korean tech said its latest update will allow users to easily manage their transactions by importing their virtual assets stored on select cold hardware wallets to the Samsung Blockchain Wallet available on most Galaxy smartphones. “Support for hardware wallets provides Galaxy blockchain with a consistent user experience of managing crypto assets from one convenient location,” Samsung said. A hardware wallet refers to a cryptocurrency…

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E-Commerce Firms Face More Hurdles in Maharashtra, Assam

New rules from the governments of Maharashtra and Assam have created additional hurdles for e-commerce and transport operators, including those delivering food, groceries and other essential supplies. The Maharashtra government, in a notification on Wednesday, said drivers and helpers of all goods carriers entering the state must carry a negative RT-PCR certificate that is less than 48 hours old, and that it will be valid for only seven days. The new rules also say that a cargo carrier cannot have more than two people. Meanwhile in Assam, though the government…

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RBI grants PPI authorisation to Eroute Technologies

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has granted authorisation to Eroute Technologies to operate as a prepaid payment instruments (PPI) company. The RBI issued authorisation on May 10, 2021, to Eroute Technologies Pvt Ltd with perpetual validity to commence issuance and operations of semi-closed pre-paid instruments in the country, the company said in a statement on Wednesday. The Noida-based firm said the RBI authorisation will enable it to launch its payment solutions at scale independently unlike neo banks and other bank-led fintech companies. PPIs are instruments that facilitate purchase of…

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Self-Driving Truck Startup Plus to Go Public Through $3.3 billion SPAC Deal

Plus said on Monday it would go public through a merger with blank-check company Hennessy Capital Investment Corp. V in a deal that values the self-driving truck technology startup at $3.3 billion. The combined company will get proceeds of $500 million from the deal, including a private investment of $150 million. Investors in the deal include BlackRock and D.E. Shaw group, among others. In February, Plus raised $200 million in a funding round, co-led by brokerage Guotai Junan International and private equity firm CPE, according to data from Pitchbook. Founded…

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It Began as an AI-Fueled Dungeon Game. It Got Much Darker

The game touted its use of the GPT-3 text generator. Then the algorithm started to generate disturbing stories, including sex scenes involving children. IN DECEMBER 2019, Utah startup Latitude launched a pioneering online game called AI Dungeon that demonstrated a new form of human-machine collaboration. The company used text-generation technology from artificial intelligence company OpenAI to create a choose-your-own adventure game inspired by Dungeons & Dragons. When a player typed out the action or dialog they wanted their character to perform, algorithms would craft the next phase of their personalized,…

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