Enterprise

Twitter is banning all political ads

In effect starting November 22

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Social media and politics go together like crispy fries on a chocolate sundae. They don’t really go together but people do it anyway. For the past week, Facebook has found itself in deep trouble for putting an unnatural premium on political advertising.

Ahead of the 2020 US presidential elections, the incumbent Trump has released a disputable smear campaign against a Democratic rival, Joe Biden. Facebook wholeheartedly agreed to push the ad. In retaliation, another Democratic hopeful Elizabeth Warren released a demonstrably false ad about Facebook’s support for Trump’s re-election campaign. Facebook, however, declined. The debate on political advertising and social media has raged on for years now. Facebook is seemingly prioritizing revenue over authenticity.

Unlike the troublesome social media giant, Twitter is taking an opposite stance. Tweeted by founder Jack Dorsey, Twitter is completely banning all political advertising on its platform. “We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought,” the tweet started.

Compared to its contemporaries, Twitter is not dealing with the additional stress of moderating every political ad on its platform. “This isn’t about free expression. This is about paying for reach. And paying to increase the reach of political speech has significant ramifications that today’s democratic infrastructure may not be prepared to handle,” the tweet continues.

Unsurprisingly, American politicians are expressing mixed reactions over the decision. Matt Shupe, a political strategist, reportedly called the decision “very dumb.” Meanwhile, Biden’s deputy communications director, Bill Russo, has praised the platform’s focus on democracy over revenue.

Regardless, Twitter is now a bastion against political advertising. The platform will enact the policy starting November 22.

SEE ALSO: Twitter is finally getting a dark mode for Android!

Enterprise

Apple: Coronavirus might cause iPhone shortage

Won’t meet expected revenue by March

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If, during a tense situation, someone say that they are doing okay, there is a slight chance that things are going the opposite way. Today’s coronavirus epidemic, for example, has affected the tech industry more than it has proclaimed. For the most part, China-dependent companies — like Apple — have waved off any adverse effect caused by the rampant virus, despite taking precautions.

Unfortunately for them, deception can only last so long. Recently, Apple has released its quarterly guidance report for investors. Compared to the general populace, investors require utmost transparency. As such, Apple revealed the potential setbacks heading into the second month of the coronavirus situation in China.

Mainly, Apple doesn’t “expect to meet the revenue guidance” expected by March. Both supply and demand are falling especially in China.

On the supply side, Apple’s Chinese manufacturers are reeling from the forced closures enacted both by the Chinese New Year holiday and the coronavirus safety protocols. For now, the factories are remaining open (or have since re-opened). Regardless, Apple is working together with the factories to ensure worker safety. Because of the shifted focus, iPhone supplies will temporarily decrease and will likewise “temporarily affect revenues worldwide.”

On the demand side, Apple is mulling over the closures of their retail stores in affected Chinese regions. Naturally, without a retail store, maintaining adequate supply is useless. To Apple’s fortune, these closures are affecting only Chinese customers. Regardless, China is an important market for the iPhone maker.

As consumers outside China, we won’t likely feel Apple’s pains on the demand side. However, a shift in supply — even a tiny one — will ripple across the globe either through launch delays or delivery shortages. If you’re an Apple fan, you might want to hang on to your old iPhone a bit longer.

SEE ALSO: Apple starts the year with a bang in their latest revenue report

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Enterprise

China: US is a hypocrite for attacking Huawei

Says US hacked Germany before

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We’re midway through the second month of 2020. By now, you’d expect yesteryear’s issues to finally resolve themselves. Unfortunately, we’re still stuck in the same issues. Particularly, Huawei and the US are still at each other’s throats.

Today, both parties fired shots at each other on Twitter of all places. In this exchange, the US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell tweeted that “any nation who chooses to use an untrustworthy 5G vendor will jeopardize [America’s] ability to share Intelligence and information at the highest level.”

For the past few years, the US government has persistently smeared Huawei’s reputation in international territories, urging other countries to stop considering the company as a 5G partner. The strategy has met only moderate success across the globe. Some countries have already allowed Huawei to build infrastructure on their land.

Naturally, Huawei isn’t taking it lightly. In response to Grenell, Hua Chunying, China’s spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, tweeted a scathing rebuke against Grenell’s accusations.

“Who he is [sic] threatening? Who’s the real threat? Remember, Snowden said US spied on Chancellor Merkel’s phone,” the tweet went.

The ambassador is referring to Edward Snowden, an infamous American whistleblower who revealed an entire library’s worth of state secrets. Regardless of its truth, Hua Chunying’s tweet is scalding, especially in the tense situation between both countries.

SEE ALSO: China is giving away cash incentives for new Huawei users

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Enterprise

ViSenze, iPrice’s partner for easier online shopping in Southeast Asia

Search is now powered by visual recognition technology

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Online shopping is a booming trend made possible by various e-commerce sites. Most online shoppers use search keywords to find what they’re looking for. However, using search keywords can sometimes turn up the wrong results, and can be time-consuming for some.

Thankfully, iPrice and ViSenze’s new partnership aims to make shopping an easier experience for shoppers in Southeast Asia. iPrice will soon leverage ViSenze’s visual recognition technology — making the search as simple as pointing a camera to the desired item.

Leveraging visual recognition

Visual recognition technology is not new. Google already had this feature  back 2017 in the form of Google Lens. ViSenze — a commerce solution platform — uses the same technology for visual recognition. It already powers some big names in e-commerce — making search easier for users.

With iPrice leveraging ViSenze’s technology, users can use their camera instead to search for items. For example, pointing the camera at a dress brings up a list of relevant results from iPrice. This lets users shop for things that they cannot properly describe. It also simplifies the whole search experience, so users don’t have to type anymore.

iPrice will also bring up useful coupons and vouchers whenever these users search for an item. To start leveraging this feature, users need to do these three easy steps:

  1. Activate their camera app and use the AI-powered shopping lens to point at the desired product, or simply upload a photo of it from the phone’s gallery
  2. Browse through the suggested list of relevant products that appear (based on visually similar attributes)
  3. Tap on one of the search results to be redirected to the merchant page to purchase the product

The shopping lens, however, will work only on Samsung, Huawei, LG, and Vivo through their respective assistant apps. So, users must have Bixby (Samsung), HiVision (Huawei), Q-Lens (LG) and Jovi (Vivo) installed.

With online shopping booming in Southeast Asia, iPrice ensures that visual recognition will bring greater convenience to shoppers. Being able to use the smartphone’s camera to search for things online is godsent especially when it’s too bothersome to bring up the keyboard and type.

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