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PAKISTAN NEWS:
Govt to regulate digital assets, virtual assets and cryptocurrencies:

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has decided to issue a regulatory framework for regulation and monitoring of the digital and virtual assets, including Crypto Assets, to control the misuse of virtual currencies in Pakistan having a global market value of over EUR 7 billion worldwide. In this regard, the SECP has drafted a document on the regulation of Digital Asset Trading Platforms in Pakistan.

Apple unveils M1-powered Macbook pro for $1299:

Apple’s “One More Thing” event kicked off last week where the tech giant finally revealed its first MacBooks based on Apple silicon. The new MacBook Pro 13 is one of the first to get the new Apple-designed M1 chip that is meant to outperform Intel in several tasks. This new chip has an 8 core GPU as well as an 8 core CPU that allows the MacBook Pro 13 to outperform its Intel predecessors in many tasks including building code, video, and 3D rendering, multitasking, and playing high-quality 8K videos on ProRes without dropping a single frame.

PBS launches two dashboards under its digital transformation initiative:

The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), last Tuesday, launched two dashboards called PSLM_SDGs and Price, under its Digital Transformation Initiative to provide the latest information along with time-series and info-graphic data, according to news reports. These dashboards will achieve the objectives of collecting, compiling, and disseminating data in a reliable and user-friendly way.

Vertu’s former team launches a luxury feature phone:

Vertu was one of the most well-known names of its time when it came to luxury phones. It started off as an ultra-premium division of Nokia and produced exclusive Nokia handsets with luxury materials that were targeted towards elite customers or collectors. Vertu’s former design chief and many of its ex-employees later formed another company called Xor that aims to recapture its former spirit. The team was approached by old fans of Vertu, and the company was compelled to manufacture a luxury product once again.

Lenovo is relaunching entry-level lemon smartphones:

Until a few years ago, Lenovo used to sell Lemon-branded budget phones for youngsters in China. However, over the past years, the company shifted its focus on more premium Lenovo branded smartphones. The last Lemon-branded Smartphone was released in 2014, the year Lenovo acquired Motorola. Unexpectedly, the company was not able to handle the acquisition very well. In the past two years, Motorola was only able to launch two Smartphones in China.

OnePlus Nord SE will feature snapdragon 765G and 65W fast charging:

OnePlus tapped into the mid-range Smartphone market for the first time ever with the release of the OnePlus Nord. Soon afterward, the lineup expanded with the OnePlus Nord N10 and the N100 and now there is news that the OnePlus Nord SE is about to join in soon. According to the latest report from Android Central, the OnePlus Nord Special Edition may be powered by the Snapdragon 765G. This means that we are likely to see 5G compatibility as well just like other Nord devices.

Samsung is targeting Huawei’s market share with Galaxy S21’s early launch:

Reports about an early launch of the Samsung Galaxy S21 series are making rounds on the internet for a while now. It was a surprise since Samsung doesn’t usually deviate from its annual launch timeline. However, according to a recent report by Reuters, Samsung plans on grabbing some of Huawei’s market share with the early launch. It is not a secret that the Chinese Smartphone maker Huawei is going through a challenging time with all the sanctions imposed by the US government. Due to a lack of suppliers, the company will allegedly run out of components sometime early next year, leaving the company vulnerable. Hence, company rivals, mainly Samsung, Xiaomi, and Oppo, are looking to gobble up some of its market shares.

Huawei is rumored to be selling honor for $15 billion:

Founded in 2013, Huawei’s sub-brand Honor has been offering budget handsets, tablets, and laptops in the global market, unlike Huawei that mostly targets its home market and has a more premium and expensive lineup of products. Unfortunately, Huawei is now planning to part ways with its sub-company amid the US ban restrictions. Huawei had been looking to sell its subsidiary for a while and now new reports claim that Honor will be sold to the Digital China Group and the local government in Shenzen for $15.2 billion. The transaction will be “all cash” and will include all of the company’s assets, branding, research and development capabilities, and supply chain management as well.

Netflix tests its own TV channel:

With so many streaming services available nowadays, there are only a bunch of people who still prefer watching movies and dramas on cable TV. However, when you are looking for some white noise or something to watch while you are eating, TV-channels are perfect. You don’t have to browse through Netflix’s database while your food is getting cold. Keeping this in mind, the popular streaming service Netflix is testing a ‘Netflix Direct’ channel in France that offers curated content in a scheduled, TV-like manner. The test channel began rolling out November 5 and will roll out more widely in the country in December.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS:
China to clamp down on internet giants:

China has proposed new regulations aimed at curbing the power of its biggest internet companies. The regulations suggest increasing unease in Beijing with the growing influence of digital platforms.

The new rules could affect homegrown tech giants like Alibaba, Ant Group and Tencent, as well as food delivery platform Meituan. The move comes as the EU and the US are also seeking to curb the power of internet giants. Chinese tech shares were sharply lower after the proposed regulations were released on Tuesday. The news came as JD.com and Alibaba were gearing up for Singles Day, the annual online sale which is their biggest day of the year.

Covid vaccine: how will we keep it cold enough?:

News about the world’s first successful trial of a coronavirus vaccine was greeted with jubilation on Monday. But while there are a number of reasons to remain cautious, there’s at least one big practical hurdle to overcome. Speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme, Health Secretary Matt Hancock spoke of the “mammoth logistical operation” of transporting the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine from its point of manufacture to the arm of the patient. That’s because it cannot be removed from a temperature of -70C (-94F) more than four times. And that temperature is much lower than what the average home freezer can reach. Most other vaccines do not require anywhere near such low storage temperatures, so there is not a widespread infrastructure already in place.

Facebook: Biden aide Bill Russo attacks post-election role:

One of Joe Biden’s senior aides has attacked Facebook over its handling of conspiracy theories, calls to violence and disinformation in the days following the US election.

“Our democracy is on the line. We need answers,” tweeted Bill Russo, who is deputy press secretary to the US president-elect. Facebook responded saying it had introduced “new products and policies”. These include a “probation” measure to tackle problems in its groups.

It involves tasking the administrators of some politically themed pages with checking that all members’ posts within them follow Facebook’s rules. They have been warned that failure to comply could lead to their groups being shut down. “We built the largest third-party fact-checking network of any platform and they remain actively focused on claims about the election, including conspiracy theories,” the firm added in a statement.

XBOX series x: sold-out console posted on eBay for up to £5,000:

The new Xbox Series X is being sold on eBay for up to £5,000 ($6,609), after the games console sold out in traditional shops. Released last Tuesday, stocks of the highly anticipated £449 machine depleted within hours. But sellers on eBay have posted the new model on the platform at a higher price. Several posts offer same day or next day delivery, for up to £5,000 per Xbox. But most consoles sold recently went for between £600 and £800. Comments from eBay users criticized sellers for inflating the prices.

Technical error blamed for PM’s Biden tweet glitch:

The government has blamed a “technical error” for a Boris Johnson tweet congratulating Joe Biden on his US election victory which faintly showed the name “Trump” in the background. Social media users commented on the discrepancy while the Guido Fawkes website said the message also included the word “second term” buried in it. Officials said two messages were prepared before the result was known. The alternative one had been “embedded” in the other by mistake, they said.

Amazon charged with abusing EU competition rules:

The European Commission has charged Amazon with abusing its dominant position in online retail to gain an unfair advantage over competitors. It said Amazon had used data on third-party sellers that use its marketplace to boost sales of its own-label goods. The Commission also launched a fresh probe into the possible preferential treatment of sellers that use the tech giant’s logistics services. Amazon rejected the charges, saying no firm “cared more” for small businesses.

It faces a potential fine as high as 10% of its global turnover if it is found guilty of breaching competition law – about £15bn ($19bn). In a statement, the EU’s Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said it was vital that platforms with “market power” did not “distort competition”. “Data on the activity of third party sellers should not be used to the benefit of Amazon when it acts as a competitor to these sellers,” she added.

Finchampstead man builds ‘twitter speed bot’ over safety concerns:

A man has created a “Twitter bot” to prove his case for lowering the speed limit where he lives after becoming fed up with drivers ignoring restrictions. People living on Reading Road in Finchampstead have been campaigning for safety improvements along the 40mph stretch for more than two years. Gareth Rees has now built a computer programme that tweets every time a vehicle exceeds 55mph. “There’s at least one every 10 minutes,” he was quoted as saying to the BBC. The data for the bot is sourced from iOS and Android GPS tracking systems – the same information used by phone apps to show traffic flow. Mr Rees said his programme has picked up vehicles being driven as fast as 76mph. He added: “It only tweets when it detects speeds of more than 55mph, and samples data every eight to 10 minutes, so I’m sure it misses loads of speeders.”

The 49-year-old said he set up the bot to highlight the safety of pedestrians, school children, cyclists and horse riders.

Parler ‘free speech’ app tops charts in wake of Trump defeat:

Twitter alternative Parler has become the most-downloaded app in the United States as conservatives flock to the self-styled “free speech” app after the US election. It follows a clampdown on the spread of election misinformation by Twitter and Facebook in recent days. Owner Dan Bongino said the service was adding “thousands to users per minute” on Sunday. But the sudden boom also caused technical issues for users. Some reported problems registering and a slowdown of the app as its servers attempted to deal with the influx.

Virgin hyperloop pod transport tests first passenger journey:

Virgin Hyperloop has trialled its first ever journey with passengers, in the desert of Nevada. The futuristic transport concept involves pods inside vacuum tubes carrying passengers at high speeds. In the trial, two passengers – both company staff – travelled the length of a 500m test track in 15 seconds, reaching 107mph (172km/h). However, this is a fraction of Virgin’s ambitions for travel speeds of more than 1,000km/h. Virgin Hyperloop is not the only firm developing the concept but nobody has carried passengers before. Sara Luchian, director of customer experience, was one of the two on board and described the experience as “exhilarating both psychologically and physically” to the BBC shortly after the event.

Apple puts Iphone supplier on probation for labour violations:

Apple has put one of its key suppliers on probation for breaking its supply chain rules. Taiwanese firm Pegatron had asked students to work night shifts and overtime at one of is plants in mainland China, the US company said. Apple added the contractor had falsified paperwork and misclassified some of the workers, to disguise the violations. Pegatron said that once it had become aware of the issue, it was fixed. But Apple says it will not award the firm any new business until further “corrective actions” are completed. Pegatron is one of a handful of companies involved in the assembly of iPhones.

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