Indian Govt may force Social Media for user verification

The Indian government’s data protection bill (DPB) is in its final stage and it is being said that the government may force social media platforms to offer an identity-verification option. These efforts would help the government to curb the spreading of fake news.

Social media platforms including Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok will require to offer an identity-verification option. These platforms will have to offer a mechanism for users to provide their identities and display the verification publicly. This will also help other users to check if they are communicating with the verified individuals.

The DPB will be placed before the Parliament in the current winter session. The government expects that the bill will bring a proper balance between privacy and protection. The government was earlier toying with a thought of integrating Aadhaar for verification by linking the 12-digit Aadhaar ID to social media accounts of users. However, considering the sensitivity of Aadhaar data, the speculation was denied.

The bill was first proposed by a nine-member committee headed by Justin BN Srikrishna in July 2018. The proposal levies hefty penalties on entities that violate user privacy. It is proposed that the action on a data security breach should attract a penalty of up to Rs 5 crore (or 2% of overall turnover).

DPB will also enforce data localisation norms, preventing global companies to take the data bank out of India. The DPB will categorise personal data into different categories.

India is one of the largest markets for social media platforms. The country has an average of 200 to 400 million monthly active users. But with very little moderation techniques used by these platforms, they are often blamed for being exploited to spread fake news and misinformation. The DPB might help in reducing the ill-effects of social media.

Google Docs to get AI-powered smart Auto-Complete feature

Google is making it easier for the users to writing in Google Docs. The tech firm is adding AI-powered autocomplete function to Google Docs. The Smart Compose autocomplete was first introduced to Gmail last year.

The AI-powered auto-complete tool will help users cut back on spelling and grammar errors. It also helps in reducing repetitive wordings. You can accept Smart Compose suggestions by using tab key or right clicking the cursor.

The feature is based on the machine learning model developed by Google. The ML model studies your past writing and personalises the suggestions. The ML algorithm that powers the Smart Compose is basically designed to write a little like you.

Google added Smart Reply feature to Gmail last year. The Smart Reply suggests short responses to emails. Smart Compose is the next step, which is actively suggests how to finish your next sentence. Adding this feature to Google Docs could be a big step up for the tool.

Smart Compose in Gmail has proven very helpful for users. Emails are mostly action oriented, hence the suggestions by Smart Compose are also action-oriented (for example, Are you coming? Are you interested? Do you want to review XYZ? etc) Adding this feature to Google Docs is a big step. Word processors are used for a wide number of use cases. Google Docs is used for everything right from schoolwork to corporate planning documents.

Google is limiting the use of Smart Compose to business users only. The G Suite users with @domain.com email address can use the feature. Smart Compose for Docs is available in beta; domain administrators need to register to get access to this feature. The company might make the feature available for general use in future.

Twitter Adds ‘Hide Reply’ Function worldwide

Twitter is letting users become their own moderators. The company announced Thursday that it has rolled out a new feature allowing users to hide replies to their tweets.

“Everyone should feel safe and comfortable while talking on Twitter,” said Suzanne Xie, director of product management at Twitter, said in a blog post. “To make this happen, we need to change how conversations work on our service.”

From now on, users can hide all manner of unwanted tweets — from the slightly irksome to the totally offensive.

Those replies aren’t deleted. People following the thread can unlock the hidden message by clicking on a gray icon that will appear in its place.

“We already see people trying keep their conversations healthy by using block, mute, and report, but these tools don’t always address the issue,” a Twitter employee said earlier this year when the feature was in development. “Block and mute only change the experience of the blocker, and report only works for the content that violates our policies.”

Twitter said it tested the new feature in Canada and recently expanded to the U.S. and Japan.

The findings showed people mostly used the tool to hide irrelevant, off-topic or annoying tweets, according to Xie.

“The option is a new way to shut out noise,” she said, noting that 85% of the people who hide replies are not using block or mute.

Hit Refresh: The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft’s Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone

Hit Refresh is about individual change, about the transformation happening inside of Microsoft and the technology that will soon impact all of our lives—the arrival of the most exciting and disruptive wave of technology humankind has experienced: artificial intelligence, mixed reality, and quantum computing. It’s about how people, organizations, and societies can and must transform and “hit

refresh” in their persistent quest for new energy, new ideas, and continued relevance and renewal.

Microsoft’s CEO tells the inside story of the company’s continuing transformation, tracing his own personal journey from a childhood in India to leading some of the most significant technological changes in the digital era. Satya Nadella explores a fascinating childhood before immigrating to the U.S. and how he learned to lead along the way. He then shares his meditations as a sitting CEO—one who is mostly unknown following the brainy Bill Gates and energetic Steve Ballmer. He tells the inside story of how a company rediscovered its soul—transforming everything from culture to their fiercely competitive landscape and industry partnerships. As much a humanist as engineer and executive, Nadella concludes with his vision for the coming wave of technology and by exploring the potential impact to society and delivering call to action for world leaders.

“Ideas excite me,” Nadella explains. “Empathy grounds and centers me.” Hit Refresh is a set of reflections, meditations, and recommendations presented as algorithms from a principled, deliberative leader searching for improvement—for himself, for a storied company, and for society.

delete all activity from Google – But How ??

Google provides a huge amount of information containing multiple numbers of web pages every time we search. Google tries to figure out which results to show starts long before one even types depending upon the internet behaviour of the person. But what if you want to delete all your activity from Google? Is there any procedure to delete your activity?

Here is the step by step guide you have to follow. Continue reading “delete all activity from Google – But How ??”

Google search on mobile will now help you pronounce words

Google search will now help you pronounce difficult words in English. The feature even lets you practice your pronunciation by speaking into the mic and tells you how you did almost instantaneously.

Following the release of RCS messaging in the US, Google is rolling out another interesting feature today. You’ll now be able to use the search engine to look up and practice pronunciations of multisyllabic or difficult words. To get started, simply enter ‘how to pronounce [word]’ in the search box. The search results already showed you a phonetic breakdown along with an option to listen to the word.

You will now be able to practice saying the word by speaking into the microphone via the new “Practice” button in the bottom-right corner. You’ll be prompted to “Speak now” and Google will return a “Sounds like you said” prompt. The app will also tell you which specific sounds you mispronounced and give you tips on how to get better via cues such as “Try to bring the back of your tongue to the roof of your mouth to block the air, then release it.”

Google says that it made this possible by leveraging their machine-learning prowess to every individual syllable generated from the user’s speech. Similarly, while practicing how to say “asterisk,” the speech recognition technology analyzes how you said the word and then it recognizes that the last soundbite was pronounced “rict” instead of “uhsk,” and gives you appropriate feedback.

This feature can now be used with American English via the Google search app. Spanish and other languages will be available at a later date.

Slow websites will be labelled – Google Chrome

For an example, a website that usually takes a longer time to load may show a “Loading…” page that includes a warning text “usually loads slow.”

Google’s plan is to “identify sites that are fast or slow will take place in gradual steps, based on increasingly stringent criteria.” Continue reading “Slow websites will be labelled – Google Chrome”

Google Introduces App Defense Alliance; An Initiative to Fight Malicious Apps

Google has taken an initiative to prevent malicious apps from making their way to the Play Store. Called the App Defence Alliance, the US-based tech company has announced its collaboration with ESET, Lookout, and Zimperium to fight apps that can potentially harm your device. In a blog post, the tech giant said that this alliance will help them reduce the risk of app-based malware and protect over 2.5 million Android users from new threats. This partnership gives Google an additional pair of eyes to analyse datasets before an app is released on the Play Store.

Continue reading “Google Introduces App Defense Alliance; An Initiative to Fight Malicious Apps”

WordPress 5.3

5.3 expands and refines the block editor with more intuitive interactions and improved accessibility. New features in the editor increase design freedoms, provide additional layout options and style variations to allow designers more control over the look of a site.

WordPress 5.3! Named “Kirk” in honour of jazz multi-instrumentalist Rahsaan Roland Kirk, the latest and greatest version of WordPress is available for download or update in your dashboard.

Continue reading “WordPress 5.3”

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