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Tanzanian Vodacom launches Smart Kitochi

Izunna Okpala

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The Smart Kitochi KaiOS-powered smart phone has been launched by Vodacom Tanzania. In a statement issued by the mobile network operator, the device is claimed to be the first mobile feature phone available on the Tanzanian market and retails at TZS 48,000 (US$20).

The Smart Kitochi can connect to the internet and social media. It also has features like Wi-Fi, GPS and 1400mAh battery, as well as a dual-SIM hybrid slot capable of supporting two 4GB+ 512 MB RAM SIM cards.

The company added that KaiOS supports 3 G + 4G / LTE, Wi-Fi, GPS, and Hotspot, identifying the mobile operating system as the world’s third biggest, running on more than 100 million phones shipped across Africa, Europe, Asia, and America.

“We’re excited to introduce the first smart feature phone in the market alongside our partner KaiOS Technologies,” says George Lugata, Vodacom’s Executive Head of Sales. “Despite wide coverage of network in the country, we still face a challenge of digital divide caused by low smartphone penetration so by introducing the Smart Kitochi, we’ll bring valuable digital services and information to this market at a price that people can afford.”

Sebastien Codeville, chief executive officer of KaiOS Technologies, said, “The digital divide across Africa as a whole remains very large. We’re incredibly focused on establishing partnerships and delivering mobile technology that addresses this issue, which is why we’re so thrilled to be working with Vodacom. The Smart Kitochi is a key step in connecting those who remain disconnected from mobile internet and all of the valuable resources in Tanzania and beyond.”

The device is currently available exclusively in Tanzania, according to Vodacom, but will be available “soon” in other African countries.

KaiOS Technologies said it wanted to expand the reach of its operating system in Africa at the 2019 Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, in February 2019.

David Bang, KaiOS VP for business development for the Americas, has been quoted as saying that Africa makes sense as the next big market to be deployed after India in terms of the company’s expansion plans.

In July 2019, on 512 MB and 256 MB RAM devices, KaiOS Technologies and Facebook announced the availability of WhatsApp for download in the KaiStore.

Vodacom Tanzania has a market share of 32 percent, led by Tigo (29 percent) and Airtel Tanzania (25 percent), according to figures from the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA).

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Facebook is experimenting with prompts that ask users whether they are concerned that a friend is ‘becoming an extremist.’

Izunna Okpala

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Facebook app

In the United States, some Facebook (FB) users are receiving a prompt asking if they are concerned that someone they know is becoming radical. Others are being alerted about the possibility of being exposed to extremist information.
It’s all part of a test that Facebook is conducting as part of its Redirect Initiative, which tries to tackle violent extremism.

This experiment is part of a wider project to see how we can provide tools and help to people on Facebook who have interacted with or been exposed to extremist content, or who know someone who is.

“Are you concerned that someone you know is becoming an extremist?” one of the notifications reads, a screen grab of which went viral on social media Thursday.

According to a screenshot shared on social media, the alert stated, “We care about avoiding extremism on Facebook.” “Others in your situation have gotten discreet help,” she says.
The user is then directed to a support page by the alert.

Another alert reads, “Violent groups try to use your anger and disillusionment.” “You have the ability to protect yourself and others right now.”
The user is also redirected to a help page as a result of the notice.

Facebook is sending users to a range of resources, including Life After Hate, an advocacy group that helps people quit violent far-right movements.

Over the last few years, Facebook has been blasted by detractors for failing to take sufficient steps to combat extremist content on its platform. For example, in 2020, the firm was chastised for failing to take down a militia group’s Facebook page, which encouraged armed residents to go to the streets of Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The company has also committed to do a better job of preventing the spread of false information and conspiracy theories. In May, Facebook’s independent oversight board encouraged the corporation to look into the role of its platform in the January 6 uprising.

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YouTube Is Redesigning Its Descriptions for the Web, With a Greater Focus on Comments

Izunna Okpala

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YouTube is reportedly putting a new description section on the Web to the test. The revamp aims to make the comments, video view count, publish date, and video description more prominent. The video description, which presently appears beneath the YouTube channel name, will now appear directly beneath the video title. Other improvements are being tested as well, with the goal of putting a greater emphasis on user comments. When these modifications will be available to all Web users is unknown.

The view counts and published date are much bolder than previously, appearing just below the video title. The video description appears right after the publication date and requires more concise content than before. If the video description is too long, the new design makes it appear tight, and if it spills over to the second line, a “Show More” option emerges. With this makeover, the ability to create connections may be more challenging. Depending on the size of the window, buttons for like, unlike, share, and save show next to the video description. In a barely drawn area below the view count is the channel name. The number of comments and the top comment are both noted in different boxes next to it.

The option to add a new comment will be located just below the channel name, followed by other less popular comments located beneath the video. This redesigned description for YouTube Web users is still in beta and is only visible to a select users at a time. There is no guarantee that it will be commercially available, and Google may decide to scrap it during the development phase. The design is also a little confusing and cluttered, and Google may make some changes before deciding to give it out to everyone.

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Binance Faces Criminal Complaint From Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission for Operating Without Licence

Izunna Okpala

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Thailand has filed a criminal complaint against cryptocurrency exchange Binance for operating a digital asset business without a license, the latest in a series of crackdowns on the platform around the world.

The SEC said on Friday that “it was discovered that Binance has provided platform services for trading or exchanging digital assets via its website…” Only licensed organizations are authorized to provide services linked to digital asset trading in Thailand, according to the country’s regulator.

A request for comment from Binance was not immediately returned. Last Monday, the UK’s financial watchdog restricted Binance from engaging in regulated activities in the country.

The company has previously stated that it takes its regulatory commitments seriously and is dedicated to following them everywhere it operates.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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