News this past week
News you might have missed this week. This is your one stop for all the news surrounding technology, businesses and startups.
“Amazon destroyed a ₹26,000-crore company: Future Retail to SC”
While hearing of Amazon’s plea to prevent Future Retail (FRL) from selling its stores, the latter told that, “for ₹1,400 crore, Amazon has destroyed a ₹26,000-crore company”.
As per reports, Reliance had provided financial assistance to the Future Retail which included ₹1,100 crore of unpaid rentals and ₹3,700 crore of working capital. In August 2020, Reliance had agreed to buy out assets of multiple companies of Future Group.
However, Amazon which made a ₹1,400 crore deal with Kishore Biyani firm in 2019 opposed this buyout. Amazon claimed that clauses in its 2019 deal with a Future Retail subsidiary prohibited the Future group from selling its retail stores to anyone on a ‘restricted list’ that included Reliance.
“We are hanging by a thread…No one wants to do business with us now,” Future Retail’s lawyer said. Future Retail further told the Supreme Court that “Amazon wanted to destroy us, and it succeeded.”
“Putin is using a body double to avoid assassination: Report”
Due to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin is reportedly using a body double to circumvent any assassination attempts. According to reports, his body double has been trained to walk in the same manner as Putin does. He is also said to be living in the same Presidential compound.
An intelligence source told the Daily Star, “We know Putin is paranoid about his security and this move just shows how seriously his team are taking the threat against his life.”
“Elon Musk disclosed 9.2% stake in Twitter; Becomes the largest shareholder”
Elon Musk, the world’s richest man has 9.2% stake in Twitter, as reported by Bloomberg, citing a US Securities and Exchange Commission filing. After the news, shares of the social media platform increased by more than 25% in pre-market trading. Based on market capitalisation of Twitter, as of April, 2022, which is $31.47 billions, Musk’s stake is worth $2.9 billion approximately.
Elon Musk now is the Twitter’s largest shareholder. His share is more than quadruple of Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey’s 2.25% stake.
Elon Musk tweeted, “Oh hi lol,” after the news of him being the largest shareholder (9.2%) of Twitter was disclosed.
“Starbucks to get into NFT business: Report”
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has announced the company’s intention to enter the non-fungible-token (NFT) market. It is working on “digital innovation through NFTs” and expects to release more information soon. “If you look at the companies, the celebrities, they are trying to create a NFT business, and I can’t find one that has the treasure trove of assets that Starbucks has,” Schultz said in a video shared by Jordan Zakarin on Twitter.
Schultz further said that, Starbucks will get into NFT business by the end of 2022.
“New variant of COVID-19 found in UK; Insect-borne viruses could cause a new pandemic: WHO”
The UK’s Health Security Agency said it was examining ‘XE,’ a mutation of two different Omicron strains and discovered a new COVID-19 variant – “recombinant”. The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a warning about the Omicron ‘XE’ variety, which might be the most transmissible variant till yet.
A World Health Organization official has also warned that an Insect-borne virus like Zika and Dengue fever could be the source of the next pandemic. Arthropod-Borne viruses (Arboviruses) such as dengue, chikungunya and zika virus are already serious public health risks in tropical and subtropical areas.
The organisation emphasised the importance of a worldwide action in preparing for a potential pandemic.
“Elon Musk appointed to Twitter’s board of directors; CEO Parag Agrawal welcomed Musk’s appointment”
Elon Musk, Twitter’s largest shareholder with a 9.2 percent stake, was appointed to Twitter’s board of directors on Tuesday. Following the news, Musk tweeted, “Looking forward to working with Parag & Twitter board to make significant improvements to Twitter in coming months!” Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal welcomed Musk’s appointment, saying, “He would bring great value to our Board.”
According to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Elon Musk now cannot own more than 14.9 percent of Twitter’s common stock as one of the company’s board member. This restricts Musk from taking over the company. While Musk’s appointment doesn’t apprehend his plans for Twitter, it did shot up company’s stock by 27%.
“$34 million worth of cryptocurrency tied to illegal dark web activities forfeited by the US govt.”
According to the US government, $34 million worth of cryptocurrency linked with illegal dark web activities was seized. The cryptocurrency was seized from a resident of South Florida who used an online alias to sell over 100,000 illegal items and hacked online account information on dark web marketplaces.
The offender was selling stolen account information for major services such as HBO, Netflix, and Uber. He was using TOR (The Onion Router) Network to access the dark web.
“Twitter announced ‘we’re working on an edit button’; users tweeted it’s April Fools’ Day”
On April 1, Twitter announced that it is “working on an edit button,” via a tweet from its official Twitter account. The tweet prompted some users to point out that it was April Fools’ Day. A user wrote, “Prove it by altering this tweet.”
Some users trusted the tweet and praised Twitter’s decision, while many other felt let down by the tweet. However, the tweet did spur some memes. “We cannot confirm or deny but we may amend our remark later,” Twitter told Reuters when asked if the message was a prank.
Later, Tesla CEO, Elon Musk started a poll on Twitter, asking, “Do you want an edit button?” Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal in reply to the poll said, “The consequences of this poll will be important. Please vote carefully.”
Twitter has now confirmed that it’s been working on an edit feature since last year and it will test the feature with Twitter Blue members in coming months.
“UK to launch of its own NFT: Rishi Sunak”
John Glen, Economic Secretary (Treasury) said in a statement that UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak has ordered the Royal Mint to introduce the country’s own NFT by the summer. He went on to say that the government planned to prioritise blockchain technology and even consider using it to borrow money and issue debt. NFT would represent the “forward-thinking approach (the UK) is determined to take, Glen added.
A non-fungible token (NFT) is a non-interchangeable unit of data stored on a blockchain, a form of digital ledger, that can be sold and traded.
“TikTok’s parent ByteDance used content from Instagram, Snapchat for its own algorithm: Report”
In 2017, ByteDance created fake accounts on Flipagram – a TikTok’s predecessor. The company used to publish scraped content from Instagram, Snapchat, and other similar platforms on Flipagram to train its personalization algorithm, according to BuzzFeed News, citing four former employees. The scraping was considered by the company as a “growth hack” to expand the struggling social media platform. According to the sources, ByteDance used to scrape more than 10,000 videos a day.