REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) shareholders on Tuesday asked a judge to find that Elon Musk forced the company's board of directors into a deal for SolarCity in 2016 and wanted the CEO convicted, the electric vehicle maker one of the largest judgments in history paid $13 billion. "This case was always about whether the acquisition of SolarCity was a bailout from financial troubles, a bailout orchestrated by Elon Musk," said Randy Baron, a shareholders' attorney, at the Zoom hearing. The closing arguments listed the key findings of a 10-day trial in July when Musk spent two days at the stand defending the deal.Lawsuit from union pension funds and wealth managers alleges Musk forced Tesla's board of directors to cut the deal to approve for cash -strapped SolarCity, in which Musk was the largest shareholder. Musk has countered that the deal was part of a decade-old master plan to create a vertically integrated company that would transform energy generation and consumption with SolarCity's roof panels and Tesla's cars and batteries. Evan Chesler, one of Musk's attorneys, said at the hearing that the deal was not a bailout and that SolarCity is far from insolvent and that its finances are similar to those of many high-growth companies. "They were building billions of dollars of long-term value," Chesler said of SolarCity. The all-stock deal was valued at $2.6 billion in 2016, but since that time Tesla's stock has soared. Shareholder attorney Lee Rudy urged Vice Chancellor Joseph Slights of Delaware's Court of Chancery to order Musk return the Tesla stock he received, which would be worth around $13 billion at its current price. Musk said in court papers such an award would be at least five times the largest award ever in a comparable shareholder lawsuit and called it a "windfall" for plaintiffs. Rudy said Slights should consider Musk's contempt for the deposition and trial process, in which he repeatedly clashed with and insulted shareholder attorneys. "It would be a windfall for Elon Musk if he got to keep shares he never should have gotten in the first place," Rudy said. Chesler called the request to order Musk to return the stock from the deal "preposterous" and said it ignored five years of unprecedented success at Tesla. Tesla's stock was down 1% at around $1,040in afternoon trade. Tesla acquired SolarCity as the electric vehicle maker was approaching the launch of its Model 3, a mass-market sedan that was critical to its strategy. Shareholders allege the deal was a needless distraction and burdened Tesla with SolarCity's financial woes and debt. Shareholders claim that despite owning only 22% of Tesla, Musk was a controlling shareholder due to his ties to board members and domineering style. If plaintiffs can prove this, it increases the likelihood that the court will conclude the deal was unfair to shareholders. Musk's lawyers said the celebrity entrepreneur had no authority to fire directors or control their salaries and withdrew from price negotiations in the SolarCity deal. "Without Elon Musk, Tesla couldn't exist, let alone be worth $1 trillion," said Vanessa Lavely, Musk's attorney. "That doesn't make him a controller. This makes him a highly effective CEO. Slights ended the hearing by saying he expects to rule in about three months. He said last week that he intends to retire in the next few months. And a request for related shareholders contesting Musk's record pay package was transferred from Slights to another judge. Source: Reuters
Posted on: 19 January 2022 | 7:20 am
(Mike Blake, Reuters) Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) is buying "Call of Duty" maker Activision Blizzard (ATVI.O) for $68.7 billion in the biggest gaming industry deal in history as global technology giants stake their claims to a virtual future. The deal announced by Microsoft on Tuesday, its biggest-ever and set to be the largest all-cash acquisition on record, will bolster its firepower in the booming videogaming market where it takes on leaders Tencent (0700.HK) and Sony (6758.T). It also represents the American multinational's bet on the "metaverse," virtual online worlds where people can work, play and socialize, as many of its biggest competitors are already doing. "Gaming is the most dynamic and exciting category in entertainment across all platforms today and will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms," Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella said. Microsoft, one of the biggest companies in the world largely thanks to corporate software such as its Azure cloud computing platform and Outlook franchise, is offering $95 per share - a 45% premium to Activision's Friday close. Activision's shares were last up 26% at $82.10, still a steep discount to the offer price, reflecting concerns the deal could get stuck in regulators' crosshairs. Microsoft has so far avoided the type of scrutiny faced by Google and Facebook but this deal, which would make it the world's third largest gaming company, will put the Xbox maker on lawmakers' radars, said Andre Barlow of the law firm Doyle, Barlow & Mazard PLLC. "Microsoft is already big in gaming," he said. However, a source familiar with the matter said Microsoft would pay a $3 billion break-fee if the deal falls through, suggesting it is confident of winning antitrust approval. The tech major's shares were last down 1.9%. The deal comes at a time of weakness for Activision, maker of games such as "Overwatch" and "Candy Crush". Before the deal was announced, its shares had slumped more than 37% since reaching a record high last year, hit by allegations of sexual harassment of employees and misconduct by several top managers. The company is still addressing those allegations and said on Monday it had fired or pushed out more than three dozen employees and disciplined another 40 since July. CEO Bobby Kotick, who said Microsoft approached him about a possible buyout, would continue as CEO of Activision following the deal, although he is expected to leave after it closes, a source familiar with the plans said. In a conference call with analysts, Microsoft boss Nadella did not directly refer to the scandal but talked about the importance of culture in the company. "It's critical for Activision Blizzard to drive forward on its renewed cultural commitments," he said, adding "the success of this acquisition will depend on it." 'METAVERSE ARMS RACE' Data analytics firm Newzoo estimates the global gaming market generated $180.3 billion of revenues in 2021, and expects that to grow to $218.8 billion by 2024. Microsoft already has a significant beachhead in the sector as one of the big three console makers. It has been making investments including buying "Minecraft" maker Mojang Studios and Zenimax in multibillion-dollar deals in recent years. It has also launched a popular cloud gaming service, which has more than 25 million subscribers. According to Newzoo, Microsoft's gaming market share was 6.5% in 2020 and adding Activision would have taken it to 10.7%. Executives talked up Activision's 400 million monthly active users as one major attraction to the deal and how vital these communities could play in Microsoft's various metaverse plays. Activision's library of games could give Microsoft's Xbox gaming platform an edge over Sony's Playstation, which has for years enjoyed a more steady stream of exclusive games. "The likes of Netflix have already said they'd like to foray into gaming themselves, but Microsoft has come out swinging with today’s rather generous offer," said Sophie Lund-Yates, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown. Microsoft's offer equates to 18 times Activision's 2021 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA). That compares with the 16 times EBITDA valuation of "Grand Theft Auto" maker Take-Two Interactive's (TTWO.O) cash-and-shares deal for Zynga last week. According to Refinitiv data, the Microsoft-Activision deal would be the largest all-cash acquisition on record, trumping Bayer's $63.9 billion offer for Monsanto in 2016 and the $60.4 billion that InBev bid for Anheuser-Busch in 2008. Tech companies from Microsoft to Nvidia have placed big bets on the so-called metaverse, with the buzz around it intensifying late last year after Facebook renamed itself as Meta Platforms to reflect its focus on its virtual reality business. "This is a significant deal for the consumer side of the business and more importantly, Microsoft acquiring Activision really starts the metaverse arms race," David Wagner, equity analyst and portfolio manager at Aptus Capital Advisors said. "We believe the deal will get done," he said, but cautioned: "This will get a lot of looks from a regulatory standpoint." This article is copy paste from Reuters Check the original article here Source: Reuters
Posted on: 19 January 2022 | 6:53 am
The Android app will get new pencil and drawing tools in a future update, while WhatsApp Desktop will get new chat bubble colors. The desktop app also gets a new dark blue color that is only visible in dark theme mode. The instant messaging app is also testing a new emoji message reaction info tab and new message reaction notification settings. WhatsApp feature tracker WABetaInfo said that WhatsApp is introducing new drawing tools to its Android app. You get two pens, including one thinner and one thicker than your existing pen. The app is also working on a blur tool that may be added in the future. The new features appeared in the WhatsApp Beta for Android 2.22.5 update, but they are disabled by default. These features are still under development and may be made available to WhatsApp beta testers soon. The WABetaInfo report said the app is also introducing new colour to its Windows and macOS apps with WhatsApp beta for Desktop 2.2201.2.0 update. The new colour scheme will be visible in the dark theme and the chat bubbles seem to be greener compared to the existing colour. Other elements of the app will also see colour changes with chat bar and background colour now reportedly have a blue tinge.
Posted on: 19 January 2022 | 6:25 am
Photo Credit: Fabrice Coffrini | Reuters At present, there is no evidence that healthy children and adolescents need booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, World Health Organization chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said on Tuesday. Speaking at a news briefing, she said that while there seems to be some waning of vaccine immunity over time against the fast-spreading Omicron variant of the coronavirus, more research is needed to determine who needs a booster shot. "There is currently no evidence that healthy children or heavy adolescents need boosters. No evidence at all," he said. Israel began offering boosters to children as young as 12, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration earlier this month authorized the use of a third dose of the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 12 and 15. Last week, Germany became the latest country to recommend that all children between the ages of 12 and 17 receive a COVID-19 booster shot. Hungary did it too. Swaminathan said the WHO’s top group of experts would meet later this week to consider the specific question of how countries should consider giving boosters to their populations. “The aim is to protect the most vulnerable, to protect those at highest risk of severe disease and dying. Those are our elderly populations, immuno-compromised people with underlying conditions, but also healthcare workers,” she said.
Posted on: 19 January 2022 | 6:16 am
Photo credit: Gadgets Now Apple has confirmed that iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro do not cancel noise during phone calls, including iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 Pro Max. Apple included the feature in the iPhone 12 series and earlier models to improve call quality in noise environment. No reason was given to remove this feature from the iPhone 13 series noise cancellation during phone calls. By reference, by iPhone 13 series, we mean iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. On previous iPhones, the feature was available in Settings under Audio/Visual, which is found in Accessibility. According to Apple, the setting reduces ambient noise when making calls, but only when you hold the iPhone to your ear. By default, Apple has the feature enabled, although it's hidden in Accessibility.Theoretically, the feature made it easier for people to be heard when making calls from busy areas, such as in the near heavy traffic. Apple has now confirmed to 9to5Mac that the lack of noise cancellation on the iPhone 13 series is not a bug in iOS 15. Instead, Apple ruled out the feature but didn't explain why. However, older iPhone models still support "phone noise cancellation" in iOS 15. Currently, the only workaround is to enable the voice isolation feature in Control Center, although this doesn't work with all apps.
Posted on: 18 January 2022 | 9:27 am
Samsung today unveiled the Exynos 2200, its latest flagship chipset that will power Galaxy S22 smartphones in certain regions. The new platform is based on 4nm EUV process technology and comes with a custom GPU called Xclipse. It is based on the AMD RDNA2 architecture and as such is a "single hybrid graphics processor" that offers advanced features such as ray tracing and variable rate shading on mobile devices, the first smartphone chip to do so. Ray tracing is a technology that simulates how light behaves in real life, calculating the motion and color of objects as light rays bounce off surfaces. The hardware-accelerated feature offers realistic effects and immersive graphics, making playing games that support these features as great as it looks. Variable rate shading is another technology implemented in PC and console games. Developers apply lesser shading to areas where quality is not compromised, improving frame rate and smooth gameplay. Exynos 2200 is also one of the first chips to integrate ARMv9 CPU cores. The octa-core processor features a single powerful CortexX2 core, three CortexA710 cores that balance performance and efficiency, and four small CortexA510 cores for power efficiency. Traditionally, Samsung does not disclose the frequency of its chips are cloaked at. The new GPU and upgraded CPU also have a more powerful NPU to keep them company. Compared to the Exynos 2100, the performance has been doubled and allows more calculations in parallel, improving the overall performance of the AI. The chipset is powered by the latest LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 storage. The 5G modem works on both sub-6GHz and mmWave frequencies, while the global navigation system is compatible with all major standards and satellites. Samsung said the Exynos 2200 is "currently in mass production". We'll see the Galaxy S22 lineup with the chip, but rumors point to February 8th as a possible launch date.
Posted on: 18 January 2022 | 9:07 am
Photo credit: Marvel Studios Marvel's Eternals is a very different beast to many other MCU movies; directed by autheor Chloe Zhao, is a slow-paced, meditative story that explores the emotional toll of immortality on a group of extraterrestrials who have lived on the fringes of human society for millennia. This departure from the familiar house style has led many fans to dislike Eternals, but there's one thing it does as well as other Marvel films: hide Easter eggs in plain sight. And now that the film is streaming on Disney+, a new video on the Heavy Spoilers channel just picked up all the niche references and clues. The first Easter egg appears seconds into the film: The "six singularities" mentioned in the opening text are a nod to the Infinity Stones, those brightly colored McGuffins who have directed the action for much of the past decade. Following the introductory exhibition montage, as we move to Sersi in present-day London, we see an announcement from the Global Repatriation Council, the organization set up to deal with the aftermath of the Avengers undoing the Snap featured in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. A number of different versions of Captain America's shield also show up in the movie, first in Kingo's Bollywood number, and then later on his private plane, where the earliest design is on display. But it's not just Marvel properties that the movie is alluding to: Eternals includes a couple of nods to DC, with Phastos' son calling Ikaris "Superman," and Kingo's valet Karun being compared to Batman's butler Alfred. The Celestial whose "emergence" functions as the movie's climactic crisis is named Tiamut, which is a reference to an apocalyptic figure from Babylonian mythology. This is especially apt given that ancient Babylon is one of the historical locations where we see the Eternals influencing humanity in the movie. If You want To download Eternal For Free Then Click Here
Posted on: 18 January 2022 | 8:46 am
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla speaks during a ceremony in Thessaloniki, Greece, on October 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos, File) Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said on Monday that while the "most likely scenario" is that the coronavirus will circulate for many years, he believes the current wave of infections will be the last to require restrictions. Bourla gave an interview to the French medium BFM. TV to commemorate the announcement of an investment package by the pharmaceutical company in France. Bourla also touted the vaccines' effectiveness and safety, saying he believed people would still need booster shots. "It's important that people get Pfizer's three-dose regimen. coronavirus vaccine and will likely require yearly booster shots, although the immunocompromised may need them every four months," Bourla said. “Children need to be vaccinated to protect them. Its effectiveness in children is very, very, very good. Bourla also said the company's anti-COVID pill, Paxlovid, is "changing everything" as a new way to fight serious illnesses. Pfizer said in December that its Paxlovid pill had reduced hospitalizations and deaths by nearly 90 percent in vulnerable people. In the interview, Bourla said the company was working on a plan that would invest 520 million euros ($593.7 million) in France over the next five years, including a partnership with French company Novasep to develop an anti-inflammatory treatment -COVID pills. France, like many other countries, is facing a record number of infections caused by the highly contagious Omicron variant. France's parliament passed legislation on Sunday barring unvaccinated people from all restaurants, sports stadiums and other venues, the centerpiece of the government's effort to protect hospitals. in the middle of the wave. The government of French President Emmanuel Macron is hoping the step will be enough to limit the number of patients filling up strained hospitals nationwide without resorting to a new lockdown. More than 76% of French ICU beds are occupied by virus patients, most of them unvaccinated, and some 200 people with the virus are dying every day. Like many countries, France is in the grip of the Omicron variant, recording more than 2,800 positive cases per 100,000 people over the past week.
Posted on: 17 January 2022 | 7:33 am
Warren Buffett says these are the best businesses to own — 3 examples from Berkshire's portfolio While we're constantly bombarded with confusing investment mumbo jumbo, we must never forget that, for the most part, companies exist for one primary reason: to take capital from investors and make a return on it. For this reason, it makes sense for investors to look for companies with enduring competitive advantages that are capable of consistently delivering high returns on investments. As Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, once said, "The best company to own is one that can deploy large amounts of incremental capital at very high prices at very high rates of return. With that in mind, here are three Berkshire holdings with double-digit returns on invested capital. Moody's (MCO) With returns on invested capital consistently in the mid-20% range, credit rating leader Moody’s leads off our list. Moody’s shares held up incredibly well during the height of the pandemic and are up nearly 220% over the past five years, suggesting that it’s a recession-resistant business worth betting on. Specifically, the company’s well-entrenched leadership position in credit ratings, which leads to outsized returns on capital, should continue to limit Moody’s long-term downside Moreover, Moody’s has generated about $2.4 billion in trailing twelve-month free cash flow. And over the first three quarters of 2021, the company has returned $975 million to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends. As of Q3 2021, Berkshire holds more than 24.6 million shares of Moody’s worth just under $8.8 billion. Moody’s has a dividend yield of 0.7%. Apple (AAPL) Next up, we have consumer technology gorilla Apple, which boasts a five-year return on invested capital of 28%, much higher than that of rivals like Nokia (-3%) and Sony (12%). Even in the cutthroat world of consumer hardware, the iPhone maker has been able to generate outsized returns due to its loyalty-commanding brand and high switching costs (the iOS experience can only be had through Apple products). And with the company continuing to penetrate emerging markets like India and Mexico, Apple’s long-term growth trajectory remains healthy. In the most recent quarter, Apple’s revenue jumped 29% to $83.4 billion. The company also returned over $24 billion to shareholders. The stock currently sports a dividend yield of just 0.5%, but with a buyback yield of 3%, Apple is doling out more cash to shareholders than you might think. It's no wonder that Apple is Berkshire's largest public holding, owning more than 887 million shares in the tech giant worth roughly $125.5 billion. Procter & Gamble (PG) Rounding out the list is consumer staples giant Procter & Gamble, with a solid five-year average return on invested capital of 13.5%. Berkshire held 315,400 shares at the end of Q3, worth around $44 million at today’s price. While that’s not a big position by Berkshire standards, something does make P&G stand out: the ability to deliver rising cash returns to investors through thick and thin. The company offers a portfolio of trusted brands like Bounty paper towels, Crest toothpaste, Gillette razor blades and Tide detergent. These are products households buy on a regular basis, regardless of what the economy is doing. In April, P&G’s board of directors announced a 10% increase to the quarterly payout, marking the company’s 65th consecutive annual dividend hike. P&G share currently offer a dividend yield of 2.2%. Source: Yahoo News
Posted on: 17 January 2022 | 7:20 am
Image Credit: Onleaks Details about Oppo's next flagship are starting to gather. Multiple leaks suggest it will be called the Find X5 Pro, with a similar design to last year's Find X3 Pro and specs broadly in line with the new OnePlus 10 Pro, now available in China. (OnePlus is now, of course, treated as an Oppo sub-brand. The Find X3 Pro wasn't sold in the US, but it made its way to Europe and was one of the best phones of 2021. Renderings recently released by OnLeaks show a device with a camera hump that flows into the rest of the rear much like the Find X3 Pro, although the camera setup has changed and doesn't appear to include the previous phone's unique ring light accoutrement, which features a 'microscope' camera. Alleged real photos confirming the OnLeaks renders have also now surfaced online, showing a white Hasselblad branded model of the phone, just like recent OnePlus flagships. There's also a photo of the device's settings menu, stating that it has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, like the OnePlus 10 Pro, as well as Oppo's own new chip, the MariSilicon X. This is an NPU used for image processing . It was announced alongside Oppo's Air Glass AR device late last year. There are other specs floating around on Chinese social media channels that can't be verified but don't sound very surprising, like the OnePlus 10 Pro. Both of Oppo's previous Find X flagships were announced in March, for which we should get official details pretty soon.
Posted on: 17 January 2022 | 6:54 am
Satellite images from JMA show the volcano eruption in Tonga on January 15. An undersea volcano near Tonga has erupted for the third time in four days, potentially threatening the ability of surveillance flights to assess damage to the Pacific island nation following Saturday's massive eruption and tsunami. The Australian Meteorological Service said a "major eruption" occurred on the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha'apai volcano on Monday, but no tsunami warning was issued. Saturday's eruption was probably the largest recorded on the planet in more than 30 years, experts said. Dramatic footage from space captured the eruption in real time, when a huge plume of ash, gas and steam was spewed up to 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) into the atmosphere and Tsunami waves were sent to crash into the Pacific. Footage on social media showed people fleeing as waves flooded Tonga's capital, Nuku'alofa, and the afternoon sky turned black from the heavy ash cloud. Tsunami waves have also been recorded thousands of miles away along the west coast of the United States, in Peru, New Zealand and Japan. In Peru, at least two people have died after being hit by high waves. No mass casualties have yet been reported, but aid organizations are concerned about air contamination and access to clean water for residents of Tonga's outer islands. With communications down, Australia and New Zealand sent flights to survey the damage. Where is Tonga's Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha'apai volcano? Tonga is a Polynesian country of over 170 islands in the South Pacific and is home to around 100,000 people. It is a remote archipelago that lies about 800 kilometers (500 miles) east of Fiji and 2,380 kilometers (1,500 miles) from New Zealand. The HungaTongaHungaHa'apai volcano, about 30 kilometers (20 miles) southeast of Tonga's Fonuafo'ou Island, lies underwater between two small islands about 2,000 meters (6,500 feet) high from the sea floor, with about 100 meters (328 feet) visible above sea level. Researchers said it has erupted steadily over the past few decades. In 2009 an eruption sent plumes of steam and ash into the air and formed new land above the water, and an eruption in January 2015 created a new island about 2 kilometers wide , effectively merging with the islands of HungaTonga and HungaHa'apai. The most recent eruption began in December 2021, with plumes of gas, steam and ash rising about 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) into the air. The volcano erupted again on January 14, and a massive eruption on January 15 sent shock waves around the world and triggered tsunami waves in the Pacific. Where did the tsunami hit? The eruption caused a tsunami on Tonga's largest island, Tongatapu, with waves recorded at 1.2 meters (about 4 feet) near Nuku'alofa city flowing onto coastal roads and flooding properties on Saturday. Tsunami warnings went into effect across Pacific Island nations including Fiji, Samoa and Vanuatu. Footage from the ground in Fiji shows people fleeing to higher ground in the capital, Suva, as large waves hit the coast. Tsunami warnings and advisories were also issued from parts of New Zealand, Japan and Peru, to the United States and Canada's British Columbia. In Japan, the northeastern prefecture of Iwate saw waves as high as 2.7 meters (9 feet) and multiple smaller tsunamis were reported in numerous other locations, according to public broadcaster NHK. By Sunday afternoon, all tsunami advisories had been lifted in Japan. The eruption also sent waves to the US West Coast, with some exceeding 3 and 4 feet in height, according to the National Weather Service office in San Diego. Tsunami waves were felt in California, Alaska and Hawaii. What is happening with the ash cloud? A giant cloud of volcanic ash blanketed Tonga over the weekend, obscuring the afternoon sky and blanketing Nuku'alofa in a thick foam of volcanic dust on Saturday. Save the Children said drinking water supplies could be contaminated with ash and smoke and the immediate concern in Tonga is air and water safety. The ash cloud was moving west and was visible over Fiji, Vanuatu and New Caledonia on Sunday. According to the state weather service, it reached Queensland in Australia on Monday. at dawn sunlight was scattered by #volcanic ash from the #Tonga eruption," the Queensland Bureau of Meteorology said on Twitter. The ash prevented an Australian reconnaissance flight from departing to assess the damage early on January 17, although the flight took off later that morning.Several flights from Australia, New Zealand and Fiji to Tonga were postponed due to the ash cloud. suggest the volcanic ice eruption was the largest since the 1991 explosion at Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines, New Zealand volcanologist Shane Cronin told Radio New Zealand. "This is a better observed eruption from space," Cronin said, according to Reuters. The eruption suggests it was likely the largest since the Pinatubo eruption in 1991," Cronin said. What is the scale of devastation? So far there have been no reports of mass casualties in Tonga and the extent of the damage is unknown as communications, particularly on the offshore islands, have yet to be restored. Tonga "needs immediate help to provide its citizens with clean water and food". said the Speaker of the country's House of Representatives, Lord Fakafanua, in a statement released on social media. It said "many areas" had been affected by "significant volcanic ash fall" but "the full extent of the damage to life and property is unknown at this time". Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said January 16 that tsunami waves had had a "significant impact" on Nuku'alofa as boats and large rocks washed ashore. "Shops along the coast have been damaged and major cleanup will be required," he said. The main underwater communications cable is also affected, likely due to a power outage. Australia's Minister for Pacific and International Development Zed Seselja said there was "significant damage" in Tonga, including to roads and homes. He said there was still "very limited, if any" information from the outer islands. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said its teams are on the ground and have enough supplies in the country to feed 1,200 homes. "Based on what little current information we have, the extent of the devastation could be immense, particularly for the outer islands," Katie Greenwood, head of the IFRC's Pacific delegation, said, according to Reuters. The New Zealand Defense Force sent an Orion aircraft on a surveillance mission to Tonga to assess the damage. Ardern said the country initially provided $340,000 for relief supplies, technical assistance and on-site assistance. Australia said it was preparing for additional support, with a plane loaded with humanitarian supplies including water and hygiene items ready to deliver to Tonga as soon as conditions allow. China and the autonomous island of Taiwan said in separate statements that they are ready to provide assistance at Tonga's request.
Posted on: 17 January 2022 | 6:37 am
Image Credit: Eric Zeman/ Android Authority The January OTA pack for Google Pixel 6 (“oropiole”) and Google Pixel 6 Pro (“raven”) has started rolling out. The software update brings fixes from December and January that should help Pixel 6 series smartphones run at full speed after numerous bugs and problems seemed to affect the functionality. Google has revealed that the January software update for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro is now available as factory images and full OTA images via the Google Play services website (12.0.0 (SQ1D.220105.007), Jan 2022 - specific device/images links can be found in "sources" below). Those who prefer to wait for the OTA package to arrive with a “check for update” notification may start receiving the update from Monday January 17 onwards according to a report from 9to5Google. The list of fixes for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro in the December and January patches is extensive and an installation should help relieve some of the serious teething issues users have experienced. We recently reported on Google's flagship smartphones being criticized for their flaws, including a scathing comment from tech blogger Marques Brownlee who claimed he would return to his Galaxy S21 Ultra for now. However, it looks like it's ready to give the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro another chance as it's been busy downloading the software update (215MB of fixes in this particular case, presumably from November) . Google took a lot of flak when the December update appeared to leave many Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro phones with critical issues like signal reception issues. Also, many users have complained about the battery drain issue in cellular network standby mode and the slow fingerprint sensor. >Browsing through the list of fixes (see drop-down element "changelog" below for full list) one can find several for battery and charging and for network and telephony. One of these is “general improvements for network connection stability and performance”, which will hopefully alleviate two of the more serious issues mentioned above. There are fixes for biometrics too, with a “general improvements” update coming for the fingerprint sensor. While it’s unlikely every single problem with the Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro can be fixed with this December/January OTA package, it does seem that Google is at least paying attention to the growing din of complaints about the new Pixel phones and doing something proactive about the situation. Buy The Google Pixel 6 Pro On Amazon Buy the Google Pixel 6 on Amazon Source: NoteBook Check
Posted on: 16 January 2022 | 12:01 pm
Patrick Pleul | picture alliance | Getty Images A Tesla lawyer has asked a law firm to fire one of its lawyers or risk losing his job for the electric carmaker led by Elon Musk, The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday. The Tesla lawyer wanted Cooley LLP to fire previously worked at the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. The attorney questioned Musk as part of the agency's investigation into the Tesla CEO's claim in 2018 that he secured funding to take Tesla private, the publication said. The investigation led to a settlement in which Musk and Tesla agreed to pay a fine of $20 million each and Musk agreed to step down for three years as Tesla chairman. Tesla's attorney late last year asked Cooley to fire the attorney working on the SEC investigation, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The firm did not fire the partner. Tesla has offered to replace Cooley or hire other attorneys in several cases since December, according to the Journal. Musk's rocket company, SpaceX, has also stopped working with the law firm on regulatory matters, she also stopped working. with the law firm, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Tesla has its ties to the SEC. The company hired David Misler, a former defense attorney for the agency, as legal counsel. Musk has faced more regulators than the SEC. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has investigated whether Tesla's Autopilot assistance system is at least partially responsible for incidents where Tesla cars crashed into parked first responder vehicles. The agency called Missy Cummings, a Duke University professor, automated systems expert, former Navy fighter pilot and Tesla critic, as a consultant on the investigation. Musk tweeted in October that "his resume is extremely biased in favor of Tesla," prompting outcry among his supporters. NHTSA then asked Cummings to recuse himself from Tesla-specific questions, the Journal reported on Saturday. Source: CNBC
Posted on: 16 January 2022 | 11:07 am
In this undated handout photo released by Ukrainian Foreign Ministry Press Service, the building of Ukrainian Foreign Ministry is seen during snowfall in Kyiv, Ukraine. Ukrainian officials and media reports say a number of government websites in Ukraine are down after a massive hacking attack. While it is not immediately clear who was behind the attacks, they come amid heightened tensions with Russia and after talks between Moscow and the West failed to yield any significant progress this week. (Ukrainian Foreign Ministry Press Service via AP) Microsoft said on Saturday that dozens of computer systems in an unknown number of Ukrainian government agencies were infected with destructive malware disguised as ransomware, a revelation that suggests a defacement attack that draws attention to official websites was a diversion. The extent of the damage was not immediately clear. The attack comes as the threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine looms and diplomatic talks to resolve the tense standoff appear to have stalled. Microsoft said in a short blog post that this amounted to the sound of an industry alert that it first detected the malware on Thursday. This would coincide with the attack which temporarily took some 70 government websites offline. The disclosure followed a Reuters report earlier in the day quoting a senior Ukrainian security official as saying the disfigurement was indeed a cover for a malicious attack. Separately, a senior private sector cybersecurity official in Kyiv told The Associated Press how the attack was successful: intruders entered government networks through a shared software vendor in a self -so-called SolarWinds 2020 Russian cyber-espionage campaign-style supply chain attack against Microsoft said in another technical article that the affected systems "spread across multiple government, non-profit, and technology and information Technology Organization. "The malware is disguised as ransomware but, if activated by the attacker, would render the infected computer system inoperable," Microsoft said. In short, there is no ransom recovery mechanism. Microsoft said the malware "runs when an associated device is turned off," a typical initial reaction to a ransomware attack. Microsoft said it was not yet able to assess the purpose of the destructive activity or associate the attack with a known threat actor. Ukrainian security official Serhiy Demedyuk was quoted by Reuters for claiming that the attackers used malware similar to that used by Russian intelligence services. He is Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council.
Posted on: 16 January 2022 | 5:57 am
WhatsApp, owned by Meta, is actively developing its app and working on new features. The app's latest beta on iOS reveals that a new feature may be coming soon worked on reactions to iMessage-like messages. In their latest findings, they discovered that a relevant setting has appeared in the new beta on iOS. WABetaInfo shared that WhatsApp version 22.72 on iOS adds a new Reactions Notifications toggle to app settings. With this toggle visible to beta users, the feature may come to the platform fairly quickly. Alternatively, the company may have accidentally revealed this setting and may remove it in future betas if the Reactions feature is not yet ready. In 2020, Mark Zuckerberg shared that Meta (Facebook at the time) planned to merge the messaging systems of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. He said plans won't materialize until 2022. With WhatsApp likely to add reactions to messages soon, the gap between it and Facebook/Instagram direct messages (DMs) is narrowing even further. The merger between Facebook and Instagram DMs has already happened, as both platforms support the same messaging features (for the most part). WhatsApp is still far from becoming similar to either of these two services. It remains to be seen whether the merger of the three will take place this year. It is also possible that the company is prevented from making this potential move for monopoly reasons.
Posted on: 15 January 2022 | 9:15 am