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Zuckerberg Says Breaking Up Facebook “Isn’t Going To Help”

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With the look of someone betrayed, Facebook’s CEO has fired back at co-founder Chris Hughes and his brutal NYT op-ed calling for regulators to split up Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. “When I read what he wrote, my main reaction was that what he’s proposing that we do isn’t going to do anything to help solve those issues. So I think that if what you care about is democracy and elections, then you want a company like us to be able to invest billions of dollars per year like we are in building up really advanced tools to fight election interference” Zuckerberg told France Info while in Paris to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Zuckerberg’s argument boils down to the idea that Facebook’s specific problems with privacy, safety, misinformation, and speech won’t be directly addressed by breaking up the company, and that would instead actually hinder its efforts to safeguard its social networks. The Facebook family of apps would theoretically have fewer economies of scale when investing in safety technology like artificial intelligence to spot bots spreading voter suppression content.

Hughes claims that “Mark’s power is unprecedented and un-American” and that Facebook’s rampant acquisitions and copying have made it so dominant that it deters competition. The call echoes other early execs like Facebook’s first president Sean Parker and growth chief Chamath Palihapitiya who’ve raised alarms about how the social network they built impacts society.

But Zuckerberg argues that Facebook’s size benefits the public. “Our budget for safety this year is bigger than the whole revenue of our company was when we went public earlier this decade. A lot of that is because we’ve been able to build a successful business that can now support that. You know, we invest more in safety than anyone in social media” Zuckerberg told journalist Laurent Delahousse.

The Facebook CEO’s comments were largely missed by the media, in part because the TV interview was heavily dubbed into French with no transcript. But written out here for the first time, his quotes offer a window into how deeply Zuckerberg dismisses Hughes’ claims. “Well [Hughes] was talking about a very specific idea of breaking up the company to solve some of the social issues that we face” Zuckerberg says before trying to decouple solutions from anti-trust regulation. “The way that I look at this is, there are real issues. There are real issues around harmful content and finding the right balance between expression and safety, for preventing election interference, on privacy.”

Claiming that a breakup “isn’t going to do anything to help” is a more unequivocal refutation of Hughes’ claim than that of Facebook VP of communications and former UK deputy Prime Minster Nick Clegg . He wrote in his own NYT op-ed today that “what matters is not size but rather the rights and interests of consumers, and our accountability to the governments and legislators who oversee commerce and communications . . . Big in itself isn’t bad. Success should not be penalized.”

Something certainly must be done to protect consumers. Perhaps that’s a break up of Facebook. At the least, banning it from acquiring more social networks of sufficient scale so it couldn’t snatch another Instagram from its crib would be an expedient and attainable remedy.

But the sharpest point of Hughes’ op-ed was how he identified that users are trapped on Facebook. “Competition alone wouldn’t necessarily spur privacy protection — regulation is required to ensure accountability — but Facebook’s lock on the market guarantees that users can’t protest by moving to alternative platforms” he writes. After Cambridge Analytica “people did not leave the company’s platforms en masse. After all, where would they go?”

That’s why given critics’ call for competition and Zuckerberg’s own support for interoperability, a core tenet of regulation must be making it easier for users to switch from Facebook to another social network. As I explore in this follow-up piece, until users can easily bring their friend connections or ‘social graph’ somewhere else, there’s little to compel Facebook to treat them better.

Source: TechCrunch

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CAREER ADVICE: 3 Ways To Succeed In Tech.

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So much has been written about the lack of diversity in tech but it’s less often that we get access to the candid career advice of those black professionals who have successfully navigated the corporate ladder in the industry.

Dell Technologies’ Najuma Atkinson, the only black woman senior vice president at the tech giant, recently shared some of those insider tips with students of color from HBCUs and minority-serving institutions during a panel on building the tech pipeline at the Dell BE Smart Student Symposium.

Afterward, she sat down with Black Enterprise for an exclusive interview about her 20 years at Dell, her career advice, and the responsibilities that come with her position. “I’m the only but I can’t be the last,” Atkinson, the senior vice president for customer advocacy, insights & analytics, says.

“I have a unique seat at the table now that I didn’t have. And so when we’re talking about roles or new projects that come up, and we look at the slate of candidates, if I don’t see diverse people even being considered, then I ask. It’s my responsibility. Someone did that for me. They found something in me that was important, and they wanted to invest in this. I have to invest in others.”

Part of Atkinson investing is others is making herself available to professionals of color on the come-up and sharing her experiences and her learnings. Here’s her career advice for young professionals who want to succeed in tech:

BE OPEN TO EVERYTHING

“I think, because we invest a lot in ourselves, particularly students from underrepresented populations, we feel a tremendous pressure to do things to achieve. But the learning comes in the learning. The university says you don’t have to declare your major in the first year; you want to go and do a bunch of different things. Because it is those skills that you’re building that prepare you for the senior roles. And you want to take things that make you uncomfortable, that are not in your area of expertise. You want to do things where you are learning, so you constantly want to challenge yourself.”

BE FLEXIBLE

“In technology, you become irrelevant very quickly. Technology changes very fast. And so your adaptability and capability to do so is critical to your success. You may have spent six months on a project and we’ve decided that that’s not important. Don’t get your feelings hurt. The importance is that you can pivot to say “what’s next?’ and ‘let me figure out where the value is to the organization.’ Know that you want to be constantly changing and be flexible, and understanding what is the value. And then what does the company need from me? Why is it that they have invested in me and how can I make a difference?”

BE YOURSELF

“There were times when I got some really direct feedback about being aggressive, about being direct, about being very passionate. And I would internalize that. So I found myself trying to adjust. There was probably a period of five years of my career when I was in middle management when I was adjusting, and it was awkward, and you could tell. And I don’t think that I was very effective all the time. And then there became a point in time when I was like this is who I am. If you say to me, this is an environment where I can bring my whole self to work and you’re going to embrace it, this is what it means in my thought, my perspective, how I present myself, and what you accept from me. So then it became a conscious ‘I’m going to embrace me, and I’m going to show you why people like me can be successful.'”

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Aftown Music Launches New App Interface.

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Ghana’s premier music streaming platform just marked its third year in the business of bringing seamless audio and visual content to its subscribers through its streaming app available for android and IOS.

In just three years, the Ghanaian based music service has succeeded in being a major part of music consumption culture in Africa, with content from major African artists across the globe; from Angelique Kijo, to Hugh Masekela, Wizkid, Burna Boy, Sarkodie & Stonebwoy; aftown music has become go-to for African inspired content.

After three years of constant improvements they’ve unveiled an upgrade to their app – aftownmusic V 2.0, which is now available on IOS and android. The revamped app comes with offline streaming modes, a new interface, more artistes interactions and 24/7 radio feature amongst other exciting features set to roll out between now and January 2020.

The launch was done during the maiden aftown music concert; and starred the likes of Kelvynboy, Tneeya, Reynolds, A.I, Ko-jo Cue, Kobla Jnr, as well as new music sensations like Yung Pabi, Rojayjay & Phrame.

The well-attended concert marked the climax of the aftown music week celebrations. Go ahead an upgrade your aftownmusic app to enjoy a better music streaming experience.

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iTRASH Technology To Embark On Segregation Educational Tour.

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iTrash technology Limited, operators of Your Trashman partners with Filthbusters Ghana on it's first Waste segregation educational tour to secondary schools and other communities in the Capital Accra.

Your Trashman is Africa’s first Trash – Tech mobile eco-system inclusive technology waste management company, with unique model designed to use the technological advancement of the century to revolutionize the entire waste management industry in Africa and beyond making us the future of waste management.

Filth Busters Ghana herein referred to as FBG, A third sector organization which is operational with focus on the environment and sanitation to create enabling platforms that will help cultivate in the citizenry, especially the youth, the culture and attitude of keeping the environment clean and tidy.

Filth Busters Ghana has over the years carried out several sanitation programs aimed at educating the general public on sanitation related issues, sanitation and environmental education programme in a number of Senior High Schools to create awareness, programs for students among others. Hence the partnership for this project.

The waste segregation tour is set to start in November and end in December 2019 which is the phase one of the project .

The aim of the waste segregation educational tour is to educate the general public on the process of separating waste into different elements, and dividing waste into dry and wet.

If waste is not separated properly, it all gets mixed up in landfills. Waste segregation basically means keeping wet and dry wastes separately so that dry can be recycled and wet waste can be composted.

Your Trashman will Match Make anyone, anywhere with the mobile trash application to get the most convenient waste disposal ever to end the unmanaged garbage problems across Africa’s Cities, as well as empowering ordinary people to become “Trashpreneurs”. This of course will help in creating more sustainable jobs, increasing enterprises and strengthening local economies.

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Motorola Releases Fold-able Smartphone – Razr.

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We all remember the classic Motorola Razr V3 clamshell phone from the early days of the millennium. Now, in the age of foldable screens, Motorola reinvented the device and introduced the all-new Motorola Razr with a 6.2” foldable panel on the inside.

The Razr runs on the mid-range Snapdragon 710, coupled with 6GB RAM and 128GB of storage. There are only two cameras on the phone - one on the outside of the flip part and another on the inside, tucked inside a notch (yes, really).

The main shooter is 16 MP f/1.7 with EIS, Dual Pixel AF, and Laser AF. It is coupled with dual-LED flash. The selfie shooter is 5 MP f/2.0 with no flash, but the screen can be used to light up your face in the dark.

The biggest talking point of this device is the foldable panel. It is pOLED with a 21:9 ratio and has the marketing name Cinemavision and a resolution of 2142 x 876 pixels. There is another Quick View screen on the outside of the device with a 2.7” OLED panel and a resolution of 600 x 800 pixels.

The good thing about the secondary display is you it lets you use the phone without unfolding it for almost all important features like calls, taking selfies, turning some basic settings off/on and talking to the Google Assistant.

Motorola equipped the Razr with a 2,510 mAh battery that should top up in no time with the 15W TurboPower charging. The OS is Android Pie and it comes with all the Google services you need.

Offered in one color - Noir Black - the Razr is expected to cost $1,500. Motorola is yet to officially confirm the price and announce an actual launch date.

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