Parler’s website suddenly appeared online Sunday with a message from its CEO, John Matze, who said, “Hello world, is this thing on?” The message suggests Parler was able to find another hosting service, coming about a week after Amazon Web Services booted the social media website from its services, taking the site down. It came as Parler—billed as a “free speech” platform—was seeing an unprecedented surge in users as prominent conservatives, among others, were being banned from Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms. Matze also issued a temporary status update. “Now seems like the right time to remind you all—both lovers and haters—why we started this platform,” Matze. “We believe privacy is paramount and free speech essential, especially on social media. Our aim has always been to provide a nonpartisan public square where individuals can enjoy and exercise their rights to both. We will resolve any challenge before us and plan to welcome all of you back soon. We will not let civil discourse perish!” Amazon Web Services’ rationale behind jettisoning Parler was due to a lack of moderation and came in the backdrop of the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riots. Parler, in a court filing, citing text messages between Matze and an Amazon representative, claimed Amazon was primarily concerned with whether President Donald Trump would migrate to Parler after his Twitter account was banned last week.
Congressional threats and inducements make Twitter and Facebook censorship a free-speech violation. Facebook and Twitter banned President Trump and numerous supporters after last week’s disgraceful Capitol riot, and Google, Apple and Amazon blocked Twitter alternative Parler—all based on claims of “incitement to violence” and “hate speech.” Silicon Valley titans cite their ever-changing “terms of service,” but their selective enforcement suggests political motives. Conventional wisdom holds that technology companies are free to regulate content because they are private, and the First Amendment protects only against government censorship. That view is wrong: Google, Facebook and Twitter should be treated as state actors under existing legal doctrines. Using a combination of statutory inducements and regulatory threats, Congress has co-opted Silicon Valley to do through the back door what government cannot directly accomplish under the Constitution.
Apple claims 8-core SoC offers world’s best performance per watt. Apple's "One More Thing" event is all about Macs. Here's the scoop on Apple's latest chip, the M1, which is the first ARM-based computer chip the company is making in-house. The M1 is the first computer chip built on a 5nm process with 16 billion transistors. Optimized for Apple's lower-power systems with minimal size and maximum efficiency, there are four performance cores and four efficiency cores in the CPU. Pound for pound, Apple says it has the highest CPU performance per watt, and the four efficiency cores alone match the performance of a dual-core MacBook Air while using much less power. This should contribute to longer battery life and better efficiency in low-power tasks like checking emails, for instance. The GPU has eight cores and can process up to 2.6 teraflops. In concert with the 16-core neural engine, which is capable of 11 trillion processes per second, Apple says apps like Garage Band can handle three times more instruments and effect plugins, while Final Cut Pro, for instance, can render complex timelines up to six-times faster. Compared to "previous-generation Macs," Apple says the M1 delivers "up to 3.5x faster CPU performance, up to 6x faster GPU performance, and up to 15x faster machine learning" with up to double the battery life. Since this is a system-on-chip (SoC) in which the typically separate components of the computer (CPU, GPU, security, etc.) are integrated into one, Apple's aiming to optimize the flow of data for this with a unified memory architecture. Essentially, this allows the components of the SoC to pull from one central pool of memory, rather than multiple individual stores. This will all be supported by security features like hardware-verified secure boot, automatic high-performance AES encryption via the storage controller, and macOS run-time protections. It also includes a Thunderbolt controller with support for USB 4 transfers up to 40Gbps.
Sweden Halts 5G Auction After Court Allows Huawei to Build 5G Network While a report estimated the maximum price tag to totally exclude Huawei at $4 billion, Swedish Digitalisation Minister Anders Ygeman argued that the cost of building the 5G network on an uncertain basis would be significantly higher. Following a ruling by a Swedish administrative court to allow Chinese firm Huawei to participate in the expansion of the country's 5G network, Swedish telecoms regulator PTS halted the upcoming 5G spectrum auctions. Earlier on Monday, the administrative court of Stockholm temporarily lifted the ban on the Chinese telecom giants Huawei and ZTE to participate in the expansion of the 5G network in Sweden, which Swedish Radio reporter Sven Carlsson described as a "partial victory" for Huawei. In October, Sweden followed in the UK's footsteps in banning Huawei equipment from its 5G network citing national security risks and asked companies taking part in 5G spectrum auctions to remove components from the company by the start of 2025. Since the ban from Sweden's 5G expansion, tempers have been running high. The formal reason for the restrictions is that a Chinese security law allegedly makes it possible to force the company to spy on its Western customers. Huawei has vehemently denied the accusations, emphasising its status as an independent business. Huawei, furthermore argued that the Swedish ban is a direct result of American pressure. "If not for the pressure from the United States, I am convinced that we would have had discussions about what is necessary and possible to do to address the risks", Huawei USA Security Officer Andy Purdy told the news outlet Ny Teknik.
Twitter testing feature to make it harder for users to ‘like’ things it doesn’t like. Twitter has secretly begun testing a new feature designed to slow users down before they can ‘like’ a post, adding to a slew of new prompts and prods before people can interact on the platform. The feature was first reported on Monday by Jane Manchun Wong, a Hong Kong-based software expert who reverse-engineers big tech apps to discover upcoming new features still in the development or testing phase. On attempting to ‘like’ a given controversial or potentially misleading tweet, users with the feature are challenged to “help keep Twitter a place for reliable info,” and “find out more” before being allowed to ‘like’ said tweet. The feature doesn’t prevent people liking a tweet – it merely slows them down. If introduced on the wider platform, the feature would be yet another in an array of new features unveiled by the tech giant in recent weeks that are aimed at content de-amplification, ostensibly to encourage critical thinking before information is shared. These include a new prompt encouraging users to actually click through and read an article before retweeting it, in a bid to prevent the spread of clickbait headlines and ‘fake news’ across social media. However, time and time again, this type of intervention by social media companies has been weaponized by partisans on both sides of the aisle, with accusations of fake news and misinformation being rife.
According to the complaint which was voiced at a closed-door meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO), China’s trading partner was taking measures that are “clearly inconsistent with WTO rules, restrict cross-border trading services and violate the basic principles and objectives of the multilateral trading system”, RT reported. The US said at the meeting that its action against Chinese apps was in defense of its national security. It has pointed to the WTO’s General Agreement on Services which allows for such action in cases “relating to the supply of services as carried out directly or indirectly for the purpose of provisioning a military establishment”. China has argued that TikTok’s data collection was standard practiсe for thousands of apps worldwide and that Washington’s actions were a “clear abuse” of the relevant articles. US President Donald Trump has accused TikTok of threatening America’s national security and gathering data for Beijing via the app’s parent company ByteDance. Both Beijing and the firm denied those allegations. Trump has targeted the popular Chinese apps with a series of orders that aim to ban US entities from doing business with them or downloading them from American app stores. In addition, the Trump administration wants to force the sale of TikTok to a US buyer by November 14. ByteDance has already started discussing the transfer of the app’s ownership to US tech giant Oracle. A new company, TikTok Global, would oversee US operations. Trump has approved the deal, which, according to him, will provide “100 percent” security.