Author: Alex Reece

Uganda to rethink social media tax after backlash

Uganda to rethink social media tax after backlash

Business, Internet, social media
Uganda is reviewing its decision to impose taxes on the use of social media and on money transactions by mobile phone, following a public backlash. The tax means Ugandans will now have to pay 200 Ugandan shillings ($0.05) a day to use popular platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and WhatsApp. Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda made the announcement soon after police broke up a protest against the taxes. President Yoweri Museveni had pushed for the taxes to boost government revenue and to end "gossip" on WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter. Critics accused the 75-year-old of trying to stifle dissenting voices. The social media tax targets the use of what are described as Over The Top (OTT) services, which offer "voice and messaging over the internet", according to a previous statement by telecom c...
Amazon beats Walmart to acquire PillPack, an online pharmacy in bid to disrupt pharmaceutical industry

Amazon beats Walmart to acquire PillPack, an online pharmacy in bid to disrupt pharmaceutical industry

Business, Startups, Technology
Amazon has today announced an acquisition that underscores how it also hopes to have a more direct — and more commercial — role in the world of healthcare in the coming years. The company has purchased PillPack, an online pharmacy the lets users buy medications in pre-made doses. This news come only a week after after appointing a CEO for its healthcare joint venture with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan. “PillPack’s visionary team has a combination of deep pharmacy experience and a focus on technology,” says Jeff Wilke, Amazon CEO of Worldwide Consumer, in a news release. “PillPack is meaningfully improving its customers’ lives, and we want to help them continue making it easy for people to save time, simplify their lives, and feel healthier. We’re excited to see what we can do together o
African Accelerators increasingly targeting niche programmes

African Accelerators increasingly targeting niche programmes

Business, Internet
Accelerator programmes in Africa are increasingly going niche, targeting specific programmes targeted at startups in spaces such as fintech and health, instead of following the more traditional 500 Startups, Y Combinator, or, in Africa, 88mph models. But why are niche programmes suddenly so in vogue on the continent? Has the landscape changed since 88mph departed the scene after programmes in Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria that had mixed success? Do we yet know the real ingredients for a successful African accelerator? Adedana Ashebir is regional manager for Africa at Village Capital, which has run a host of focused accelerators across the continent, most recently a fintech programme with PayPal. She said niche accelerators allow entrepreneurs to share best practices and lessons lea...
Facebook makes a u-turn, European Parliament grilling of Mark Zuckerberg will now belivestreamed

Facebook makes a u-turn, European Parliament grilling of Mark Zuckerberg will now belivestreamed

Governance, Internet
In a change of plan, the public will now be able to livestream and watch  Mark Zuckerberg's response to European Parliament leaders' privacy concerns. The body's president, Antonio Tajani, has tweeted that tomorrow's 75-minute meeting would be livestreamed. Earlier, news that the Facebook chief's meeting with the parliament's political group leaders would be in private, had been criticised. Facebook has repeatedly declined to allow British MPs to quiz Mr Zuckerberg about the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which millions of users' personal data was shared with a political consultancy in breach of the social network's rules. "The data breach affected over one million UK Facebook users," tweeted Damian Collins - chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee - over
Researchers discover AdultSwine Malware hiding on 60 Gaming Apps on Google Play

Researchers discover AdultSwine Malware hiding on 60 Gaming Apps on Google Play

Cyber Security, Mobile
Check Point Researchers have revealed a new and nasty malicious code on Google Play Store that hides itself inside roughly 60 game apps, several of which are intended used by children. According to Google Play’s data, the apps have been downloaded between 3 million and 7 million times. Dubbed ‘AdultSwine’, these malicious apps wreak havoc in three possible ways: 1. Displaying ads from the web that are often highly inappropriate and pornographic. 2. Attempting to trick users into installing fake ‘security apps’. 3. Inducing users to register to premium services at the user’s expense. In addition, the malicious code can move laterally within the infrastructure of the phone, opening the door for other attacks such as user credential theft. How It Works Once the infected app is