Effects of granular privacy controls on Facebook varies according to user expertise: study

Even though the online social platforms are offering several privacy controls to users, it depends on the user how to use them making privacy a debatable issue, a new study has found. According to a new study from the Naveen Jindal School of Management at University of Texas – Dallas, people have different views on the value of privacy controls in managing disclosures and therefore privacy dangers.

“Some people argue that giving users more granular controls mitigates privacy issues because users can effectively limit the recipients of shared content, thereby increasing the secrecy of disclosures,” Huseyin Cavusoglu, Associate Professor of information systems, said. “On the contrary, other people claim that users perceive privacy risks less severely when they have more controls to exercise, and as a result, share more content publicly, thereby increasing the openness of disclosures,” Cavusoglu added.

A team of researchers used data obtained from Facebook to test the relationship between privacy controls and disclosure patterns of Facebook users based on two popular content-sharing activities: Wall posts and private messages. In December 2009, Facebook gave users additional options to manage privacy by introducing granular controls to set access permissions for wall posts on a per-post basis.

The results of the study, which showed the impact of granular privacy controls on the sharing behaviour of the users, said that Facebook users, on average, increased their use of wall posts and decreased their use of private messages in periods after the change in privacy controls. However, different groups of users respond to the new policy in opposite ways, Cavusoglu said.

“What we found is that users who are more privacy conscious started to share more content via wall posts and less content via private messages after the change, possibly because they are the people who are likely to use the enhanced privacy controls and therefore benefit from them. As a result, the openness of their disclosure increased,” he noted. “However, those who are less privacy sensitive prior to the change actually reduced the use of wall posts and increased the use of private messages in periods following the change,” he added.

The study was published in the INFORMS journal Information Systems Research.

Twitter says it will refuse to help Trump build a US national registry of Muslims


Of the nine major tech giants, including Facebook, Apple and Google, only Twitter has declined to help if US President-elect Donald Trump seeks to create a national Muslim registry, a media report said. US-based news website the Intercept said it contacted nine of the most prominent firms to ask if they would sell their services to help create a national Muslim registry — an idea recently refloated by President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team — and only Twitter said no.

“We contacted nine different firms in the business of technology, broadly defined, with the following question: ‘Would [name of company], if solicited by the Trump administration, sell any goods, services, information, or consulting of any kind to help facilitate the creation of a national Muslim registry, a project which has been floated tentatively by the President-elect’s transition team?’,” the report said.

After two weeks of calls and e-mails, only three companies provided an answer and only one said it would not participate in such a project. Google, Facebook, Apple, IBM, IT giant SRA International and Canada-based Information technology consulting company CGI did not provide any answer to the query. Management consulting company Booz Allen Hamilton declined to comment.

Twitter said “No”, and a link, which states as company policy a prohibition against the use, was shared on the website. The link read: “To be clear: We prohibit developers using the Public APIs and Gnip data products from allowing law enforcement — or any other entity — to use Twitter data for surveillance purposes. Period.” Microsoft returned with an answer saying, “We’re not going to talk about hypotheticals at this point.”

A link to a company blog post states that “we’re committed to promoting not just diversity among all the men and women who work here, but…inclusive culture” and that “it will remain important for those in government and the tech sector to continue to work together to strike a balance that protects privacy and public safety in what remains a dangerous time”.

The Intercept cleared that the story was not written to say that the companies which did not reply to the request for a comment or declined to comment, were tacitly endorsing the Trump agenda in general or a Muslim registry in particular. “Still, it is asking very little of today’s tech companies to prompt them to go on record as unwilling to help create a federal list of Muslims — or so one would very much hope,” the report noted.

Pune-based Deskera claims to be the first GST compliant cloud software provider in India

Reports circulating the web reveal the compulsion to roll out GST by Sep 16, 2017. With businesses gone online, and a trend inclined towards cloud and data analytics, many would look for software services to help build their business function smoothly. Pune-based Deskera is one such service provider. It is a part of the GST network, and claims to be the first GST compliant service provider in India. It has been offering services in Singapore and Malaysia.“The complete structure isn’t out, but we do know it is going to be similar to Singapore and Malaysia. And, since we serve these markets, and with probably a similar structure in India, we can offer GST-compliant enterprise services,” Shashank Dixit, CEO, Deskera tells us.

Unlike others, Deskera offers full-fledged services, which aren’t limited to only bigger firms. It easily caters to SMEs alike, Dixit tells us. In fact, its the approach of services that sets it apaprt from others. For instance, a sales team wherein members get a commission will require 3-4 different types of software such as CRM to capture sales, software for payroll, ERP to calculate commission and project management. However, Deskera will do it out-of-the-box with one software.

He further tells us that Asian SMEs including Indian are more demanding and less forgiving, and the service providers will have to be very good at their work, to cater to the lot. Asian SMEs may not necessarily buy 4 pieces of software, while American SMEs could be open to the idea.Dixit tells us that cloud adoption in India is going through the roof, and Deskera opened eight office here in the past 7 months. The most recent one was in Jaipur, and he further adds how the tier 32 cities are adopting cloud service, which led it to open the office in Jaipur. Deskera is now trying to reach to its users.

While the government expects GST to unshackle India from red tape and improve the ease of doing business. However, how the industry will take to the new change will get apparent only after the implementation of the law.

Deskera is profitable startup  with 300 employees, and aims to increase the number to 600 by mid of next year. It also aims at doubling its revenue, which is now close to 200 crore.  Deskera Cloud ERP powers more than 3,000 SMEs and businesses globally. Its products are designed to fulfil the business requirements of a wide range of industries such as manufacturing, trading, distribution, engineering, building and construction. It should be noted that Malaysia switched to the GST era in April 2015. And, Deskera has been working with various Government departments and businesses in Singapore and Malaysia in helping them move to the GST based system.

Nissan finally launches the GT-R in India for Rs 1.99 crores

Remember back in Septmeber we told you that the iconic Nissan GT-R is available for pre-booking? Well, the company has now officially begun deliveries and has confirmed a launch price of Rs 1.99 crore (ex-showroom Delhi). It will be sold exclusively through the Nissan dealership in Noida which will also house India’s first Nissan High Performance Centre (NHPC) to take care of the servicing of the new car.

One of the finest production cars from Nissan, the all new GT-R builds up on the legacy of Nissan’s Skyline series. It is powered by a massive 3.8-litre V6 twin-turbocharged handcrafted engine that can produce 552 bhp at 6,800 rpm and 632 Nm of torque. Thanks to this, the car can launch from 0-100 kmph in just 2.8 seconds.India will get the same European spec Premium Edition and will be available in Katsura Orange, Vibrant Red, Pearl Black, Pearl White, Racing Blue, Gun Metallic and Ultimate Silver. The choice of interior trim includes Red, Tan, Ivory & Black.

“The GT-R is a very special car for Nissan and we are delighted to add it to our Indian line-up for the first time in its history. It is the epitome of Nissan’s technology and design, and demonstrates our brand promise of ‘Innovation and Excitement,” Nissan India Operations President Guillaume Sicard said.

The 2017 GT-R was unveiled at the New York International Auto Show back in March. It will be produced at Nissan’s primary plant in Tochigi, Japan, and will be brought to India as a CBU (Completely Built-up Unit).

99 percent counterfeit Apple chargers fail basic safety test: UK Trading Standards Institute

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) investigated into the safety of counterfeit electronics. In an operation, investigators purchased 400 different Apple chargers online, from various suppliers around the world. Out of these 397 failed a basic safety test. CTSI is warning consumers of the dangers of using counterfeit products.“Only buy second-hand electrical goods that have been tested and only buy online electrical goods from trusted suppliers,” said Leon Livermore, CTSI chief executive. “It might cost a few pounds more but counterfeit and second-hand goods are an unknown entity that could cost you your home or even your life, or the life of a loved-one.”

The institute representatives said that criminals around the world are luring gullible consumers into buying cheap electronic products that are known to set houses on fire. Although the CTSI takes measures to remove dangerous products from the market, and disrupt the supply chain of such unsafe goods, apparently their work is just skimming the surface. The National Trading Standards eCrime division is working with fire and rescue services to make home checks and identify dangerous products. The efforts of CTSI are running concurrently with Project Jasper, an initiative to purge counterfeit products from online marketplaces and social media sites.

Apple has identified the problem too, and has filed a $2 million lawsuit against Mobile Star LLC, for making and distributing counterfeit apple accessories. Details of the lawsuit was posted on Macrumors. Apple has found that 90% of the Genuine Apple products listed on Amazon were counterfeit. The listings used official Apple images and branding. The counterfeit products have a high risk of fire, electrical shocks and overheating.

Panasonic may buy ZKW Group, European automotive light maker to accelerate push into auto


Japan’s Panasonic Corp is in talks to buy European automotive light maker ZKW Group, accelerating its push into the automotive electronics market, a person familiar with the matter said. The deal could be worth up to $1 billion and the two companies could reach a basic agreement as early as this month, the Nikkei business daily reported Monday.An acquisition of ZKW would expand Panasonic’s automotive lineup, which currently centers on batteries and navigation systems, as it shifts its focus to corporate clients to escape price competition from lower-margin consumer electronics manufacturers.

“ZKW is among various deals that Panasonic is considering,” said the source, who was not authorized to discuss the matter and asked not to be named. “But no details have been decided and the deal could fall through,” he said.

Panasonic has earmarked 1 trillion yen ($8.80 billion) for strategic investments including mergers and acquisitions for the four years through March 2019. Of that amount, 70 percent has been already completed or allocated for specific deals, the company has said. The possible acquisition comes at a time when rival electronics makers are also pushing into the automotive industry. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd agreed in November to buy Harman International Industries in an $8 billion deal.

Panasonic is targeting annual sales of 2 trillion yen for its automotive business in the year ending in March 2019, up from 1.3 trillion yen in the last financial year that ended in March. Last year Panasonic took a 49 percent stake in Spanish automotive mirror manufacturer Ficosa International and plans to contribute $1.6 billion to Tesla Motors’ $5 billion battery factory.

Zenith, a leading forecaster says that social media ads will hit $50 billion by 2019

The amount of money spent on advertising on social media is set to catch up with newspaper ad revenues by 2020, a leading forecaster said on Monday. The rapid expansion of social media platforms on mobile devices, as well as faster internet connectivity and more sophisticated technology, has triggered a huge shift in the way many people get their news.

Advertising agency Zenith Optimedia, owned by France’s Publicis, predicts global advertising expenditure on social media will account for 20 percent of all internet advertising in 2019, hitting $50 billion and coming in just one percent smaller than newspaper ads. It expects social media to overtake newspapers comfortably by 2020.

Marketers are increasingly directing their spending to social media sites where ads blend into users’ newsfeeds on platforms such as Facebook and Snapchat proving more effective than interruptive banner formats. Zenith’s report forecasts that global advertising expenditure will grow 4.4 percent in 2017, the same rate as in 2016, which it said would be a strong performance given that big events like the Olympic Games, Britain’s EU referendum and the U.S. presidential election boosted advertising this year.Online video advertising is also rapidly growing and set to total $35.4 billion across the world by 2019, fractionally ahead of the amount spent on radio advertising but still far less than television. Global spending on advertising has been stable since 2010 the report showed, although growth has declined in the Middle East and North Africa. It was expected to continue to grow strongly in China and much of Asia.