WhatsApp to impose new limit on forwarding to fight fake news | Technology- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

WhatsApp is to impose a strict new limit on message forwarding as the Facebook-owned chat app seeks to slow the dissemination of fake news, the company has announced.
If a user receives a frequently forwarded message – one which has been forwarded more than five times – under the new curbs, they will only be able to send it on to a single chat at a time. That is one fifth the previous limit of five chats, imposed in 2019.

How to help

Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, more than 40 million Americans relied on food banks to get enough to eat. Now, the demand for emergency food aid is growing exponentially as millions of people lose their jobs. 
As this demand grows, food banks are receiving far fewer donations from retailers as people are buying in bulk, so stocks are low. This means food banks must buy more supplies to make sure they have enough to feed every hungry American asking for help.

Donate money or supplies

The Feeding America network of 200 food banks secures and distributes 4.3 billion meals each year through 60,000 food pantries and meal programs. They help vulnerable communities including the elderly and disabled, as well as providing free nutritional lunches for school children from low-income families.
If you want to help, find your local food bank, and go to their website to donate. You can also donate to Feeding America’s Covid-19 response fund.

Volunteers

Food banks rely on volunteers, and Feeding America and food pantries across the US urgently need help as most regular volunteers are senior citizens who are particularly vulnerable to Covid-19. If you are interested in becoming a new volunteer, use Feeding America’s tool to find your local food bank or pantry but please get in touch with them first before showing up. Remember, if you’re worried about your own health or the risk to a family member, “stay home” is the advice.

The change does not completely prevent widespread forwarding, since ultimately a message can be passed on however many times a user is happy to hit the forward button.
But by inserting friction into the process, the company hopes to slow some of the most viral messages on its platform, such as the widely spread falsehood that coronavirus is related to 5G. That claim has led to the vandalisation of more than 20 phone masts in the past week.
“We’ve seen a significant increase in the amount of forwarding which users have told us can feel overwhelming and can contribute to the spread of misinformation,” said a WhatsApp spokesperson in a blogpost on Tuesday morning.
“We believe it’s important to slow the spread of these messages to keep WhatsApp a place for personal conversation.”
Because of the encryption WhatsApp uses, the company cannot see the contents of messages sent on its platform. That prevents it from employing the same moderation strategies as Facebook or Twitter, which can take down harmful content that is flagged.

Life in lockdown: how our jobs turned upside down – video
Instead, the company has long worked to introduce friction into messaging more generally, as well as provide users with information that could help them know whether a message is trustworthy.
The latter is achieved by noting when a message has been forwarded or frequently forwarded – indicated with a double arrow icon – while the former has led to progressively stricter limits on mass mailings.
Until 2018, for instance, users had been able to forward a message to 250 groups at once; that was reduced to 20 that year, five in 2019 and one now. WhatsApp says those measures reduced message forwarding by 25% globally.

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Woolworths, Coles to raise tap-and-go limit to $200 – Finance – Hardware – Networking – Software- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Australia’s two biggest supermarkets Woolworths and Coles will raise their dollar limits for contactless transactions without PIN numbers from $100 to $200 in a bid to stop further COVID-19 infections by lessening the use of payment terminal keypads.
The move comes, iTnews has confirmed, after the two grocery giants agitated strongly for the lift to the government, prevailing on global credit card schemes Mastercard and Visa as well as regulators and Tempemail Cabinet to raise the current $100 limit until the spread of the virus subsides.
The official announcement of the lifting of the contactless limit is scheduled for Friday morning, however it is already working in some supermarkets.
Woolworths chief executive Brad Banducci has been publicly outspoken about the need for the contactless limit to rise.
Customers using Apple Pay to tap via glass will also be roped in under the raised limit.
Importantly, eftpos transactions linked to Apple Pay – which is offered by ANZ, Suncorp and raft of smaller banks – will also be PIN free to $200. Bank issued eftpos cards that use tap, like the classic CBA Keycard, will also work.
Less clear is how other merchants will be treated.
Coles and Woolworths are classed as ‘strategic merchants’ under payment card interchange fees because of the volume of transactions they push. This means the supermarkets get lower card interchange fees, money that is shunted between issuing banks.
One issue is that while Australia’s biggest retailers might be doing the right thing in terms of hygiene, if smaller merchants are not roped in, it will effectively steer customers to the supermarkets with the most market power.
A further issue is that the push to get people to use contactless transactions overall will deliver a handsome revenue windfall to credit card giants Mastercard and Visa because the bulk of debit-based tap-and-go transactions ride on their so-called proprietary rails.
The Reserve Bank of Australia has been pushing for banks to further roll out a regulatory reform known as least cost routing, also know as merchant choice routing, that lets shopkeepers set the rails transactions ride on rather than the banks and the card schemes.
Shopkeepers are already on the warpath over tap fee gouging having formed a fightback group earlier this year. 
With the RBA’s review of payments systems regulation and now on hold until next year, and consumers being urged to tap more than ever, an obvious and real question arises as to whether there is now a case for more immediate regulatory measures.  
Coles and Woolworths are being contacted for comment.

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Woolworths, Coles to raise contactless PIN-free limit to $200 – Finance – Hardware – Networking – Software- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Australia’s two biggest supermarkets Woolworths and Coles will raise their dollar limits for contactless transactions without PIN numbers from $100 to $200 in a bid to stop further COVID-19 infections by lessening the use of payment terminal keypads.
The move comes, iTnews has confirmed, after the two grocery giants agitated strongly for the lift to the government, prevailing on global credit card schemes Mastercard and Visa as well as regulators and Tempemail Cabinet to raise the current $100 limit until the spread of the virus subsides.
The official announcement of the lifting of the contactless limit is scheduled for Friday morning, however it is already working in some supermarkets.
Woolworths chief executive Brad Banducci has been publicly outspoken about the need for the contactless limit to rise.
Customers using Apple Pay to tap via glass will also be roped in under the raised limit.
Importantly, eftpos transactions linked to Apple Pay – which is offered by ANZ, Suncorp and raft of smaller banks – will also be PIN free to $200. Bank issued eftpos cards that use tap, like the classic CBA Keycard, will also work.
Less clear is how other merchants will be treated.
Coles and Woolworths are classed as ‘strategic merchants’ under payment card interchange fees because of the volume of transactions they push. This means the supermarkets get lower card interchange fees, money that is shunted between issuing banks.
One issue is that while Australia’s biggest retailers might be doing the right thing in terms of hygiene, if smaller merchants are not roped in, it will effectively steer customers to the supermarkets with the most market power.
A further issue is that the push to get people to use contactless transactions overall will deliver a handsome revenue windfall to credit card giants Mastercard and Visa because the bulk of debit-based tap-and-go transactions ride on their so-called proprietary rails.
The Reserve Bank of Australia has been pushing for banks to further roll out a regulatory reform known as least cost routing, also know as merchant choice routing, that lets shopkeepers set the rails transactions ride on rather than the banks and the card schemes.
With the RBA’s review of payments systems regulation and now on hold until next year, and consumers being urged to tap more than ever, an obvious and real question arises as to whether there is now a case for more immediate regulatory measures.  
Coles and Woolworths are being contacted for comment.

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Woolworths pushes banks, govt to raise tap-and-go limit from $100 to $250 – Finance – Hardware- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Woolworths has asked the government and banks to raise the limit of contactless card transactions from $100 to $250 to prevent hundreds of thousands of customers interacting with PIN pads during a pandemic.
CEO Brad Banducci told ABC Radio’s Drive program yesterday afternoon that the idea had been raised during a 1.30pm meeting yesterday by the Supermarket Taskforce.
Formed by the Department of Home Affairs earlier this week, the taskforce aims to break the retail logjam with “representatives from government departments, supermarkets, the grocery supply chain and the ACCC” on the body.
Banducci saw raising tap-and-go payment limits as important and believed previous barriers to doing so would fall away.
“We’re encouraging tap-and-go [bcause] the less touchpoints there are, the less risk there is of course in the store,” he told ABC Radio.
On the current $100 limit without needing to use a PIN, Banducci said: “This is an issue we raised at the supermarket government taskforce at 1.30 today. 
“We’ve asked the government to work with us to see whether we can raise the limit to $250 actually, and if we did that, there would be 350,000 less physical interactions required between our customers and a PIN pad.”
Banducci did not immediately quantify the time period that 350,000 number referred to.
“I’m not saying we’re going to [raise the limit] but it is one of the things that we’ve raised the financial institutions as well as the government [as] just another small measure that will help,” Banducci said.
However, quizzed on whether he thought authorities were receptive, Banducci said: “I think we’re really coming together as a community and as a society over the last week. 
“It’ll happen – in my view it’s just a question of when. 
“It’s a question of hours or days.
“We’re not in the ‘if’ anymore, which I think is very pleasing.”

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Apple scraps iPhone purchase limit amid virus outbreak – Finance – Strategy- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Apple has dropped a two-device limit on online purchases of iPhones, a check of its web stores showed on Monday, just days after changing the checkout procedure amid a coronavirus pandemic.
Drop-down menus in online stores for territories ranging from the United States to Hong Kong and mainland China now allow customers to buy more than 10 devices.
Curbs stay for some iPad and Macbook models, however.
Apple declined to comment.
This month Apple said it would shut all its brick-and-mortar retail stores outside mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao, in effect switching purchases to its website.

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EU urges streaming services such as Netflix and YouTube to limit broadband use – Blog – 10 minute

Why it matters: Social distancing and working from home are important measures in slowing the spread of the coronavirus, but that also means there will be additional strain on telecom companies’ networks. The EU is asking streaming companies and users to reduce bandwidth usage as much as possible to prevent congestion.
With more countries going into a state of emergency and urging everyone to work from home, internet bandwidth usage is going to be used a lot more than ever before. Even Conan O’Brien’s team is working from home to get the show back on air by the end of this month, and Microsoft is seeing a surge in the number of Teams users thanks to more people studying and working remotely.
Many more people will likely flood the backbones of the internet with traffic from streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube, so the EU has asked these providers to take immediate measures and limit their bandwidth usage. To that end, EU Commissioner Thierry Breton says he has personally asked Netflix CEO Reed Hastings via phone to switch all accounts to standard definition when high definition isn’t necessary, such as during peak traffic hours.

Breton is also asking users to be more mindful of their data consumption as broadband providers aren’t really equipped to deal with more than the natural evening surges in overall internet traffic. This makes perfect sense as many are now holding interviews, work collaboration, meetings, and school classes online, and it’s no secret that video account for a significant chunk of overall internet traffic.
Italy and Spain have seen rises in residential data traffic of almost 75 percent after the lockdown measures went into effect, and telecom companies are currently in talks to find solutions. Vodafone, which is the world’s second largest mobile operator, has seen a similar situation in Germany and the UK, noting that peak usage can now be observed between 12 PM and 9 PM instead of between 6 PM and 8 PM like it was in the past.
For its part, Netflix has confirmed to Engadget that it will reduce the video bitrate for European users by around 25 percent for the next 30 days. While this may seem significant, it’s unlikely that most people will notice the difference, and it’s a small price to pay to prevent network congestion.

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Uber suspends pooled rides in US, Canada to limit coronavirus spread – Strategy- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Uber on Tuesday began suspending shared rides on its ride-hailing platform in the US and Canada to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
The pooled option, which allows riders to book trips at lower prices by sharing the car with up to three other passengers travelling in the same direction, has been disabled for users opening the apps in the two countries.
“Our goal is to help flatten the curve on community spread in the cities we serve,” senior vice president Uber Rides and Platform Andrew Macdonald said in a statement.
A spokesman said similar steps outside the US and Canada would be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Regular rides and the company’s food delivery platform Uber Eats remain available, but Uber said it was in contact with local authorities to adjust operations as needed.
North America provides the bulk of Uber’s revenue, but pooled rides make up only a small share of all bookings, data by US cities showed.
Lyft, Uber’s smaller North American competitor, on Monday did not respond to a request for comment on its shared rides policy.
The respiratory virus has spread quickly throughout the United States, killing at least 83 people as of Monday and infecting more than 4600 Americans.
The White House on Monday urged people to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people and called for closing bars, restaurants and other venues in states where local virus transmission exists. Some state and local authorities independently imposed mandatory restrictions on those places.
Beginning on Tuesday, Uber users in the US and Canada will also see a message reminding them to consider if the ride they plan to book is essential and to “travel only when necessary,” images provided by Uber showed.
Riders are also being asked to consider the safety of their drivers by washing their hands before and after a ride, sitting in the back seat and rolling down the window to improve ventilation.
Uber has previously said it will compensate drivers and delivery people diagnosed with coronavirus or placed in quarantine by health officials for up to 14 days.

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