Twitter ads starring Trump pop up in Tokyo train stations

He may have shared the world’s worst handshake with its Prime Minister, but President Trump is still big in Japan.

Starting in late March, a set of splashy ads depicting Trump appeared in train cars and metro stations around Tokyo. As a spokesman from Twitter Japan explained to TechCrunch, the Trump ads are one part of a new brand campaign that began on Monday, March 20 and is scheduled to run for two weeks. The campaign’s slogan is “#あなたの知らない今がある” which translates to “There is now you do not know” —  one comprised of millions of tweets flashing by in realtime, presumably.

Trump might be the campaign’s most controversial topic, but the it spanned a number of topics beyond politics. The other sample themes include a social issues ad about Japanese nursery schools, an entertainment focused one depicting paparazzi, a sports ad featuring high school baseball and sumo, a food ad showing tamago-kake-gohan (egg on rice) and, naturally, one about cats.

Another Twitter spokesperson clarified that “This ad campaign is Japan-specific,” so don’t expect to see them creeping up in Trump-hostile train stations around New York or San Francisco. He added that the company ran another political ad campaign in the U.S. last October. That one included similarly stark photos of both presidential candidates, a raft of refugees, and a pot plant, among other symbols of domestic and international conversation.

 At the time, Twitter explained the ad push on its blog. “Because Twitter is open, it’s the place for people to see and discuss the issues from every perspective,” Twitter’s global creative director wrote. “This campaign highlights the top issues being discussed on Twitter – it reflects different sides and doesn’t take sides.”

Yahoo Expected to Confirm Data Breach of Several Hundred Million User Accounts

Yahoo Expected to Confirm Data Breach of Several Hundred Million User Accounts: Report

Yahoo is reportedly expected to confirm a massive data breach of its services with an official statement.

According to sources close to the situation cited by Recode, several hundred million Yahoo user accounts have been exposed.

It was earlier reported in August that a hacker by the name of Peace put up for sale a cache of 200 million stolen Yahoo user account credentials. Yahoo had then said it was investigating the situation.

The hacker had listed an advert on the TheRealDeal marketplace claiming that about 200 million Yahoo accounts are up for sale for three Bitcoins (roughly Rs. 1,07,000). The data included usernames, decrypted passwords, personal information of users and other email addresses.

The confirmation of the hack comes right near the completion of Verizon’s acquisition of Yahoo’s core business for $4.83 billion (roughly Rs. 32,500 crores). Yahoo will be rolled into Verizon’s AOL operations. Meanwhile, industry observers say CEO Marissa Mayer is likely to step down after the sale closes early next year.

Yahoo’s confirmation of the hack is likely to be the final nail on the coffin for the once-popular Internet company. It is still unknown as to how this will affect the deal with Verizon.


Practo Ray Adds Specialist Modules for Physicians, Paediatricians, and Dentists

Online healthcare platform Practo announced Thursday the launch of speciality specific modules for Physicians, Paediatricians and Dentists on Practo Ray, its cloud-based healthcare management solution.

The new specialities will be available in across 100 Indian cities and countries in South East Asia, Latin America, Middle East and Eastern Europe, the company said.

In the blog announcing the launch, Shashank ND, founder and CEO of Practo writes that the new version was launched in close collaboration with thousands of doctors globally, in order to address preventable deaths, and India’s low doctor-patient ratio.

Practo Ray’s new module for physicians enables doctors to digitally prescribe lab tests, generate digital lab reports, and check real-time status of the patients’ test, with an index of nearly 100,000 commonly prescribed medicines and brands.

“Doctors can now prescribe lifestyle advice in one click, using preset templates for all common chronic diseases,” writes Shashank on the Practo blog. The regular reminder notification feature ensures that the patient follows dosage and treatment advice on time, the company said.

Practo Ray Paediatric EMR (electronic medical record) uses five automated WHO standard Growth Charts to help parents document their child’s growth pattern including length/height-for-age, weight-for-age, weight-for-length, weight-for-height and body mass index-for-age. These records will be stored on the Childs’ Practo account and can be accessed, updated and shared with other doctors as and when required. Practo Ray Paediatric EMR also enables the parents to receive automated vaccination reminders. By simply entering the child’s birth date, the software generates a 10 year vaccination schedule, which is synced with the Practo account.

practo_ray_dentists.jpgPracto Ray Dental EMR allows dentists to stay in control of dental procedures on a single dashboard, control revenue flow, access information on pending lab orders and upcoming procedures, and enable appointment scheduling. Patients can also view the entire procedure, get their digital dental records, dental procedure updates, test reports and prescription details on the Practo app automatically without having to collect it from the clinic or get it via email.

Over the coming months, Practo Ray will add more healthcare areas like Ophthalmology and Gynaecology, the company said in an emailed statement.

Founded in 2007, Bengaluru-based Practo is one of the largest funded players in the online healthcare space, with apps for patients and cloud-based SaaS software for doctors. Practo Ray plans have a monthly charge of Rs. 999 per month for the starter plan, while the Ray Pro plan costs Rs. 1,999.

Currently present in four other countries apart from India – Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia, it has global aspirations in the healthcare space.

Yahoo Now Shows Your Flickr Images in Search Results

Yahoo will now also look at your Flickr account while catering results for your search queries. The company has announced that users who’re signed into their Yahoo account will now see their Flickr images in Yahoo image search results.

The search result will also include a selection of images from people you follow (presumably public personalities) and public photos on Flickr, the company announced last week. “Now, if you’re signed in, your search will display personalised results from Flickr, including a selection of your own photos, images from people you follow, and top public photos on Flickr,” it wrote in a blog post. The idea is to make your searches more personalised, and throw up related image results from Flickr.

If you are worried that your Flickr images might show up on other’s searches, don’t be. The company says that only images from one’s personal Flickr account will appear in the results. “We will only pull Flickr photos from your personal account if you have images relevant to your search.”

The image revamp is one of the many features and changes the company has introduced to its search engine and Flickr, the image sharing network it owns, in the recent months. Most notably, the company last month inked a deal with Google to get search ads, image search, and algorithmic search for both desktop and mobile.

In July, the company announced that it is bringing back the Pro plan to Flickr. The paid subscription is priced at $5.99 (roughly Rs. 380) per month – or $49.99 per year. With that, users also get a two-percent discount on Adobe Creative Cloud’s Photography plan.

Karnataka Becomes the First Indian State to Have a Startup Policy

Karnataka has become the first Indian state to have a startup policy with the cabinet clearing it, state Information Technology and Bio-Technology minister S.R.Patil said on Friday.

“Karnataka is the first state in India to come up with a Startup Policy. It will have a timeframe of five years from 2015-2020,” said Patil at the Bangalore 2015 curtain raiser, adding the cabinet approval was accorded on Thursday.

Principal Secretary, IT and BT, V. Manjula said that the policy entails setting up incubators in post graduate colleges, collaboration between R & D institutions and industry and technical business incubators in higher learning institutions among others.

“The operational guidelines and the finer aspects of the Startup policy and the quantum of money for the Startup fund are yet to be made. They will be drafted soon,” he said, adding funds will be released to colleges which will be given a handholding for three years and there will also be a Startup Policy review committee headed by the chief secretary.

Establishment of a Startup cell in KBITS and funding promising early stage startups are also the features of the new policy.

Meanwhile, Karnataka government’s premier IT event Bangalore 2015 has severed its ties with CeBIT and is going independent from December 8-10 with the theme “Fuelling growth through disruptive innovation”.

“Bangalore 2015 is coming up with a renewed vigour this year… Last year in CeBIT 2014, we missed the Karnataka flavor,” said Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) director P.K. Das.

First started in 1998, the event will features 100 plus exhibitors, 110 speakers, 1,000 delegates, 5,000 visitors and eight Young Entrepreneurs Startups in Soaring Spirits (YESS) presenters.

“Various government stakeholders will throw up challenges being faced by them in a hackathon to produce solutions in Bangalore 2015,” added Manjula.

Co-host STPI will confer IT export awards wherein big companies will be recognized as “Pride of Karnataka”, added Das.

Emphasising Karnataka’s robust IT industry, Patil said: “In 2014-15, exports from Katanataka IT companies crossed Rs. 2 lakh crore, and we aim to touch four lakh crore in 2020. The industry generates direct and indirect employment for 40 lakh people.”

Infosys co-founder and Karnataka IT Vision Committee head Kris Gopalakrishnan said every Banaglore is different and should be relevant to the industry requirement and align with the evolving industry.

Government to Work With Microsoft, Others on Digitisation

The government is ready to work with Microsoft and other information and communication technology (ICT) firms to take India to the next level in digital revolution, Telecommunications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Thursday.

“India is standing at the cusp of digital revolution and we are open to work with companies likeMicrosoft to take India over the cusp,” Prasad said at the first of its kind Microsoft technology conference held in Mumbai.

While positioning India’s technology adoption situation, the minister said: “Indians are patient observers of technology. Once we feel that a particular kind of technology is helpful, we adopt it very fast.”

Prasad, in addition, also spoke about different digital initiatives taken by the government including the electronic development fund.

“When I became the minister, investments were around Rs. 10,000 crores but now it has reached Rs. 1,10,000 crores,” Prasad said.

The minister also highlighted achievements of initiatives taken by his ministry and emphasised how the use of technology could simplify lives.

“The four digital initiatives of Digital India, Make In India, Skill India and startup India has to work together for the socio-economic improvement of the country,” he said.

Jabong Ropes in Benetton’s Sanjeev Mohanty as CEO

Online fashion marketplace Jabong Saturday said it has appointed Sanjeev Mohanty as its CEO and Managing Director. Mohanty, whose appointment is effective early December this year, has over 20 years of experience in the fashion industry, the company said in a statement.

Prior to this, he has worked with Benetton India for over 11 years, including 8 years as Managing Director. Mohanty will play a crucial role in reviving the company’s business that has lost ground to rivals like Flipkart, Myntra and Amazon India.

Prior to Benetton India, Mohanty was associated with Madura Garments as General Manager and Brand Head for SF Jeans. He has also worked at Levi Strauss as Product Manager for the top wear category.

“His strong leadership skills and deep understanding of fashion and the Indian consumer, coupled with the continued commitment from GFG’s shareholders, will allow Jabong to further strengthen its position as the leading online fashion destination in India,” Global Fashion Group (parent company of Jabong) CEO Romain Voog said.

While Jabong has faced issues like senior-level exits, erosion in market share, mounting losses as well as speculations of a possible sell-out over the past few months, the new team under Nils Chrestin (CFO at GFG) has been working on turning around the company.

The company recently appointed Saurabh Srivastava as its chief marketing officer (CMO).

Last year, Jabong investors – Investment AB Kinnevik and Rocket Internet AG – had merged the Indian online fashion retailer with four other firms to create a new global fashion e-commerce group, GFG.

GFG has raised about $1.5 billion (roughly Rs. 9,810 crores) in capital since 2011.

“There could be no better opportunity than Jabong given its scale and consumer brand recognition… we have identified a number of growth drivers that will allow us to deliver an unparallelled experience to delight our customers and suppliers,” Mohanty said.

Lorenzo Grabau, Chairman of GFG and CEO of Investment AB Kinnevik said India is a hugely exciting market. “GFG’s shareholders and management remain committed to building Jabong to the benefit of its customers, employees and partners. We look forward to supporting Sanjeev as the company starts a new chapter this Diwali,” he added.

Google Slams Symantec for Issuing Fake Web Certificates, Demands Answers

Google is demanding that Symantec must conduct an assessment to ensure it is still eligible to run a certificate authority. The search giant’s scathing statement comes after the security firm was found to have issued a large number of fake digital certificates.

In mid-September, upon Google’s notification, Symantec revealed that its Thawte certificate authority (CA) issued an Extended Validation (EV) pre-certificate for several domains including Google’s and Opera’s. A total of 23 certificates were issued without the domain owners’ knowledge. At the time, Symantec said that these certificates were only created for testing purposes, and were accidentally issued. Google found these domains in its Certificate Transparency system logs.

Following this discovery, Google asked Symantec to conduct a full audit. Upon investigation, Symantec reported an additional 164 bogus certificates spanning 76 domains, and an additional 2,400 test certificates for unregistered domains. The practice of issuing certificates for unregistered domains has been prohibited since April 2014.

In September, the security firm also fired a number of its employees for errors in issuing certificates. The company had said that “employee error” caused cryptographic certificates to be issued online.

The fake certificates, according to Google, make it possible for attackers to impersonate its as well as many other’s websites, potentially leading to data theft and other cybercrimes. “It’s obviously concerning that a CA would have such a long-running issue and that they would be unable to assess its scope after being alerted to it and conducting an audit. Therefore we are firstly going to require that as of June 1st, 2016, all certificates issued by Symantec itself will be required to support Certificate Transparency,” wrote Ryan Sleevi, Software Engineer at Google in a blog post on Wednesday.

“In this case, logging of non-EV certificates would have provided significantly greater insight into the problem and may have allowed the problem to be detected sooner,” he added.

Symantec seems to be downplaying the threat of the fake certificates. “In September, we were alerted that a small number of test certificates for Symantec’s internal use had been mis-issued. We immediately began publicly investigating our full test certificate history and found others, most of which were for non-existent and unregistered domains,” it said in a statement.

“While there is no evidence that any harm was caused to any user or organisation, this type of product testing was not consistent with the policies and standards we are committed to uphold. We confirmed that these test certificates have all been revoked or have expired, and worked directly with the browser community to have them blacklisted.”

Google is not pleased, as you can imagine. The company wants Symantec to conduct a further investigation to find how it failed to meet the basic requirements. Symantec must comply with Google’s demands if it wants to be trusted by Google for certificates. In addition it also requires Symantec, beginning June 1, 2016, to log all certificates with Google’s Certificate Transparency mechanism.

Europe Has Approved ‘Net Neutrality,’ but Not the Kind Advocates Wanted

The European Parliament has voted to approve new rules for Internet providers in major legislation that is nevertheless being slammed by net neutrality advocates who say the regulation is filled with loopholes.

The bill was passed with none of the amendments that consumer advocates and tech firms were pushing for in a last-ditch effort this week. Critics said the bill did not do enough to prevent Internet providers from classifying favored types of Web traffic as “specialized services” that are more lightly regulated. They also said it gives carriers too much freedom to exempt favored partners from customer data caps, a practice known as “zero rating.”

The vote will lead to a less competitive Internet as broadband providers seek to create paid “fast lanes,” opponents of the bill warned. Internet providers argued that it was in the “main interest of European consumers” to be able to choose among providers based on quality of service and support for various features such as connected cars or telemedicine. Stronger rules might restrict their ability to differentiate themselves and try different business models, they had previously argued.

Roaming provisions of the legislation ensure that users of a communications service traveling to another EU member state will no longer be slapped with high fees for going abroad. The measure pushes Europe toward greater integration, at least as far as mobile services.

But many net neutrality advocates are portraying the bill’s passage as a defeat for the policy.

Indian Road Safety Platform Raksha SafeDrive Goes Up on Kickstarter

Raksha Safedrive, an Internet of Things (IoT) road safety gadget made by Trivandrum-based Elysis Intelligent Devices, has gone live on Friday on US-based crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, with a modest $15,000 goal (roughly Rs. 9.7 lakhs).

The device is claimed to be India’s first smart road safety platform. Once fitted above the dashboard of the car, it’s capable of GPS tracking, automatic crash detection, and offering one-touch voice connectivity in the event of a vehicle breakdown, SafeDrive’s creators claimed.

Raksha SafeDrive’s integrated crash sensors can detect and connect 24×7 to a network of emergency services (medical, police, fire, breakdown) at the touch of button; all delivered through direct human assistance, the founders added. Family and or friends can also be notified via phone call and SMS in case of emergency using the device.

The firm’s modest Kickstarter goal would be met by just 150 early bird orders, priced at $99. At $149, users will get their SafeDrive unit in the colour of their choice.

Speaking to Gadgets 360, Prasad Pillai, Co-Founder and CEO of Elysis Intelligent Devices, said that he chose to put his product on an international crowdfunding platform as he wanted to appeal to the Indian diaspora who wanted to do something about the lack of road safety in India. He cited 2014 data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) which says that Indian roads witness 16 deaths every hour.

The founders are confident that the device can provide roadside assistance to any user, as long as the area has cellular connectivity, but didn’t disclose details of their systems and back-end operations. The call centre will be capable of multilingual support, they assured.