Google users in the U.S., Europe, India and other parts of the world were briefly unable to access their Gmail accounts, watch YouTube videos or get to their online documents during an outage Monday.
Tens of thousands of complaints popped up around 7 a.m. Eastern along the East Coast of the U.S. The vast majority of those people, about 90%, could not log in, according to the site Downdetector.
The inability to sign in prevented users accessing other platforms through Google, including mobile video games.
“We’re aware of a problem with Gmail affecting a majority of users,” a status update on a Google dashboard said, followed by another message that said service has been restored for some users. “We expect a resolution for all users in the near future.”
There were similar updates for Google's many other services, such as Docs, Hangouts and Chat. The company did not reply immediately to a request for comment.
Downdetector, which tracks website outages, reported the problem affected users across the world, but appeared especially widespread in the northeastern U.S., Britain and other parts of Europe. Japan, Malaysia and India also looked to be more affected.
Banglalink has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with North South University (NSU) to open a new window of opportunity and collaboration.
Along with joining Banglalink programmes – Learn from the Leaders, Learn from the Startups, Campus to Corporate, Career Bootcamp, Womentor, Ennovators, Strategic Assistant Program, Advanced Internship Program and Campus Ambassador Programme – NSU students will now study the telco’s cases as part of their curriculum.
Banglalink’s Chief Human Resources and Administration Officer Monzula Morshed, Head of Talent Management Ayesha Saeed, Head of Corporate Communications and Sustainability Ankit Sureka were present at the signing ceremony.
Also read: Banglalink signs agreement with iPay
NSU Vice-Chancellor Professor Atiqul Islam and Dr Mohammad Khasro Miah, director of the Career and Placement Center, were also present at the online event.
Professor Atiqul said, “NSU is pleased to be able to engage with Banglalink. I am certain this will open up more opportunities for joint applied research in telecommunication.”
“We welcome the opportunity to place our students as interns at Banglalink. We also expect Banglalink’s top managers and experts to come into our classrooms as guest lecturers and give the students a feel of the real world.”
Monzula Morshed said: “Opening up new opportunities for youth is one of our top priorities, as we always value their inquisitiveness, enthusiasm and innovative approaches.”
“Our partnership with NSU will enable its students to benefit from our programmes and get the right directions from experienced Banglalink professionals. These facilities will surely help them shape their career paths successfully in the days to come.”
Also read: Banglalink signs agreement with LIC
Banglalink will continue to take similar initiatives to facilitate youth empowerment in the country, Banglalink’s chief human resources and administration officer said.
The giant tech companies whose services are woven into the fabric of social life are now the targets of a widening assault by government competition enforcers. Regulators filed landmark antitrust lawsuits Wednesday against Facebook, the second major government offensive this year against once seemingly untouchable tech behemoths.
The Federal Trade Commission and 48 states and districts sued the social network giant, accusing it of abusing its market power to squash smaller competitors and seeking remedies that could include a forced spinoff of Facebook’s prized Instagram and WhatsApp messaging services. The company’s conduct has crimped consumers’ choices and harmed their data privacy, the regulators charged.
Once lionized as innovators and job creators — and largely left alone by Washington for nearly two decades — Big Tech companies have seen their political fortunes plummet. Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple have come under scrutiny from Congress, federal regulators, state attorneys general and European authorities. Their once-considerable political support in Congress has eroded.
Lawmakers of both major parties are championing stronger oversight of the industry, arguing that its massive market power is out of control, crushing smaller competitors and endangering consumer privacy.
There’s little likelihood the pressure will ease up. President-elect Joe Biden has said the breakup of Big Tech giants should be seriously considered.
Lawmakers and consumer advocates have accused Facebook of anticompetitive behavior, most starkly in buying up aspiring smaller rivals like Instagram and WhatsApp and by copying features introduced by competitors. Critics say such tactics squash competition and could limit viable alternatives for consumers looking, for instance, for comparable services that do less tracking for targeted advertising. Businesses, including mom and pop shops, might have to pay more for ads if they have fewer choices to reach consumers online.
The new lawsuits were announced by the FTC and New York Attorney General Letitia James, culminating separate investigations over the past year and a half.
The FTC said Facebook has engaged in a “a systematic strategy” to eliminate its competition, including by purchasing smaller up-and-coming rivals like Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014.
At a news conference, James said “it’s really critically important that we block this predatory acquisition of companies and that we restore confidence to the market.”
“For nearly a decade Facebook has used its dominance and monopoly power to crush smaller rivals and snuff out competition, all at the expense of everyday users,” said James, a Democrat. “They reduced choices for consumers. They stifled innovation, and they degraded privacy protections for millions of Americans.”
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Facebook called the government’s claims “revisionist history” that punishes successful businesses and noted that the FTC cleared the Instagram and WhatsApp acquisitions years ago. “The government now wants a do-over, sending a chilling warning to American business that no sale is ever final,” Facebook general counsel Jennifer Newstead said in a statement.
Antitrust skeptics point to newer social media services such as TikTok and Snapchat as rivals that could “overtake” older platforms like Facebook.
Facebook is the world’s biggest social network with 2.7 billion users and a company with a market value of nearly $800 billion. CEO Mark Zuckerberg is the world’s fifth-richest individual and the most public face of Big Tech swagger.
James alleged that Facebook had a practice of opening its site to third-party app developers, then abruptly cutting off developers that it saw as a threat. The lawsuit — which includes 46 states, Guam and the District of Columbia — accuses Facebook of anti-competitive conduct and using its market dominance to harvest consumer data and reap a fortune in advertising revenues.
Online ads make up the bulk of the company’s revenue, which reached over $70 billion last year.
North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, who was on the executive committee of attorneys general conducting the investigation, said the litigation could alter the communications landscape much the way the breakup of AT&T’s local phone service monopoly did in the early 1980s.
“Our hope is to restructure the social networking marketplace in the United States, and right now there’s one player,” Stein told reporters.
Antitrust expert Rebecca Allensworth, a law professor at Vanderbilt University, said it is “hard to win any antitrust lawsuit and this one is not any different.” But as far as antitrust cases go, she added, the government has a strong one.
“These lawsuits mark an important turning point in the battle to rein in Big Tech monopolies and to reinvigorate antitrust enforcement,” said Alex Harman, competition policy advocate for Public Citizen, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group.
The Justice Department sued Google in October for abusing its dominance in online search and advertising — the government’s most significant attempt to buttress competition since its historic case against Microsoft two decades ago.
That suit, announced just two weeks before Election Day, brought accusations of political motivation from some quarters. It was filed by a cabinet agency headed by an attorney general seen as a close ally of President Donald Trump, who has often publicly criticized Google.
The FTC, by contrast, is an independent regulatory agency whose five commissioners currently include three Republicans and two Democrats. Two of the three Republicans, Noah Phillips and Christine Wilson, voted against the agency’s action against Facebook. And the coalition of 48 states and districts that sued Facebook is bipartisan.
Instagram and WhatsApp are among some 70 companies that Facebook has acquired over the past 15 years. But they are the ones most frequently held up by Facebook critics as properties that should be split off.
Facebook paid a mere $1 billion for Instagram — considered one of the cleverest deals ever in the industry — bolstering the social network’s business a month before its stock went public. At the time, the photo-sharing app had about 30 million users and wasn’t producing any revenue. A few years later, Facebook acquired WhatsApp, an encrypted messaging service, for $19 billion.
Zuckerberg vowed both companies would be run independently, but over the years the services have become increasingly integrated. Users are now able to link accounts and share content across the platforms. Instagram now has more than 1 billion users worldwide. Such integration could make it more difficult to break off the companies.
Robi has introduced an innovative digital initiative, Retailer Liquidity Management service for its retailers.
The service will empower retailers to avail Easyload recharge anytime as an advance to facilitate their business operations by simply dialing a USSD code, said a press release.
Robi has partnered with the Mutual Trust Bank (MTB) & fintech company, YABX to launch this service.
This anytime, anywhere ubiquitous availability of liquidity for retailers will help to achieve multiple objectives, including retailers getting access to immediate Easyload top-up, avoiding ‘low balance’ failure scenarios, improving retailer & end-customer experience, etc.
The Robi retailers will also be able to choose from multiple product options, i.e. 1-day, 3-day, or 5-day loan as per their business requirements.
Robi’s Managing Director and CEO, Mahtab Uddin Ahmed termed this initiative as a milestone achievement towards complete digitalization of the company’s distribution network.
In light of the company’s mission to be recognized as an innovative and client focused company, MTB’s CEO, Syed Mahbubur Rahman said it is a great initiative to help retailers gain financial independence in their businesses that will drive the overall economic value.
The advance limit for the retailers will be derived using YABX’s state-of-the-art decision analytics engine using advanced machine learning tools. The entire customer journey from onboarding of retailers, disbursal, and collections would be enabled using YABX’s digital platform.
Speaking about the service, Rajat Dayal, Founder & CEO of YABX said “Usually retailers rely heavily on cash to recharge their account which leads to problems like lack of liquidity management, Distributor Sales Representative (DSR) not recharging retailer’s account in time, security risks of handling cash, continuous alienation from financial ecosystem, etc. YABX aims to help the retailers get access to easy and affordable Easyload recharge options while also enabling them to plan, manage and grow their business more efficiently.”
Incubated by Comviva, a global leader in mobile financial services, YABX is part of the $21 billion Mahindra Group and currently operates out of The Hague, New Delhi, Bogota and Nairobi. YABX aims at simplifying financial access to over two billion unbanked customers.
In the long run, Retail Financing will enable the retailers to run their business without any additional working capital. In the current pandemic scenario, when the income of many small entrepreneurs like retail owners have gone down, this unique benefit will enable them to conduct their business without having to take the burden of high cash requirement.
Global smartphone manufacturer brand vivo marked three years of its journey in Bangladesh on Tuesday.
With its presence in more than 30 countries, vivo began its monumental journey in Bangladesh in 2017 by introducing the V7+ from the iconic V series, said a press release.
Vivo has gradually carved a niche for itself and become one of the top smartphone brands in the nation with launching a number of innovative and feature-rich variants of smartphones in different series – Y, V designed to fit the Bangladeshi youth's evolving lifestyle needs and preferences.
Currently, there are some stellar portfolio of vivo handsets like V20, V20 SE, Y50, Y30, Y20, Y11, Y91C in the country’s market.
By inspiring the philosophy and mission of doing the right thing, vivo adheres the core values of ‘customer centric ‘design’ and ‘innovation’ by introducing innovative technology and being a trendsetter in the world of mobile technology.
Following its commitment to bringing best-in-class smartphones in Bangladesh, vivo introduced the several notable ‘Firsts’ global innovations and exemplary technologies from the world’s first Dual Pop-up selfie camera to its signature In-Display Fingerprint Scanning for its customers.
Vivo has a strong presence in the country with 3500+ retail stores and over 12 service centres on the country. The global brand has opened a mobile assembly plant in Bangladesh in 2019, showing commitment to Made in Bangladesh and adopting a ‘More Global, More Local’ approach.
Vivo is committed to proactively working to develop 5G technologies in the upcoming years as the deep integration of AI and 5G is the way to go for smartphone development in this era.
Recently, vivo has announced the launch of a new smartphone operating system called OriginOS in the 2020 Developer Conference.
While 5G has just started large-scale commercialization worldwide, the industry’s research and exploration of 6G is also on the agenda.
Duke, managing director of vivo Bangladesh, said, “Bangladesh is a very important market for us. We maintain an unremitting focus on Bangladesh and so we have introduced top-notch product ranges that have received a phenomenal response from the youth of the country. We continue to upscale its presence in the local mobile market by setting leading benchmarks and driving the industry to newer heights.”
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