UK to criminalize deepfake porn sharing without consent

Brace for yet another expansion to the UK’s Online Safety Bill : The Ministry of Justice has announced changes to the law which are aimed at protecting victims of revenge porn, pornographic deepfakes and other abuses related to the taking and sharing of intimate imagery without consent — in a crackdown on a type of abuse that disproportionately affects women and girls. The government says the latest amendment to the Bill will broaden the scope of current intimate image offences — “so that more perpetrators will face prosecution and potentially time in jail”. Other abusive behaviors that will become explicitly illegal include “downblousing” (where photographs are taken down a women’s top without consent); and the installation of equipment, such as hidden cameras, to take or record images of someone without their consent. The government describes the planned changes as a comprehensive package of measure to modernize laws in this area. It’s also notable as it’s the first time it has

Elon Musk says Twitter’s new multicoloured verification will launch next week

After messing up the first launch of Twitter’s “power to the people” verification system, Elon Musk said that the social network will tentatively roll out a new multicolored verification system next week. The owner of Twitter said that, under this scheme, companies will get a gold checkmark, government officials will get a grey checkmark — probably similar to the “official” checkmark it’s currently trying out with some prominent accounts — and the blue checkmark will be dedicated to individuals even if they are not celebrities. That would mean that the blue check mark will be used with legacy verified accounts and folks who buy Twitter’s new $8 per month paid plan . Musk added that the company aims to manually authenticate all verifications before the new verification system goes live. It’s not clear what he means by that as Twitter Blue subscribers will get a blue checkmark. Not only that, but Twitter’s reduced workforce will be under pressure to check every verification manually

A new wave of Solo GP VCs is coming to Europe and Hypernova hopes to power it

The US has had solo VC fund managers for many years but the trend is only just starting to catch on in Europe. One of the newest is Underline Ventures , started this year by Bogdan Iordache in Romania. His career trajectory towards being a Solo GP fits the profile: a former entrepreneur, a key player in the Eastern European tech scene, a founder of the How to Web conference, and a former VC in a multiple Partner team. Above all, what Europe needs more of is these ‘funds of funds’ which are specialised in working with this new wave of European Solo GPs. Hypernova , a $25m fund which soft-launched in June has been founded by experienced investor Tugce Ergul . She plans to not only invest in other funds but also directly into startups. Ergul was formerly with Angel Labs, an “investor accelerator”, which spread across 44 countries. Speaking to TechCrunch, Ergel said: “There’s a new wave of funds coming up. We’re talking about successful founders that are now starting their own funds to

South Africa’s Revio allows businesses to connect to multiple payment methods and reduce failures

Three out of every 10 payments in Africa fail, according to reports. Factors behind this range from a fragmented payments landscape and invalid cards to dormant accounts and higher dispute rates; they surface yearly leading to a $14 billion loss in recurring revenue for digital businesses across the continent.  These problems are bound to increase as digital payments in Africa continue to grow, 20% year-on-year, per some reports. And while gateways and aggregators have made it easier for businesses to accept multiple payment methods, few solutions exist to aggregate them for necessity’s sake and deal with payment failures that arise from each platform. That’s where Revio , a South African API payment and collections company, comes in. The fintech which makes it easier for businesses across Africa to connect to multiple payment methods and manage payment failures is announcing that it has raised $1.1 million in seed funding.  Fintech investor SpeedInvest led the round,  with participa

WeWork China’s former tech head introduces on-demand work pods for mental health

At a time when China’s zero-COVID policy continues to interrupt offline work and face-to-face interactions, Dominic Penaloza, the former head of innovation and technology at WeWork China, is introducing a bold idea — on-demand work booths placed in public locations — and has managed to quickly raise capital for the business. Penaloza named his new venture Peace in hope of boosting mental health for those using the company’s quiet, privacy-first space to avoid crowded offices and noisy cafes. Peace announced this week that it has raised a seven-figure funding round from a group of business partners and entrepreneurs. Peace is the latest iteration of Penaloza’s continuous experiment with flexible work. In 2019, the executive spearheaded an internal project to offer pay-as-you-go spaces at WeWork China. A year later, he moved on to found his own proptech-focused startup studio, which incubated a similar on-demand workspace service but tapping third-party landlords . Seven-month-old Pe

Musk says Twitter will offer “amnesty” to suspended accounts

Elon Musk said Thursday Twitter will grant “a general amnesty” to accounts that had been suspended from the platform beginning next week. The CEO posted a poll the day earlier over whether the platform should restore affected accounts. The news comes within a week of Musk also ending former president Donald Trump’s ban from the platform after running a similar poll. Trump was banned after the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, but said he doesn’t intend to return to the platform. Musk’s poll to users included a caveat that suspended account holders could rejoin the platform “provided they have not broken the law or engaged in egregious spam.” Around 3.2 million users responded to the poll, which voted 72.4% in favor of amnesty. “The people have spoken. Amnesty begins next week. Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Musk  said, using a Latin phrase that means “The voice of the people is the voice of god.” Historically, Twitter has banned accounts that glorify hate and harassment, have

Amazon to shut down its online learning platform in India

Amazon will be shutting down Amazon Academy, an online learning platform it launched in India for high-school students last year, the company said Thursday. The retailer says it will wind down the edtech service in the country in a phased manner starting August 2023. Those who signed up for the current academic batch will receive a full refund, it said. Amazon officially launched Academy, previously called JEE Ready, early last year , but had been testing the platform since mid-2019 . Academy sought to help students prepare for entry into the nation’s prestigious engineering colleges. The service offered curated learning material, live lectures, mock tests and comprehensive assessments to help students learn and practice math, physics and chemistry and prepare for the Joint Entrance Examinations (JEE), a government-backed engineering entrance assessment conducted in India for admission to various engineering colleges in the country. The comprehensive offering from the firm had prom

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