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South Korea's antitrust regulator has fined Google 207 billion won ($176.64 million) for blocking customised versions of its Android OS.

The Korea Fair Trade Commission said Google hampered competition by making device producers abide by an "anti-fragmentation agreement (AFA)" when signing key contracts with it regarding app store licences.

Under the AFA, manufacturers could not equip their handsets with modified versions of Android, known as "Android forks".

More: Reuters
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Clubhouse, which VCs catapulted to an insane $4 billion valuation in less than a year, is now No. 45 in the social media section of the App Store.

More: Nick Bilton
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An employee at OpenSea, a major digital marketplace for NFTs, used insider knowledge to buy NFTs before they were promoted on the market's homepage.

OpenSea has acknowledged the issue and is investigating the incident. It has not clarified whether the employee is still with the company.

More: Opensea
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Microsoft has rolled out passwordless authentication for all users.

Users will now be able to sign in to their Microsoft accounts using the Microsoft Authenticator app, Windows Hello, a security key, or an SMS/email verification code.

More: Microsoft
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• Based on AI, Rozy is a virtual human created by South Korea content-creation group Sidus Studio X.

• Rozy has advertising contracts and a significant amount of sponsorships.

• Virtual humans appeal to advertisers as there is no fear of advertisements being suspended due to celebrity scandals.

• The models can also be active for longer as they don't get sick or grow old.

More: Korea
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• Free Space Optical Communication (FSOC) links can create a 20Gbps broadband link from two points that have a clear line of sight.

• Alphabet’s Project Taara is setting up FSOC links in several places around the world to test the technology.

• It recently set up a link to connect a service across the Congo river and transmitted nearly 700TB of data in 20 days.

More: X
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Africa has received $105.6 billion worth of bitcoin and other cryptos within one year between July 2020 and June 2021.

More: Trustnodes
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Ireland's data privacy regulator said it had asked Facebook to demonstrate that an LED indicator light on its newly launched smart glasses is "an effective means" to let people know they are being filmed or photographed.

The Irish regulator said it shares the concerns of the Italian Data Protection Regulator, the Garante, which asked Facebook for clarifications on Sep. 10 to assess the smart glasses for compliance with privacy laws.

More: Reuters
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Russia restricts opposition election voting app from Apple App Store and Google Play Store

More: Netblocks
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DiDi's co-founder and president Jean Liu told close associates that she plans to step down as she expects the government to eventually take over the company and appoint new management.

The company has been facing intense regulatory scrutiny since July over its collection and use of personal data, pricing mechanisms, and competitive practices.

More: Reuters
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Key highlights of Global Innovation Index 2021 by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

• Publication of scientific articles worldwide grew by 7.6% in 2020.

• Global corporate R&D expenditure grew by 10% in 2020.

• International patent filings via WIPO reached a new all-time high in 2020, driven by medical tech, pharmaceuticals and biotech.

• Majority of the top 25 most innovative economies continue to be from Europe.

• China remains the only middle-income economy among the top 30.

• India, Kenya, Moldova, and Vietnam hold the record for overperforming for the 11th year in a row.

Full report: WIPO
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The central bank of Bhutan will use Ripple's CBDC Private Ledger to pilot a central bank digital currency.

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Facebook names a new CTO with a major focus on hardware

• Facebook has promoted Andrew Bosworth, the current head of its hardware division, to the role of chief technology officer.

• The current CTO Mike Schroepfer will become a senior fellow next year.

• Bosworth will continue to lead Facebook Reality Labs while also assuming responsibility for Facebook's broader software engineering and AI efforts.

More: Fb
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• WhatsApp could soon offer cashback to users for making payments via its app

• This feature is being tested for its UPI payments service in India

• Users can earn up to ₹10 cashback

More: WAbetainfo
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Twitter to allow people to seamlessly 'tip' with Bitcoin using Strike – a payments application built on the Bitcoin Lightning Network that allows people to send and receive Bitcoin.

More: Twitter
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EU rules to force USB-C chargers for all phones

With the exponential increase in consumption of electronic products, e-waste is becoming a huge challenge. Countries across the world are working on policies related to circular economy and sustainability.

Under a new rule proposed by the European Commission (EC), manufacturers will be forced to create a universal charging solution for phones and small electronic devices.

More: EC
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The Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) and the Dubai World Trade Centre Authority (DWTCA) have entered into an agreement supporting the regulation, offering, issuance, listing and trading of crypto assets and related financial activities within DWTCA’s free zone.

More: Emirates News Agency
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Shopify received more online traffic than ecommerce rival Amazon for the first time last quarter, according to Similarweb.

The average number of monthly unique visitors for ecommerce sites powered by Shopify reached 1.16 billion, during the 3 months ending in June. Amazon received 1.10 billion average monthly unique visitors during the same period.

More: ChargedRetail
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China's Ministry of Science and Technology has released the 'Ethical Norms for the New Generation AI'

It puts forward 6 fundamental ethical requirements, such as enhancing the well-being of humankind, promoting fairness and justice, protecting privacy and security, ensuring controllability and trustworthiness, strengthening accountability, and improving ethical literacy.

More: Ministry of Science and Technology, China
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2021 Digital Quality of Life Index

• 6 out of top 10 countries are in Europe

• Broadband is globally less affordable this year: people have to work 11% more to afford broadband internet in 2021

• Mobile internet has become cheaper: people have to work 29% less to afford mobile internet this year

• Investing into electronic infrastructure (0.93 correlation) and electronic government (0.92 correlation) contributes to people’s digital wellbeing the most

• E-security, e-infrastructure and e-government have a more significant correlation with the DQL than GDP per capita

More: Surfshark
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