Technology

Today’s cache | Facebook’s Giphy acquisition, and more

File photo.

File photo.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

Today's cache is your daily download of the top 5 updates from the world of technology.

US regulators are investigating Google’s dominant position in online search and advertising to file antitrust charge against the internet company. This could be the biggest antitrust case in US after the one against Microsoft in 1990s.

Facebook has acquired Giphy, the GIF maker, for an undisclosed price. Giphy will be integrated with Instagram.

The 5G battle between the US and China is intensifying after Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company agreed to set up a chip making plant in Arizona. Consequent to that decision, TSMC has to halt shipping new orders to Huawei from the US.

Argent has launched a well-designed Ethereum wallet with creative security features.

Lastly, a wearables company is building a transparent and self-disinfecting mask.

US regulators plan to file antirust charges against Google

US Justice department is planning to file antitrust charges against Google for the company’s dominance in online advertising and allegations that the search giant used its dominant position to hurt competitors, the New York Times reported citing people with knowledge of the situation.

Google controls about 90% of all web searches globally, making it the most dominant players in online search and advertising. About a third of every dollar spent in online advertising goes to Google. Its search engine controls the information netizens browse and see.

The regulator is in the process of investigating Google. Other state attorneys general are planning to file their own antitrust charge against the internet company.

The lawsuits against Google combined would make this one of the biggest antitrust cases in the US since the 1990s’ case against Microsoft. Both sides reached settlement in 2001, which involved over 20 states and the justice department

As part of the investigation, the Justice Department has been interviewing firms competing against Google in online search and advertising technology to understand the company’s business practices.

The lawsuit against Google can set a precedent for how lawmakers and regulators will investigate other large tech companies like Facebook and Amazon.

Facebook to buy Giphy, integrate with Instagram

Social network giant Facebook said it has acquired Giphy with a plan to integrate GIF linbrary into Instagram.

Giphy provides built-in search and sticker functions for Instagram. The company will continue to operate in the same way and become part of the Instagram group.

The sticker platform will also be made available to other apps that are part of Facebook’s ecosystem.

“GIPHY will continue to operate its library (including its global content collection), and we’re looking forward to investing further in its technology and relationships with content and API partners,” Facebook said in a blog post.

Developers and creative community can continue to build new content on the platform post the acquisition, the company said.

About half of Giphy’s traffic comes from Facebook apps, the search giant claims.

Giphy was founded in 2013, and was used as search engine for gifs.

TSMC stops taking orders from Huawei

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world’s biggest contract chipmaker, has stopped taking orders from Huawei after the US imposed tighter controls that limits the Chinese company’s access to chip sets, the Nikkei Asian Review reported.

The US on Friday announced export controls aimed at making it difficult for Huawei to buy chips made using US technology, including manufacturing equipment.

Any orders taken by TSMC before the ban will not be affected, provided they be shipped before September 14. The Taiwan-headquartered company makes advanced chips that Huawei uses in its smartphones.

Huawei is at the centre of battle for technological dominance between US and China. US has been convincing its allies to exclude the Chinese manufacturer’s equipment from next generation 5G networks. Huawei has denied US claims.

TSMC on Friday announced that it is opening a new $12 billion advanced chip foundry in Arizona with support from state and federal government.

Ethereum wallet app

Secure wallet for cryptocurrency Argent is launching a version of its Ethereum wallet for Android and iOS.

The Ethereum wallet is well-designed with creative security features. It integrates well with DeFi (Decentralised Finance) projects like TokenSets, PoolTogether, Aave, Uniswap V2, Maker and Kyber.

“Argent now does everything you'd expect from a bank (and more). Without the bank,” Argent said in a blog post.

“It's non-custodial, so only you can access your assets. And it's open to anyone, anywhere.”

The app allows cryptocurrency users to lock and unlock, approve large transfers and block anything about a daily limit. And the platform’s architecture is open source so that it can be tested by anyone.

A transparent, self-disinfecting mask is in the works

Huami, the wearables startup that makes Xiaomi’s Mi Bands under the Amazfit brand, is developing a transparent mask with built-in UV lights to disinfect filters when connected to a power source, Techcrunch reported.

The UV lights sanitise the inside of the mask within 10 minutes of plugging to a power source. The mask will use filters that are on part with N95.

Called Aeri, the current design allows for customising the mask with a fan for breathing comfort.

Huami is in the process of prototyping the masks. It hasn’t priced the Aeri as it is still in early stage of development.

This mask project is Huami’s pivot to enter general health sector beyond fitness tracking.

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Printable version | May 26, 2020 9:06:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/todays-cache-facebooks-giphy-acquisition-and-more/article31616813.ece

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