Apple: iOS 12 to include location data for 911 calls and responders

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Starting this fall, if you have Apple’s iOS 12 on your iPhone and you make a 911 call, your chances of getting help are set to improve.

Apple said Monday that when the iOS 12 update comes out later this year, it will include a feature that will let first responders “automatically and securely” access a person’s location from their iPhone when they make a 911 call. Apple said that only the 911 center taking the call will be able to get access to the person’s location during the call, and the caller’s data can’t be used for any non-emergency purposes.

“Communities rely on 911 centers in an emergency, and we believe they should have the best available technology at their disposal,” said Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook in a statement. “When every moment counts, these tools will help first responders reach our customers when they most need assistance.”

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Apple said it is integrating technology from a company called RapidSOS into iOS 12 to provide the data-location services to 911 centers. RapidSOS already makes an app that can be downloaded and used to share location data with first responders, but it will bring that technology directly into the iPhone so that an additional app won’t be needed to give an exact location when calling 911.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Business

      

Google invests $550M in Chinese e-commerce company

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Google came back from the weekend ready to spend some of parent company Alphabet’s mountain of money, and it went all the way to China to do so.

Google said it is investing $550 million in Chinese e-commerce company JD.com as part of an effort for both companies to expand their online shopping businesses worldwide. According to a statement from JD.com, the two companies will work on the “joint development of retail solutions in a range of regions around the world, including Southeast Asia, the U.S. and Europe.” JD.com will also use Google Shopping to make a selection of products available for sale in various retail markets.

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JD.com is considered to be the second-largest e-commerce company behind industry giant Alibaba. The new relationship with Google is seen as giving JD.com a bigger outlet for selling products outside of China, while for Google, it could gain from securing product searches that would normally go directly to online rivals such as Amazon.

As part of its $550 million investment, Google will get more than 27 million shares of newly issued JD.com Class A stock. The shares are valued at $20.29 each, or the equivalent of $40.58 each based on JD.com’s American depository shares.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Business

      

Facebook: Ads for gun accessories can’t be shown to minors

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Facebook is requiring advertisers on its platform to restrict the audience for gun-accessory ads to people 18 years and older.

The social networking giant’s new policy, which starts Thursday, comes after a recent rash of U.S. school shootings and is an addendum to the company’s existing rules on gun-related ads.

Facebook does not permit advertising for sales of guns and other weapons, but it does allow ads for gun accessories. The company also restricts gun sales on its platform, although it allows groups that connect people based on their interest in guns.

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Despite Facebook’s restrictions, there continue to be reports of gun sales being facilitated on its platform, and the company in late 2016 apologized for gun listings appearing in Marketplace. The company has not yet returned a request for comment Monday.

Under Facebook’s new ad policy, which it announced Friday, advertisers must restrict their audiences to 18 and older for the following gun accessories: mounted flashlights; scopes and sights; hunting, self-defense and military clothing and gear; holsters and belt accessories; gun safes, gun cases and more; vests; and paint, coatings and gun wraps.

Ads that are not allowed, period: firearms and other weapons; silencers and suppressors; fireworks and explosives; and those that “promote the brandishing of firearms.”

…read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Business

      

Butler: Is the China syndrome worth the risk?

With China in the news on so many fronts, I was prompted to check out some of the mutual funds that are categorized as “China funds.” Whoa! Some have gained almost 40 percent during the past 12 months. It’s clearly an economy that is growing faster than ours, and we sell a lot of products to them — starting with cars whereby General Motors sells more in that country than it sells domestically.

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So what’s the dark side of this relationship? The answer might be found in Peter Navarro’s and Greg Autry’s book, “Death by China,” which outlines all of the ways that China competes unfairly against most of the developed world.

A partial list includes the following: illegal export subsidies, a manipulated currency, theft of American intellectual property, accepting massive environmental damage to avoid expensive but cleaner manufacturing processes, lax worker health standards far below those of international norms, protectionism that keeps foreign competitors from setting up shop in the country — the list goes on. All of this bad blood contributes to the economic growth that drives up stock prices.

The theft of intellectual property is possibly the most destructive since it is estimated at between $200 billion and $600 billion annually, according to Navarro. The actual number is anyone’s guess. However, it is clear that this factor is a major contributor to China’s growth. It has been described by intelligence experts as the greatest theft in world history.

As …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Business

      

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