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KPMG to cut up to 250 jobs in major AI and m cost-cutting overhaul

The accounting firm today announced its plan to restructure and simplify the its consulting division.

Although annual revenue was measured in the millions, that's down from billions, and Oracle has decided to close its ad business.
Netflix has canceled the highly-rated animation series My Dad the Bounty Hunter, despite its flawless 100% Rotten Tomatoes score.
New Disney Plus movies: every new film to stream in June 2024
TechRadar brings you all of the new Disney Plus movies that have joined the streamer recently.

Microsoft has decided to delay the full launch of its controversial Recall feature following criticism over data privacy and security, with access given to a smaller group of Windows users first.

The generative AI (genAI) powered Recall feature records “snapshots” of a user’s screen every five seconds to provide a searchable log of actions going back three months. It is one of the flagship features for a range of Copilot+ PCs that promise to bring new genAI features to Windows. The PCs are set to launch next week.

While some have noted the potential benefits of the feature, security and privacy experts called Recall a “privacy nightmare” and likened it to keylogger malware. The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office, a privacy watchdog, said it had written to Microsoft to “understand the safeguards in place to protect user privacy.”

Microsoft has acknowledged the criticisms and recently outlined several privacy enhancements: Recall will now be switched off by default, and users are required to first enroll with Microsoft’s Windows Hello authentication system. 

In an update to a previous blog post on Thursday, Microsoft outlined plans to delay the full launch, which was due to be made available in preview on all Copilot+ devices next week. Instead, it will be made available in preview via the Windows Insider Program in the “coming weeks,” Microsoft said. 

It’s an indication that the company wants more time to test security and privacy features before a wider rollout.

“We are adjusting the release model for Recall to leverage the expertise of the Windows Insider community to ensure the experience meets our high standards for quality and security,” Pavan Davuluri, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for Windows and devices, said in the blog post. 

“This decision is rooted in our commitment to providing a trusted, secure and robust experience for all customers and to seek additional feedback prior to making the feature available to all Copilot+ PC users.”

Detail about how to access the Windows Insider preview will be made public in a blog post, Microsoft said. 

I’ve no problem with porn per se. After all, as the musical Avenue Q pointed out, “The Internet is for Porn.” But, when X/Twitter decided it would let people “share consensually produced and distributed adult nudity or sexual behavior,” I wonder if company execs really thought it out. 

We know why the company is doing this — it’s been losing money hand over fist. No matter how owner Elon Musk and CEO Linda Yaccarino try to twist the numbers, the social network is still bleeding money. It’s hard to make a profit when you’re paying $300 million a quarter to stay on top of your debt.

A flood of political ads in this election year is helping X’s bottom line, but it’s not enough. Neither has X’s right-wing swing since Musk’s 2022 takeover. According to Edison Research’s Infinite Dial survey, the site has seen a 30% decrease in the number of US users in the last two years, with only 19% of the US population using the platform now compared to 27% in previous years. Sensor Tower data also indicated a 23% decline in daily app users in the US since Musk’s acquisition. 

Musk, who’s embraced the right wing with moves such as reinviting Donald Trump and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones back to the social network, hasn’t done his finances any favors. The site continues to host tweets promoting and glorifying antisemitism, anti-Black racism, neo-Nazism, white supremacy, and on and on. The Israeli-Hamas conflict has only made things worse. Ironically enough, the hate seems to be evenly distributed, with posts left up that promote bigotry and incite violence against Jews, Muslims, and Palestinians.

Maybe you support some of these positions. But is this really the kind of place you want to use for brand recognition, marketing and advertising? I really don’t think so.

This is not just my view. Meta’s Threads has had a significant impact on X’s advertising revenue. Threads doesn’t even have ads — yet — but that hasn’t stopped advertisers from shifting their focus from X to Threads due to concerns about brand safety on the former. Threads, part of Meta’s ecosystem, is seen as offering a more controlled environment, which is appealing to advertisers.

In addition, since companies can leverage Meta’s existing advertising infrastructure and tools, they’re drawn to the potential for seamless integration with their existing Facebook and Instagram campaigns. Put it all together, and in many circles, Threads is seen as a much more attractive option for ad budgets. 

What’s a social network owner to do? Embrace porn, of course!

Porn makes money. It’s as simple as that. According to Gitnux, a market research site, “In the United States alone, the pornography industry generates $12-14 billion in annual revenue.” Globally, it generates about $97 billion. That’s real money. Better still from where X sits, the platform doesn’t need to play a penny for content. How porn creators make and pay for their content isn’t their problem. X is just providing the funnel.

Mind you, the platform has long opened its doors to porn. Back in 2022, Dyson, Mazda, Forbes, and PBS Kids suspended their marketing campaigns and removed ads because they were appearing alongside tweets soliciting child pornography.

I myself have seen more than my fair share of vanilla porn ads featuring young women with blue checkmarks offering me love at reasonable prices. Really, I’m just there for tech and chess conversations, dad jokes, cute cat and dog photos, and to promote stories I find interesting. If I were looking for love in all the wrong places, I wouldn’t be looking for it on X.

I’m far from the only one. As one Redditor put it recently, “Is Twitter just porn and porn bots now?” That, mind you, was before the company officially welcomed “Adult Content … any consensually produced and distributed material depicting adult nudity or sexual behavior that is pornographic or intended to cause sexual arousal.” (By the way, the consensus on that Reddit thread was that yes, X is little more than porn and right-wing rants these days.)

So, what’s different now? Well, by welcoming porn content, X is doing more than offering posts masquerading as ads — it’s actually becoming a porn site. And that could land it in a lot of legal hot water.

As of March, nine states — Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Virginia — had all passed laws mandating age verification for accessing adult content every time they visit such a site. Florida, Idaho, and South Dakota will soon join them. 

These laws require anyone visiting a website hosting substantial adult content to verify that users are over 18 years old. Usually, that means you must provide the site with a digital copy of a government-issued ID. 

As you might imagine, people have been reluctant to send porn sites their IDs. Indeed, after PornHub threw up its virtual hands and barred anyone from states with age-verification laws from visiting its sites, searches for Virtual Private Network (VPN)s shot up by over 400%.  

In addition, some states, including Arkansas, Florida, and Utah, have passed bills that require IDs to access social networking sites. By explicitly adding porn to its content mix, X is just asking to be banned.

Musk certainly doesn’t seem to understand what’s coming. It’s simple: Twitter will be blocked unless users agree to show their IDs. (I can’t see many of them doing that.) Or they could use a VPN to get to X from, say, Canada. Either way, the platform will lose even more users, and its value to advertisers will drop even more. 

The thread holding the sword of Damocles over Twitter’s head is fraying and might soon snap. Wise businesses will drop X now and get out before the once-popular social network dies and takes your business reputation with it.

Every now and then, I stumble onto an Android enhancement so cool, so clever, so frickin’ useful that I just can’t help but smile.

Today, my fellow Android-appreciating aardvark, is one of those days.

This latest revelation stems from the launch of a new connected-device control widget Google announced last month and then started making available to the masses last week, as we discussed in my Android Intelligence newsletter on Friday. But while that widget’s arrival sparked this thinking in my warped and water-logged mammal-noggin, it’s a setup you could apply just as easily to any Android widget you find yourself interacting with regularly.

I won’t keep you waiting: The trick of which we speak is a way to create a floating, on-demand widget that you can then summon with a simple long-press of one of your phone’s physical volume buttons. And good golly, is it one of the smartest and most sensible productivity upgrades you’ll give yourself all year.

It’s also surprisingly easy to accomplish — once you know how to do it.

And, suffice it to say, it’s yet another one of those bits of advanced efficiency-enhancing magic that’d only be possible on Android.

[Psst: Love efficiency-enhancers as much as I do? My Android Shortcut Supercourse will teach you tons of time-saving tricks for your phone. Sign up now for free!]

The wonderful floating Android widget

Before we dive into the specific steps, let me give you a closer look at exactly how this wild widget wonder works.

Right now, from anywhere on my Pixel 8 Pro phone, I can press and hold the volume-up key on the side of the device for about a second — aaaaaand, boom:

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The floating, on-demand Android widget — at your fingertips anytime, anywhere.

JR Raphael, IDG

That aforementioned connected-device control widget pops up for instant access, no matter what app I’ve got open or what else I’m doing on my device.

I’ve set up a similar mechanism for my two-factor authentication widget, via Authy, only connected to my device’s volume-down button in that instance. Whenever I press and hold that key for a sec, my Authy widget pops up for easy on-demand access to copying any code I need for signing into a site or service — without interrupting what I’m doing or forcing me to futz my way back to my home screen and waste endless seconds first.

You can use this same setup to make any widget available in an on-demand, floating form with the press of your phone’s physical buttons. And it should work on any Android device, too, no matter who made it or what Android version it’s running.

Ready for your custom efficiency upgrade?

How to unleash any Android widget

All right — to make this Android widget sorcery happen, we need two separate ingredients.

It may sound like a lot, but stick with me. It shouldn’t take you more than five minutes max to set this up, and the two tools involved are some of my absolute favorite Android power-user tools and apps that are well worth having around even beyond this specific purpose.

1️⃣ First, we need to create your floating widget. For that, we need an excellent app called Popup Widget. It’ll set you back two bucks to download.

Once you’ve got Popup Widget on your phone:

  • Open it up and tap the plus icon in the app’s lower-right corner.
  • Find and select the widget you want from the list that pops up.
  • And that’s it: You can ignore everything else there, which should be fine in its default state, and simply hit the left-facing arrow in the upper-left corner of the screen to save and exit.

2️⃣ Now, for the second piece of this puzzle, you need a powerful app I’ve mentioned before called Key Mapper. It’s completely free, and while it does require some deep system permissions in order to do what it needs to do, it doesn’t share, sell, or do anything shady with data — and it’s open source, too, so anyone can look at the underlying code and confirm that it’s telling the truth.

Once you have Key Mapper installed:

  • Open up the app and follow the prompts to allow it the necessary forms of access (which, again, are genuinely needed in order for the app to be able to detect your physical button presses and map ’em to different actions).
  • On the app’s main screen, tap the plus icon in the bottom-center area.
  • Then tap the red Record Trigger button and press either the volume-up or volume-down button on the side of your phone.
  • On the next screen, change the option toward the bottom from “Short press” to “Long press.” You could also go with “Double press,” if you’d rather.
  • Next, tap “Actions” at the top of the screen, then tap the Add Action button and select “Launch app shortcut” (within the “Apps” section).
  • Tap “Popup Widget,” then find and select the widget you just created a minute ago.

If you really want to get fancy, you can tap “Constraints” at the top of the screen and create specific limitations for when your widget-summoning action will be recognized. For instance, you might want to create a constraint that says the long-press action will work only when you aren’t actively playing media on your device — to avoid any potential conflicts with actual volume adjustments you might be trying to make during such moments.

But the basics are now in place, and once you’re ready to get your rule active, you can just tap the floppy disk icon in the lower-right corner of the screen to save and exit.

And that’s it: All that’s left is to press and hold whichever volume key you selected and watch your wonderful new on-demand floating widget appear out of thin air. You can move or resize it by pressing and holding anywhere on the widget. And when you’re ready to dismiss it, you can tap anywhere on the screen outside of the widget area — or swipe in any direction on the widget itself to send it a-scurryin’ away.

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Flying, floating Android widgets — whee!

JR Raphael, IDG

Remember, too: You could conceivably keep numerous widgets available on-demand with this same setup — one with a long-press of your volume-up key, another with a long-press of volume-down, another with a double-press of volume-up, and so on.

The power is in your hands. Use it wisely — and try not to make your iPhone-totin’ colleagues too jealous, all right?!

Why stop here? Get six full days of advanced Android knowledge with my free Android Shortcut Supercourse. You’ll learn tons of time-saving tricks for your phone!

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Please note that we are not authorised to provide any investment advice. The content on this page is for information purposes only. A leading trading app, Revolut, recently saw its staff numbers go up by 40%, becoming one of the few fintechs that are hiring rather than cutting jobs. However, in order to accommodate the… Continue reading Revolut to Move Headquarters to Canary Wharf After Boosting Staff Number by 40%

The post Revolut to Move Headquarters to Canary Wharf After Boosting Staff Number by 40% appeared first on Economy Watch.