Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world.
This week.. Facebook leaks 419 mil phone numbers, Twitter switches off tweeting by SMS after hack, China urged to step up research in AI race… and much more…
The phone numbers of hundreds of millions of Facebook users have been discovered online in the latest major data breach for the social network.
A security researcher found 419 million records on an unsecured server, meaning no password was needed to access them.
A total of 18 million were from users in the UK, while around 133 million were from American accounts.
Twitter has temporarily turned off its tweeting by SMS service after its CEO Jack Dorsey’s account was hacked.
While most people use Twitter’s app or website, in the early days of the platform it was common to use the text-to-tweet function and it still exists today. Users can simply text a number on their phone to post tweets on their feed and receive notifications. It’s this function that has been disabled.
China risks a catastrophic loss in competitive advantage to the US in AI if it does not invest more in basic research, according to Peking University professor Wang Liwei.
The next technology breakthrough is more likely to happen in America than in China because the latter trails in basic academic research, said Wang, who specializes in machine perception and is a member of the China Computer Federation’s AI and pattern recognition committee. With a tech war raging, China could find itself cut off from the latest advancements in the technology, he said.
Estonia topped a poll of the most digitally advanced nations this year, according to research conducted by global community network InterNations. They praised Estonia for offering expats and digital nomads the ability to live a more connected life, and hence a better work-life balance.
Comparatively, the UK did not make it into the top 10, despite the fact that UK tech firms have received record-breaking investment over the last year, according to Tech Nation.
Xiaomi said on Friday it has shipped over 100 million smartphones in India, its most important market, since beginning operations in the nation five years ago. The company cited figures from research firm IDC in its claim.
The Chinese giant, which has held the top smartphone vendor position in India for eight straight quarters, said budget smartphone series Redmi and Redmi Note have been its top selling lineups in the nation.
A major security flaw with Android mobile operating system has left over a billion Samsung, Huawei, LG and Sony smartphones vulnerable to cyber attacks.
Researchers at cyber security firm Check Point identified the bug in Android-based phones, revealing that it only takes a single SMS text message to gain full access to a person’s emails.
With more than 866 million registered mobile money accounts globally and $1.3 billion processed daily, mobile money serves as a critical infrastructure for start-ups looking to increase digital payment adoption among their customers in emerging markets, yet they face challenges of adoption, according to the latest report from the General System for Mobile Communication Association (GSMA), the global body that represents the interests of mobile operators world-wide.
A $10m (£8.1m) fund has been set up to find better ways to detect so-called deep fake videos.
Facebook, Microsoft and several UK and US universities are putting up the cash for the wide-ranging research project. Deep fake clips use AI software to make people – often politicians or celebrities – say or do things they never did or said. Many fear such videos will be used to sow distrust or manipulate opinion.
A cheaper blockchain phone is debuting in Southeast Asia, with a U.S. and European launch promised in the near future.
“We think blockchain phones are a promising area for future blockchain industry development. As the industry develops and as innovations like 5G become increasingly integrated into our telecommunications systems, we believe more and more crypto communities will want to trade and transact from mobile devices.”