Russia Threatens To Shut Down Facebook Over Local Data Storage Laws

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: Facebook Inc. will be shut down in Russia next year if it fails to comply with requirements to store user data locally, according to the head of Russia's state communications watchdog. "The law is mandatory for everyone," Alexander Zharov told reporters Tuesday. Roskomnadzor will be forcing foreign internet companies to comply or shut down in the country. President Vladimir Putin signed a law in 2014 that requires global internet firms to store personal data of Russian clients on local servers. Companies ranging from Alphabet Inc.'s Google to Alibaba Group Holding Ltd complied, while others like Twitter Inc.

Mozilla's 'Firefox Quantum' Browser Challenges Chrome In Speed

The next version of Firefox, aptly named Firefox Quantum, is getting a big speed boost. "The idea, of course, is that the upcoming version 57 is a quantum leap over predecessors -- or, in the words of Mozilla CEO Chris Beard, a 'big bang,'" reports CNET. While Mozilla stopped short of declaring victory over Chrome, Nick Nguyen, vice president of Firefox product, said Firefox Quantum's page-load speed "is often perceivably faster" while using 30 percent less memory. From the report: The new Firefox revamp includes lots of under-the-covers improvements, like Quantum Flow, which stamps out dozens of performance bugs, and Quantum CSS, aka Stylo, which speeds up website formatting. More obvious from the outside is a new interface called Photon that wipes out Firefox's rounded tabs and adds a "page action" menu into the address bar. It also builds in the Pocket bookmarking service Mozilla acquired and uses it to recommend sites you might be interested in. A screenshot tool generates a website link so you can easily share what you see by email or Twitter. Mozilla even simplified the Firefox logo, a fox wrapping itself around the globe.

Twitter Tests Doubling Character Limit For Tweets To 280

Twitter announced today that it has started testing 280-character tweets for select users. The new limit doubles the current 140-character limit, and is said to help users be more expressive. The Verge reports: "Our research shows us that the character limit is a major cause of frustration for people tweeting in English," the company said in a blog post. "When people don't have to cram their thoughts into 140 characters and actually have some to spare, we see more people Tweeting -- which is awesome!"

About 9 percent of all tweets today are exactly 140 characters, Twitter says. It's tough to do that on accident, suggesting that users frequently have to edit their initial thoughts to get them under the limit. (It's certainly true for me.) Now Twitter hopes to ease that burden by doubling the character limit in what it calls "languages impacted by cramming," which includes every language except for Japanese, Chinese, and Korean. The report goes on to note that the "140-character limit was originally established to reflect the length of SMS messages, which was how tweets were distributed prior to the development of mobile apps.

Equifax CEO Steps Down Amid Hacking Scandal

An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNBC: Richard Smith, CEO and chairman of Equifax, abruptly retired Tuesday following a data breach at the credit-reporting service that affected the personal information of 143 million people. Smith, who was 57 as of the company's proxy statement in March, became CEO and chairman in 2005 after 22 years at General Electric in senior roles in various divisions. He is to appear at a hearing of the Senate Banking Committee on Oct. 4 and is the only person scheduled to testify. He is also scheduled to testify next week at a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Smith's salary for 2016 was $1.45 million and his bonus was $3.045 million. In a regulatory filing on Tuesday, the company said Smith will not get a bonus for this year and any other decisions regarding how his departure has been characterized or how much the company owes him will be deferred until the board completes an independent review of the breach and the response to it. In a separate report, CNBC notes that Smith could walk away with at least $18.4 million in pension benefits.

Apple confirms iPhone 8 crackling earpiece issue affects some devices and says a fix is coming (Jacob Kastrenakes/The Verge)

Jacob Kastrenakes / The Verge:

Apple confirms iPhone 8 crackling earpiece issue affects some devices and says a fix is coming  —  The company acknowledges ‘a small number of cases’  —  Some iPhone 8 owners are running into an issue with the phone's earpiece: when they make a call, the earpiece makes a disruptive …

Twitter says it's expanding tweet limit to 280 characters from 140 as part of test for some users (Garett Sloane/Ad Age)

Garett Sloane / Ad Age:

Twitter says it's expanding tweet limit to 280 characters from 140 as part of test for some users  —  Twitter's 140-character limit died today after a long battle with Facebook.  It is survived by brands, publishers and personalities, who will miss its insistence on wit and getting to the point.

Google acquires Bitium to boost its cloud identity management capabilities (Blair Hanley Frank/VentureBeat)

Blair Hanley Frank / VentureBeat:

Google acquires Bitium to boost its cloud identity management capabilities  —  Google today announced it is acquiring Bitium.  Financial details were not disclosed, but Bitium will be joining the Google Cloud team.  —  Founded in March 2012, Bitium provides identity and access management …

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