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PakWired News Weekend Roundup – Episode 15

Period Covered: January 23 (Saturday) to January 29 (Friday)

1. Cyber Security Education in Pakistan

Summary: Cyber Security is a global phenomenon assuming increased significance with each passing day. From the threats of hackers to state-sponsored cyber warfare armies, various sectors of the society including government, industries, private sector, academia and law enforcement are employing cyber security experts to protect their critical information and infrastructure from these evolving threats. To what extent are educational institutes in Pakistan imparting knowledge of Cyber Security? Is the Government of Pakistan providing any support? Click here to read our overview.

2. Samsung and Huawei at war in Pakistan?

Summary: Samsung Pakistan recently announced a ‘trade-in program’ for customers whereby they can exchange their existing smartphones (after proper evaluation and payment of remaining amount, if necessary) to get their own Galaxy S6 Edge or a Galaxy Note 5 phone. It appears to be a well chalked out marketing campaign by Samsung to woo more customers from rivals which is eligible from start of February to end of March. Surprisingly, Chinese telecom giant Huawei has lashed out its Korean competitor, calling their tactic a “pathetically hilarious attempt” and “stunt” to divert customer attention to their products since, according to them, they ‘fear’ Huawei’s strong market presence. Things really seem to be heating up between the two companies.

3. IT Ministry reveals 2016-17 budget for Development Programs

Summary: For FY 2016-17, the Ministry of IT & Telecommunication (MoITT) has proposed a budget worth approximately Rs. 2458 million for the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP). The draft has been sent to the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on IT & Telecom for feedback. Some of the new schemes under the proposed PSDP include upgrade of GSM services in Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, feasibility study for an ICT Park in Karachi and GSM coverage along the Karakoram Highway. If the Standing Committee approves the proposal, it will go the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms.

4. Haier Pakistan’s phone assembly plant to start operations in April

Summary: Chinese group Haier will commence manufacturing and assembly of its range of phone models in Pakistan from 1st April (no, there’s no “April Fool’s” here!). The announcement was made by Mr Tahir Mushtaq, spokesperson for the IT Ministry. The company already has a laptop manufacturing unit in Lahore and the addition of a unit for phones will help reduce product costs, besides providing employment opportunities to locals. We’re happy to see international brands establishing their production plants in Pakistan; here’s wishing all the best to Haier!

5. Patari bags 1st position at StartUp Cup 2015 in Islamabad

Summary: The US Embassy in Islamabad and The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) Islamabad Chapter had co-hosted the StartUp Cup 2015 to give promotional exposure to local startups and acknowledge top ranking projects with awards and cash prizes. Pakistan’s largest and most popular music streaming startup Patari bagged first position along with a cash prize of Rs 1 million (10 lakh), whereas Wifigen and Maro Tandoors came in second and third, respectively. The program helped incubators such as LUMS Centre of Entrepreneurship, Plan 9, The Nest I/O, etc to interact and establish better understanding of each other’s initiatives.

6. 27 Striking Facts most people don’t know about Startups

Summary: Did you know that Nigeria has almost the same number of startups as Germany? Coupofy recently compiled a list of 27 interesting facts which explore factors which affect the current global entrepreneurial landscape. Although the US continues to dominate the world market, emerging economies such as Brazil and India are closely following suit. The infographic also explores some initiatives launched by state governments to support their local startups. Click here for details.

7. Details of upcoming HTC One M10 phone leaked

Summary: VentureBeat published details of HTC’s upcoming smartphone One M10, codenamed “Perfume”. Reportedly, this upcoming model has a fingerprint sensor and will not have 2 front-facing speakers that provided stereo sound. It reportedly has a quad-HD (1440 x 2560 pixel) 5.1″ display and the processors runs on the latest Snapdragon 820 chip. In short, it is expected to be a very powerful and efficient smartphone which will challenge Samsung and LG well.

8. Find friends on Snapchat through personalized usernames

Summary: Snapchat users can now easily search for friends and acquaintances by entering their personalized identity URLs. Similarly, your friends can find you by entering the name assigned to your custom username. To enable the feature, simply open the app, click on the camera view, then click “Add Friends”; a new option in the bottom says “Share Username” (via SMS, Twitter, Facebook, etc). Furthermore, you can share your unique profile Snapcode with contacts on tappin it from the top right arrow button.

9. Microsoft Edge keeps tracking your browsing history

Summary: Microsoft’s latest web browser Edge, substitute to the legendary Internet Explorer (due to be phased out), stores your browsing history even if you don’t allow it to. The findings were published by Ashish Singh, a security researcher. A Microsoft spokesperson acknowledged the critical privacy flaw which has the tendency to greatly discredit the new browser after it was earlier reported to have shipped out Edge without extensions such as AdBlock or Hola.

10. Will Adobe Flash phase out by 2018?

Summary: According to a 2016 Global Media Formats Report by Encoding.com, only 6% of mobile and web videos in 2015 were hosted on Adobe Flash-compatible format, down by 21% in 2014. WebM and HTML5 video delivery systems are expected to phase out Flash. We won’t say we’ll miss the bugger because we spent a whole lot of our early years using Flash plugins but irrespective of whatever ‘fond memories’ we might have, the fact is that Flash had continued to prove a nuisance because of its technical problems.

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