U.S. House Democrats Adopt Mobile Internet Voting for Leadership Contests | World News

(Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers used a mobile phone app over the last two weeks to remotely cast votes for the first time, according to technologists and some involved in the process, embracing technology to facilitate an internal party leadership contest.

The development marks a shift in how Congress is adapting to the internet, especially in the midst of a pandemic. Use of the app, named Markup ERVS, had not been publicly disclosed before Friday.

A total of 230 House of Representatives Democrats logged into Markup on their government-provided iPhones to cast votes stating their preference for House speaker, who will be elected by the full chamber early next month, said Markup spokesperson Colby Redmond.

The House Democrats also chose their caucus chair and committee heads through the app, which transfers data to staff in Washington.

Earlier this year, the House changed its procedures for voting on legislation by the full

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High-Speed Internet Lines to Surge in Europe as Virus Boosts Demand: Study | Technology News

MILAN (Reuters) – The number of high speed fibre optic broadband lines in Europe is expected to more than double over the next six years from last year’s levels as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates demand for faster internet services, a study showed on Thursday.

High speed fibre will pass 202 million houses in the European Union and Britain by 2026, up from 88.1 million in 2019, according to a joint report by consultancy firm IDATE and industry group FTTH Council Europe.

Houses passed is an industry term meaning the potential number of premises a service provider could connect to high-speed fibre optic broadband.

Germany, Britain and Italy are among countries expected to experience significant growth in the number of homes passed in 2026 compared to 2019, with Germany expected to see 730% growth, Britain 548% and Italy 218%.

According to the forecasts, the number of subscribers in the EU and

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Google News will allow free access to paywalled articles from news sites

As part of its $1 billion investment in partnerships with news publishers, Google will start paying for some paywalled content for its News Showcase program. News Showcase, a new addition to Google News that launched in October, displays story panels curated by publishers — but its not available in the US yet.





© Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge


News Showcase will “start offering people access to paywalled content in partnership with select news publishers,” says a Google blog post. Google will pay partners for limited access to paywalled content. To access that content, users will still have to register with the individual publishers.

Users in the US shouldn’t get too excited about free articles just yet. Google lists partnerships with publishers in several countries, but the US is not currently on the list. News Showcase went live in October in Brazil and Germany. Publications in other countries, including

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Discovery Partners With Verizon to Distribute New Streaming Service | Technology News

(Reuters) – Discovery Inc. is launching a new streaming service, called discovery+, and has a U.S. distribution deal with Verizon Communications Inc that will make the service available to 50 million customers on day one, following Disney’s lead.

Discovery+ will be available on Jan. 4 in the United States where it will include 55,000 episodes from channels in the Discovery portfolio, which include HGTV, Food Network and Animal Planet.

The service will be free for up to 12 months for new and existing Verizon customers, depending on their plan. People who aren’t eligible for the free trial can subscribe to the service for $4.99 per month with ads, or $6.99 per month ad-free.

Verizon played a role in the success of Walt Disney Co’s Disney+ streaming service by making it available to millions of wireless customers. The service launched in November 2019 and had 73.7 million subscribers a year later.

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Chinese Embassy Says Australia ‘Misread’ Offending Social Media Post | World News

SYDNEY (Reuters) – China’s embassy in Australia said politicians there had “misread” a tweet showing a digitally-altered image of an Australian soldier holding a bloodied knife to the throat of an Afghan child, and were trying to stoke nationalism.

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday called the tweet posted by China’s foreign ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian, “truly repugnant”, and called for an apology.

On Tuesday the tweet was pinned to the top of Zhao’s social media account, and China’s Global Times newspaper, known for nationalistic views, interviewed the Chinese artist who created the image.

“The rage and roar of some Australian politicians and media is nothing but misreading of and overreaction to Mr Zhao’s tweet,” the Chinese embassy in Canberra said in a statement on Tuesday.

Australia’s Foreign Affairs and Trade secretary had called ambassador Cheng Jingye on Monday to complain about the social media post, it confirmed, adding

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Trump Threatens Defense Veto Over Social Media Protections | Political News

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is threatening to veto a defense policy bill unless it ends protections for internet companies that shield them from being held liable for material posted by their users.

On Twitter Tuesday night, Trump took aim at Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which protects companies that can host trillions of messages from being sued into oblivion by anyone who feels wronged by something someone else has posted — whether their complaint is legitimate or not.

Trump called Section 230 “a serious threat to our National Security & Election Integrity,” adding, “Therefore, if the very dangerous & unfair Section 230 is not completely terminated as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), I will be forced to unequivocally VETO the Bill.”

Trump has been waging war against social media companies for months, claiming they are biased against conservative voices.

In October he

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Cainhoy Peninsula development could threaten preservation of historical sites | News

CAINHOY — The history of the Cainhoy Peninsula is as old, as deep and as rich as that of Charleston itself — maybe even older.

Archaeologists believe Cainhoy’s history began more than 8,000 years ago — long before the first European settlers set foot on the North American continent, when Native Americans roamed the banks of the Cooper and Wando rivers hunting small game and searching the wetlands for oysters.

For a region that prides itself on preserving its past, the history of the Cainhoy Peninsula is in jeopardy of disappearing in the coming decades under the onslaught of development, which could see as many as 30,000 new residents descend upon this once pristine landscape.

Over the next 20 years, Cainhoy Plantation, which straddles Clements Ferry Road, is expected to add 9,000 new homes and turn the area into a city-sized community. When the last moving boxes are unloaded, it

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China Drafts Rules on Mobile Apps’ Collection of Personal Data | Technology News

(Reuters) – China unveiled draft guidelines on Tuesday seeking to limit the scope of mobile apps’ collection of personal data in the latest attempt to curb the sprawling technology sector.

The set of draft rules published by the Cyberspace Administration of China covers 38 types of apps from online shopping and instant messaging to ride-hailing and bike sharing.

China has increased scrutiny of its technology sector in recent weeks, last month drafting anti-monopoly rules for tech firms.

It has also expressed concerns about data protection and consumer rights, while authorities have on a number of occasions ordered apps to be suspended for mishandling user information.

“In recent years, mobile internet applications have been widely used and have played an important role in promoting economic and social development and serving people’s livelihoods,” the cyber administration said in a statement.

“At the same time, it is common for apps to collect …

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Facebook will start paying UK news sites for news stories

As with the US News section, the UK tab will offer a mix of personalized and curated top stories. Facebook will normally show top headlines and stories, but will add news digests with original and “authoritative” reporting during major news cycles. The tab will build on the success of the US site, Facebook said, “where we’ve found more than 95 percent of the traffic Facebook News delivers to publishers is new audiences that have not interacted with those news outlets in the past.”

Facebook didn’t say how much it would pay publishers, but some expect millions of pounds each year from multi-year details, The Guardian reported. That means Facebook could be paying tens of millions in the UK alone, much-needed revenue for struggling news outlets. It may also feature smaller local sites that

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