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Brazilian government allows Huawei to take part in 5G auction
by Paul Hill
Reuters, citing the Brazilian newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo, has said that Brazil is likely to allow Huawei to participate in the 5G auction that’s set to take place in June. The Bolsonaro government of Brazil has been looking for ways to exclude the Chinese company from the country’s networks, following the lead of the United States, but between Trump’s upcoming departure from the White House and the cost of excluding Huawei, Jair Bolsonaro is being forced to backtrack on his plans.
The Brazilian newspaper had cited government and industry sources to back up claims that Brazil will allow Huawei into the 5G network auctions later this year. It said that with China being Brazil’s biggest trade partner and Huawei being more cost-competitive, Bolsonaro has faced resistance to banning the Chinese firm from industry and members of his government including Vice President Hamilton Mourao.
VP Mourao told the newspaper that any company that takes part in the auction will be subject to the country’s data protection laws and must respect Brazil’s sovereignty. One of the arguments put forth by the current U.S. administration is that Huawei has links to the Communist Party of China and therefore data won’t be safe if Huawei is allowed into 5G networks.
While Trump’s departure may have saved Huawei’s prospects in Brazil, it has come too late for the company in other countries like Poland and the United Kingdom which have already moved to ban Huawei from their 5G networks and remove it where it has already been installed.
Source: Estadao (Portuguese) via Reuters
Microsoft 365 is now available from datacenters in Brazil
by João Carrasqueira
Microsoft is once again expanding the regional availability of its services with the launch of Microsoft 365 services hosted on cloud datacenters in Brazil. The new launch follows in the footsteps of similar launches in countries such as Germany earlier in the year, and it's part of a series of investments Microsoft is making in the South American country, which also includes skilling and sustainability initiatives.
What the launch means is that Brazilian organizations using Microsoft 365 can now rest assured data is being stored inside the country, which can be required by law for certain entities such as financial institutions or the public sector. Data stored in Brazil includes content in Exchange and SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, and all types of Teams data.
Initially, only Microsoft 365 data is stored in Brazil, but the company has already announced that Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform will also be ready for data residency in the first half of 2021. Additional multi-geo capabilities for Microsoft 365 will be available in the first quarter of the year, meaning organizations can choose where customer data is stored on a by-user basis within a single tenant.
Brazil joins a few other countries that have had other similar launches in the past year and a half, including Switzerland and the aforementioned Germany region. The company's global network spans more than 130,000 miles of terrestrial and subsea fiber.
By Jay Bonggolto
Samsung launches the Galaxy M21s and M51 in Brazil
by Jay Bonggolto
Samsung today announced the availability of the Galaxy M51 and the new Galaxy M21s in Brazil. The M51 was first introduced to the Indian market in September.
While both devices are budget-friendly, they show off massive batteries, with the M21s and M51 packing a 6,000mAh and 7,000mAh unit, respectively. The M21s' battery also supports 15W fast charging while that of the M51 includes support for 25W fast charging.
The M21s sports a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED FullHD+ display with a water drop notch that houses a 32MP camera. On its back, the phone has a triple camera setup comprising a 64MP main sensor, 8MP ultra-wide camera, and a 5MP depth sensor. The phone is powered by an octa-core Exynos 9611 SoC with a clock speed of 2.3 GHz, paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. Its storage space can also be expanded up to 1TB via a microSD card slot.
Meanwhile, the M51 features the same set of specs as the Indian model, including a 6.7-inch FullHD+ display, 64MP triple camera on the back, and a Snapdragon 730G chipset. It comes only in a single memory configuration, though: 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage that's expandable up to 1TB with a microSD card.
The M21s is available in blue and black color options and the bigger model in white and black variants. Both phones can only be purchased online, including via Samsung Brazil's website, with the M21s priced at 1,699 Brazilian Real (~$305) and the M51 at 2,899 Brazilian Real (~$520).
By Abhay V
Twitter begins testing a new voice messages feature for direct messages
by Abhay Venkatesh
After rolling out an experimental voice attachments feature in tweets, Twitter is now testing the ability to send voice notes in direct messages (DMs). Alex Ackerman-Greenberg, product manager for direct messages at Twitter, announced the feature via a 20-second voice message to The Verge’s Chris Welch, adding that the company knows that “people want more options for how they express themselves in conversations on Twitter — both publicly and privately”. The feature will begin rolling out in Brazil first.
The voice messages feature supposedly has a simplistic UI, with the message containing just a play/pause icon and the profile picture of the sender in the message. The icon pulses when a recorded message is being played. The firm added that it aims to design an “in-line recording experience to make it easier to send these messages as part of the natural conversation flow”. Additionally, there is an option to report the message in case it is misused.
The micro-blogging site faced backlash over the lack of accessibility features when it began testing the audio tweet feature. The company then formed a new ‘Experience Accessibility Team’ to help build accessibility early on during the development of features and to integrate capabilities for a diverse set of users in its existing offerings. It will be interesting to see how the firm’s features evolve, and if the company addresses the concerns with the voice messages feature when it makes it to all users.
Source: The Verge
Facebook to bring News tab to more countries soon
by Paul Hill
Facebook has announced that it’s accelerating its plans to expand its News tab to more countries in the next six months to a year. The new areas which Facebook News could serve include the U.K., Germany, France, India, and Brazil but it is still considering its options. The company said that it will pay news publishers to include their content in the News tab.
According to the social media giant, Facebook News takes time to enter new markets because consumer habits and news inventories differ in different areas. In the aforementioned countries, Facebook is going to work closely with publishers in a way that honours their business models and delivers a valuable experience for users.
While Facebook is now looking to bring its product to other countries, it still plans to develop Facebook News in the United States where it has already launched. The firm said:
With a lot of people getting their information from social media and these new tools allowing for the quick spread of information, it’s important for social media firms to have a tool akin to Facebook News so that people can get legitimate information.