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WhatsApp back online after global outage hits users

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  • We have fixed the issue and apologise for any inconvenience, says WhatsApp’s parent company Meta.
  • The company did not disclose the reason for the outage.
  • WhatsApp has become a critical means of communication for households and businesses.

Messaging app WhatsApp was starting to come back online at 2pm Pakistan time (0900 GMT) and the company said the issue has been fixed after users across the world reported problems earlier on Tuesday.

At around 12:50pm (0750 GMT), outage reporting site Downdetector had shown over 68,000 users had reported problems with the app in the United Kingdom. Problems were reported by 19,000 people in Singapore and 15,000 people in South Africa, Pakistan and other countries as well.

“We know people had trouble sending messages on WhatsApp today. We have fixed the issue and apologise for any inconvenience,” a spokesperson for WhatsApp parent company Meta Platforms said.

The company did not disclose the reason for the outage.

WhatsApp has become a critical means of communication for households and businesses. When WhatsApp had an hours-long outage last October, it hit trading of assets from cryptocurrencies to oil, before traders switched to alternative platforms such as Telegram.

“This highlights the significance of vast hosting companies directing data around the internet along with companies and individuals relying on single points of communication,” said Jack Moore, advisor at Slovakia-based cybersecurity firm ESET.

“Multiple areas will inevitably be significantly impacted as a result of this downtime, along with a predicted financial hit but lessons from other recent prominent times when the internet has gone down will have hopefully taught many to have access to other forms of communication.”

WhatsApp’s latest outage came during the festive season in India — its biggest market by user count — when people use the platform even more than usual to send season’s greetings.

Shares of WhatsApp-parent Meta Platforms fell 0.7% to $128.85 in premarket trading following the outage.

The company had not sent any fresh updates as users in Asia, India and the United Kingdom started seeing some connections come back online.

#whatsappdown was trending on Twitter, with more than 142000 tweets and hundreds of memes flooding the internet.

“Everyone who noticed #whatsapp is down have come to twitter to confirm it,” says one Twitter user.

In the past, rival apps like Telegram, Snap or even Meta’s Instagram have seen temporary spikes in users when WhatsApp has been down.

While WhatsApp boasts of over two billion monthly active users and have become a mainstay for messaging in most countries, Telegram has taken up the challenger role with about 700 million users. 

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Google uses AI to telecast the Paris Olympics in the US

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As announced in a statement by the three organizations, Google will be Team USA’s official search AI partner, becoming the first digital business to work with the sports NGO.

In an effort to draw in people who don’t watch live television and younger viewers who are used to seeing clips online, NBCUniversal, the company that broadcasts the Games in the United States, is updating its programming at the same time as the announcement.

Earlier, the media firm controlled by Comcast announced that it would introduce daily recaps of the competition that are tailored by artificial intelligence (AI) and narrated by AI versions of real people, such sports commentator Al Michaels.

NBCUniversal’s anchors will use Google Search’s AI summaries to respond to queries regarding specific sports, including how crucial pool-lane assignments are in swimming competitions, during daytime and primetime coverage of the Olympics.

Without requiring the user to click through to a website, Google’s AI summaries offer written answers to search inquiries.

Google’s Gemini AI model will be utilized by comedian Leslie Jones, who will be a pundit in Paris, to engage viewers and acquire knowledge about new sports.

The Paris Olympics get underway on July 26.

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‘e-procurement system should be implemented throughout the country’

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The e-procurement system was implemented, according to a news release from the PPRA managing director, in order to decrease public spending by increasing transparency.

Hasnat Ahmed Qureshi stated that the system would soon be adopted nationwide, including in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, following its installation in 27 ministries and 280 governmental departments.

In cooperation with the Federal Board of Revenue, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, Accountant General Pakistan Revenues, and State Bank of Pakistan, he said, a system was planned to facilitate procurement agencies and suppliers. One-window operation and e-payment options will be provided by the system.

The PPRA managing director also noted that the Finance Ministry and the Cabinet Division, which are acting in accordance with the Prime Minister’s instruction, have made significant contributions to the implementation of the e-procurement system.

8,500 government workers and vendors have received specialized training for the “E-Pak Acquisition and Disposal System” initiative, which was started with support from the World Bank in March 2023.

The Procurement Rules 2004 have undergone 25 revisions by the federal PPRA in order to provide an easy and uncomplicated procurement process.

For the convenience of procurement engineers and suppliers, the PPRA has released high-quality bidding documents and procurement regulations. Additionally, help desks that offer daily technical support to departments and suppliers have been set up.

After successfully registering for free on the e-procurement system, about 13,000 suppliers and commercial entities are now qualified to participate in federal government procurement processes.

The e-procurement system, which would assist the provinces in ensuring efficient and transparent procurement procedures, has been given to Punjab, Sindh, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by the federal PPRA. Since July 1, the Punjabi government has successfully brought the e-procurement system into the province in an effort to guarantee openness.

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The China-Pakistan alliance aims to introduce environmentally friendly solar-powered electric bicycles.

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Recently, a preliminary cooperation deal was made to bring eco-friendly solar e-bikes to Pakistan by Road King, a well-known electric scooter company in Pakistan, and AGAO Solar Mobility, a China-based startup that specialises in solar-powered scooters.

With solar panels installed, solar scooters are environmentally friendly electric scooters. Instead of using conventional charging methods, these panels use solar energy to recharge the scooter’s battery. The Chinese company said that the short-distance, carbon-emission-free scooter and solar energy combination is dedicated to this goal.

The demand for products in Pakistan’s local transportation industry, trends in product development, and particular cooperative methods were all extensively discussed by the parties at the conference, according to CEN.

The Chinese firm promised to help Road King with product optimisation, marketing support, and technical support for solar-powered e-bikes. Developing superior transport products in tandem with the needs of the regional market is the aim.

As the delegation from Road King pointed out, we will aggressively pursue collaboration with the Chinese side and bring solar e-bikes to the Pakistani market. The high efficiency and eco-friendliness of solar e-bikes perfectly match Pakistan’s present need for environmentally friendly transportation.

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