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Facebook is making its own operating system to free itself from Google's shackles – TechRadar India

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Facebook is making its own operating system to free itself from Google's shackles – TechRadar India


Facebook wants its own mobile operating system so hardware like its Oculus VR headsets isn’t tied down by the limitations of Android.

As reported by The Information, Facebook wants its own platform to avoid other companies throwing its plans off course, whether it’s built in-house or in partnership with another developer.

“We really want to make sure the next generation has space for us,” said Andrew Bosworth, Facebook’s vice president of hardware, Andrew ‘Boz’ Bosworth. “We don’t think we can trust the marketplace or competitors to ensure that’s the case. And so we’re gonna do it ourselves.”

The company told TechCrunch that it’s particularly interested in developing augmented reality glasses, and is exploring all options to make it a possibility on its own terms.

If at first you don’t succeed…

This isn’t the first time Facebook has considered creating its own operating system. Back in 2013, one of the company’s senior developers revealed that it had considered developing an OS for Facebook Home – a project that replaced your phone’s usual home screen with something based around social features.

Facebook considered building an OS from scratch or creating an Android fork before settling on an interface layer that sat on top of Android and simply changed its regular interface. The app received negative reviews, and was abandoned within months of its release.

“The OS path was the least fleshed-out of the paths,” director of mobile engineering Cory Ondrejka said. 

“Mark [Zuckerberg] talked on launch day that he wanted to build something for everyone. It’s hard to get to the type of scale that’s necessary for us [when building an OS]. We wanted Home in front of hundreds of millions of people – even a successful OS would only give that experience to a few of them.”

However, now that Facebook has extended its reach beyond phones to other hardware, it makes sense for it to revisit the idea.

Facebook has no plans to end development of its iOS and Android apps, but it’ll be interesting to see where this new project leads and whether its new direction proves more successful than Facebook Home.

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Britain in talks with 6 firms about building gigafactories for EV batteries

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Britain in talks with 6 firms about building gigafactories for EV batteries

Britain is in talks with six companies about building gigafactories to produce batteries for electric vehicles (EV), the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing people briefed on the discussions.

Car makers Ford Motor Co and Nissan Motor Co Ltd, conglomerates LG Corp and Samsung, and start-ups Britishvolt and InoBat Auto are in talks with the British government or local authorities about locations for potential factories and financial support, the report added .

 

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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EBay to sell South Korean unit for about $3.6 billion to Shinsegae, Naver

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eBay Sells Classifieds Business For Nearly  Billion – WebProNews

EBay will sell its South Korean business to retailer Shinsegae Group and e-commerce firm Naver for about 4 trillion won ($3.6 billion), local newspapers reported on Wednesday.

EBay Korea is the country’s third-largest e-commerce firm with market share of about 12.8% in 2020, according to Euromonitor. It operates the platforms Gmarket, Auction and G9.

Shinsegae, Naver and eBay Korea declined to comment.

Lotte Shopping had also been in the running, the Korea Economic Daily and other newspapers said, citing unnamed investment banking sources.

South Korea represents the world’s fourth largest e-commerce market. Driven by the coronavirus pandemic, e-commerce has soared to account for 35.8% of the retail market in 2020 compared with 28.6% in 2019, according to Euromonitor data.

Shinsegae and Naver formed a retail and e-commerce partnership in March by taking stakes worth 250 billion won in each other’s affiliates.

($1 = 1,117.7000 won)

 

(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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Canada launches long-awaited auction of 5G spectrum

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Canada launches long-awaited auction of 5G spectrum

Canada is set to begin a hotly anticipated auction of the mobile telecommunications bandwidth necessary for 5G rollout, one that was delayed more than a year by the pandemic.

The 3,500 MHz is a spectrum companies need to provide 5G, which requires more bandwidth to expand internet capabilities.The auction, initially scheduled for June 2020, is expected to take several weeks with Canadian government selling off 1,504 licenses in 172 service areas.

Smaller operators are going into the auction complaining that recent regulatory rulings have further tilted the scales in the favour of the country’s three biggest telecoms companies – BCE, Telus and Rogers Communications Inc – which together control around 90% of the market as a share of revenue.

Canadian mobile and internet consumers, meanwhile, have complained for years that their bills are among the world’s steepest. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has threatened to take action if the providers did not cut bills by 25%.

The last auction of the 600 MHz spectrum raised C$3.5 billion ($2.87 billion) for the government.

The companies have defended themselves, saying the prices they charge are falling.

Some 23 bidders including regional players such as Cogeco and Quebec’s Videotron are participating in the process. Shaw Communications did not apply to participate due to a $16 billion takeover bid from Rogers. Lawmakers and analysts have warned that market concentration will intensify if that acquisition proceeds.

In May, after Canada‘s telecoms regulator issued a ruling largely in favour of the big three on pricing for smaller companies’ access to broadband networks, internet service provider TekSavvy Inc withdrew from the auction, citing the decision.

Some experts say the government has been trying to level the playing field with its decision to set aside a proportion of spectrum in certain areas for smaller companies.

Gregory Taylor, a spectrum expert and associate professor at the University of Calgary, said he was pleased the government was auctioning off smaller geographic areas of coverage.

In previous auctions where the license covered whole provinces, “small providers could not participate because they could not hope to cover the range that was required in the license,” Taylor said.

Smaller geographic areas mean they have a better chance of fulfilling the requirements for the license, such as providing service to 90% of the population within five years of the issuance date.

The auction has no scheduled end date, although the federal ministry in charge of the spectrum auction has said winners would be announced within five days of bidding completion.

($1 = 1.2181 Canadian dollars)

 

(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Vancouver; Editing by David Gregorio)

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