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Brazilian government updates tax relief program for tech companies

The legal framework around fiscal incentives for the information technology sector has been updated just after Christmas 2019. The Lei da Informática (Informatics Law) grants tax relief to companies operating in Brazil in the high tech sector including hardware, software and services, in return for investments in research and development. An update to the existing framework has been sanctioned by… Read more →

Phones and more: The best of everything mobile from 2019

Neither the fanciest nor the cheapest: The most useful gadgets of 2019 Usually these end of year gadget listings are dominated by expensive items such as smartphones and monster desktop PCs. This listing is different. The term best is subjective, but after testing out a number of smartphones, wearables, tablets, and other mobile gear over the past year, I have… Read more →

Singapore tax on overseas digital services kicks in tomorrow

Singapore consumers will be charged a goods and services tax (GST) on overseas digital services from January 1, 2020, expanding the tariff beyond locally procured products. This will impact a wide range of services including downloadable content such as e-books and mobile apps, software such as office suites, subscription-based media such as music streaming and online games, as well as… Read more →

Huawei warns of ‘difficult’ year ahead amidst ongoing trade ban

Huawei is rallying its employees to prepare for a “difficult” year ahead as sales of its products remain restricted in the US and the global economy continues its downward trajectory. The Chinese tech giant goes into “survival” mode for 2020, where it will look to further diversify its supply chain to mitigate risks to its business.  While it clocked a… Read more →

Microsoft takes down 50 domains operated by North Korean hackers

Microsoft announced today that it successfully took down 50 web domains previously used by a North Korean government-backed hacking group. The OS maker said the 50 domains were used to launch cyberattacks by a group the company has been tracking as Thallium (also known as APT37). Microsoft said the Digital Crimes Unit (DCU) and the Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center (MSTIC)… Read more →

The best cheap laptops for $350 or less in 2019

(Image: CNET) Must read These weird gadgets are actually super useful I get a lot of weird and sometimes wonderful gadgets across my desk, and some end up impressing me by actually being extremely useful. Read More Not everyone wants to pay hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars for a new laptop. Some are happy with cheap and cheerful systems… Read more →

Azure founders reflect on Microsoft’s first decade as a public cloud vendor

Microsoft’s Azure operating system, codenamed “Red Dog,” was designed by a team of Microsoft OS experts including Dave Cutler, the father of VMS and Windows NT starting in latter half of the 2000s. Azure launched in February 2010 and has become the foundation of the “new” Microsoft over the past decade. In 2008, I had a chance to interview the… Read more →

Brazil surpasses UK in Facebook fine over Cambridge Analytica scandal

The Brazilian government has fined Facebook following an investigation around the misuse of personal data belonging to nearly half a million users in political campaigns. The 6,6 million reais ($1.6 million) fine was issued by the country’s Ministry of Justice and Public Security and relates to the data misuse scandal by the social networking firm and consultancy Cambridge Analytica, which… Read more →

Butter run: First autonomous truck completes cross-country freight trip

After 2,800 incident-free miles, an autonomous truck became the first-ever to complete a cross-country autonomous freight run. The precious cargo? 40,000 pounds of Land O’Lakes butter. The L4 autonomous truck left from Tulare, CA, en route to Quakertown, PA. In all the drive took less than three days. According to, the company behind the autonomous technology stack that powered… Read more →

US Coast Guard discloses Ryuk ransomware infection at maritime facility

Image: BluePuffin An infection with the Ryuk ransomware took down a maritime facility for more than 30 hours; the US Coast Guard said in a security bulletin it published before Christmas. The agency did not reveal the name or the location of the port authority; however, it described the incident as recent. “Forensic analysis is currently ongoing but the virus,… Read more →

Google Pixel 4a may launch with hole-punch camera and 3.5 mm audio jack

Pixel 4: Google’s new improved camera comes with a great phone, too Not everything was leaked. Direct from ‘Made by Google’ event, Matthew Miller and Jason Cipriani share one disappointment and a pleasant surprise. Read more: Last year Google followed up its very expensive Pixel 3 lineup with the mid-range Pixel 3a and 3a XL. These phones came in… Read more →