OpenAI launches ChatGPT app for iOS

OpenAI launches ChatGPT app for iOS
OpenAI launches ChatGPT app for iOS

The standalone ChatGPT app from OpenAI is now available for iOS users to download and use without any charges. It combines a few cool features and makes it simpler to communicate with the bot while on the road.

For instance, Whisper, the company’s open-source speech recognition technology, is used by the app to facilitate voice input. Additionally, it syncs your chat history from ChatGPT’s online client and any devices that are currently logged into your account.

Naturally, users to ChatGPT Plus have early access to upcoming features, access to the improved GPT-4 version and faster response times.

The software is currently available for iOS users to download from the US software Store, but it should soon be available in other nations as well. The same goes for Android users.

Twitter announces removal of pre-Musk’s takeover blue ticks from April 1

Twitter announces removal of pre-Musk’s takeover blue ticks from April 1
Twitter announces removal of pre-Musk’s takeover blue ticks from April 1

WASHINGTON – Twitter on Friday announced that it will wind down the legacy blue ticks given to the verified accounts before the takeover of the Elon Musk.

The process of doing away with the blue ticks for legacy verified accounts will start from April 1 as the microblogging platform aims at pushing its Twitter Blue subscription service.

Meanwhile, the platform has asked individuals and organisations with legacy blue ticks to subscribe the Blue services in order to retain their verification badges.

“On April 1st, we will begin winding down our legacy verified program and removing legacy verified checkmarks. To keep your blue checkmark on Twitter, individuals can sign up for Twitter Blue…,” the company announced in a tweet.

The Twitter Blue programme, which costs Rs2,250 per month on iOS and Android devices in Pakistan, will let any user to have the coveted blue tick mark which was earlier reserved for notable personalities. Similarly, Twitter Blue can be subscribed for $11 for iOS and Android users in the US.

“New subscriptions to Twitter Blue are available globally on web, iOS, or Android. Not all features are available on all platforms. Newly created Twitter accounts will not be able to subscribe to Twitter Blue for 30 days. We may also impose waiting periods for new accounts in the future at our discretion, and without notice,” read the official Twitter Blue page.

The Twitter Blue paid subscription was launched days after Elon Musk took over the company in 2022. The service allows users to tweet up to 4,000 characters, and compose longer Quote Tweets or replies. Users will also be able to get prioritised ranking in conversations, and lesser ads, and will be able to post longer videos on Twitter.

MET Pakistan hosts Twitter Space session on e-commerce today

MET Pakistan hosts Twitter Space session on e-commerce today
MET Pakistan hosts Twitter Space session on e-commerce today

LAHORE – MET Pakistan is hosting a Twitter Space session on the topic “How can e-commerce help Pakistan solve its economic problems?” today.

The session will be held today (February 3) at 9pm. The speakers include Umar Shami, owner of Daily Pakistan and CEO at Euro Oils, Jabran Niaz, Amazon Top Seller and the Founder and CEO of Utopia Deals and Utopia Industries and Umar Mir, CEO at Sanalbul and Vice Chairman of AirSial.

Pakistan to re-launch youth laptop scheme for university students

Pakistan to re-launch youth laptop scheme for university students
Pakistan to re-launch youth laptop scheme for university students

LAHORE – In a positive development, Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal on Wednesday announced re-launching youth laptop scheme.

The Minister made these remarks while addressing an event in the capital earlier today on Wednesday. The PML-N stalwart said one hundred thousand laptops will be provided to the students on merit to digitally empower them, under the latest plans.

He further mentioned that the National Bank of Pakistan has also been asked to develop laptop leasing products to facilitate university students.

Ahsan further added that the South Asian country can turn IT into one of its competitive advantages.

Microsoft for Startups graduates third cohort of B2B tech startups from GrowthX Accelerator program

Microsoft for Startups graduates third cohort of B2B tech startups from GrowthX Accelerator program
Microsoft for Startups graduates third cohort of B2B tech startups from GrowthX Accelerator program

ABU DHABI – Microsoft for Startups Middle East, in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), today graduated the latest cohort of tech startups from its GrowthX Accelerator program.

The conclusion of the cohort was celebrated during a Demo Day event, hosted at Abu Dhabi’s financial centre, Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), with attendees including startup founders, government officials, investors, business leaders and stakeholders from the regional entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Run as part of a strategic partnership between ADIO and Microsoft for Startups, GrowthX is specifically designed to empower growth-stage B2B startups from Seed to Series A stages to grow and scale in Abu Dhabi. The program features weekly sessions from Microsoft experts and regional and global leaders in business and technology. The 12 startups in this cohort hail from across the Middle East, Turkey and Pakistan, and are developing solutions in E-commerce, EdTech, Fintech, HRtech, and Insurtech. The companies in this cohort are Fortyguard, Ilmversity, Klickit, MonSpark, Pisano, Poilabs, Raabtaa, Supercommerce, Vita Virtues, Xina AI, Edraak Systems, and Pay Caps.

Eng. Abdulla Abdul Aziz AlShamsi, Acting Director General at ADIO, said, “The rapid pace of digital transformation is an opportunity to find new technological solutions to global challenges continually. The GrowthX Accelerator is a proven platform to identify and empower innovative startups to achieve scale and impact. We congratulate all the graduates on completing this program and look forward to seeing how they leverage the tools gained to accelerate their growth and enhance the regional startup landscape.”

Naim Yazbeck, General Manager, Microsoft UAE, said, “It has been both inspiring and encouraging to witness the growth and development of each of the startups enrolled on this cohort. They’ve leveraged every opportunity to maximize the potential of their offerings, enhance their skillsets and embrace the support and resources available to empower them to grow and scale their businesses. Together with ADIO, we are proud to have empowered another incredible cohort of startups to showcase their innovative ideas and develop them into real-world solutions, that will strengthen the regional ecosystem and develop our digital economy.”

Investment in tech startups across the UAE and the Middle East continues to grow exponentially as demand for new, creative, and innovative products and solutions continue to rise. Over the past year, venture capital funding in MENA reached $2.6 billion, 138% more than in 2020, according to MAGNiTT. Startups in the UAE accounted for 26% of all deals closed across MENA and 45% of all funding raised across the region in 2021.

The GrowthX Accelerator helps startups develop their offerings and unlock new opportunities for success. The 10-week program offers a variety of group and one-on-one virtual sessions and training on enterprise sales, technical readiness, investor readiness, and customer engagement tactics. Participating startups also work closely with Microsoft to co-create technology solutions that address real challenges facing organizations in the region, and receive support from regional partners including legal assistance from Clara.

Following the conclusion of the program, the startups will also work closely with Masdar City, a GrowthX program partner, who will support the graduating cohort in obtaining business licences and establishing operations in Abu Dhabi. The Masdar City Free Zone hosts more than 1,000 companies that benefit from the city’s unique ecosystem of education, R&D, technology startups, incubators, and corporates.

Including the recently concluded cohort, the GrowthX Accelerator has graduated a total of 48 startups since its inception in 2021.

YouTube enables content creators to earn money from Shorts


YouTube monetization feature is now open for all creators, including those who post TikTok-style short videos, to help them build a business while connecting with their audiences.

In the latest move to empower all contributors, the leading video-sharing platform has updated the terms of its Partner Program to allow people to earn revenue with Shorts.

Google-owned platform make changes after stepping into the multiformat league, following the footsteps of other platforms – which amassed huge followings. Earlier, only longer videos were monetized by YouTube.

In the latest announcement, the company mentioned starting ad revenue for Shorts creators from February 1. The video site, which amassed 34 billion viewers last month, is starting to roll out new terms for all creators in the YouTube Partner Program.

It sent updated terms to creators, allowing them time till July 10 to accept and become part of the program.

Last year in September, YouTube announced enabling creators to generate revenue from Shorts.

It further announced that the new revenue-sharing model will replace the YouTube Shorts Fund. Video makers, who are willing to garner funds, can apply to the program if they meet basic requirements which need creators to have 1,000 subscribers and 10 million Shorts views over 3 months period.

With the latest step to enable creators, Shorts is likely to become generate new users who shared more content on TikTok.

Waqar Zaka faces arrest in cyrptcurrency case

Waqar Zaka
Waqar Zaka

KARACHI – A court in Karachi issued a non-bailable arrest warrant for Waqar Zaka, a television host and social media activist in the Rs86 million cryptocurrency scandal case.

A judicial magistrate issued the warrant while hearing the case filed by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on a report of the Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU). The warrants were issued after Zaka, who used to raise voice for making the virtual currencies legal in the country, failed to appear in court.

The FIA said that during the last three years the aggregated credits of Rs86.1 million and debt of Rs87.1 million were observed in his bank account, adding that several transactions were made from the abroad countries.

“Whereas, the multiple news, blogs, and videos were found on a public database which transpires involvement of accused Waqar Zaka into cryptocurrency/virtual assets”, the agency alleged him in the case.

“During the inquiry, Bitcoin/cryptocurrency-related posts were found on his Twitter account, the accused also promotes cryptocurrency like Bitcoin”, it further alleged.

The FIA said when the inquiry was launched against him, he started false propaganda against the institutions on the social media and provoked public against the government officials.

Systems Limited now owns NdcTech, partners with Temenos to expand market reach in GCC region

Systems Limited
Systems Limited

LAHORE –  Systems Limited has announced that the company’s now wholly owned subsidiary, NdcTech, and signed an agreement with Temenos in which NdcTech has been granted exclusive licensing rights of Temenos certified Country Model Bank across selected 7 countries.

The development will enable NdcTech to sell and maintain the Country Model Bank license for new implementation and upgrade across those countries.

Temenos (SIX: TEMN) today announced that it has signed an agreement to grant license rights to NdcTech, a wholly owned subsidiary of Systems Limited and one of its largest regional system integrators partners, to develop further and market the Temenos Country Model Banks on top of Temenos open platform for financial institutions in these seven Middle Eastern countries.

NdcTech is committed to investing and developing regulatory and business-specific localized functionality to enhance these Model Banks for banks of all sizes in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

As part of this agreement, NdcTech will become a trusted partner for upgrade services in those countries to enable customers to seamlessly upgrade their technology stack and offer them a modernization path to a SaaS model on the Temenos Banking Cloud.

Temenos holds a leading position in the region and boasts a raft of clients across these seven countries including some of the largest and most innovative institutions in the Middle East from Al-Rajhi Bank, to First Abu Dhabi Bank to stc pay. All Temenos clients will be able to work with NdcTech and Temenos to enhance the Model Banks and contribute to the product roadmap.

Country Model Banks are a key differentiator for Temenos. By enabling partners to develop new country models, Temenos is able to scale this competitive advantage, rapidly building new model banks compatible with the banking services on Temenos composable platform and available for instant deployment on Temenos Banking Cloud.

NdcTech is one of the largest System Integrators and partners for Temenos in the Middle East and Africa. The company’s rich engineering expertise, in-depth knowledge of modern banking platforms and unique development methodologies have led to this strategic collaboration.  Working together, NdcTech and Temenos will open up new business opportunities and drive revenue growth among existing clients through cross-selling by incorporating regulatory requirements and innovations relevant to local market practices.

William Moroney, Managing Director, Middle East and Africa at Temenos, said, “We are excited to announce this agreement with NdcTech, which expands our addressable market and opens new opportunities for growth in these seven counties in the Middle East. NdcTech will invest in the Country Model Banks to accelerate our competitiveness in the region by delivering local IP such as market-specific products. These partnerships bring additional investment in our platform and scale in specific countries, ultimately delivering incremental growth.”

Ammara Masood, the CEO, NdcTech, said, “We are delighted to be granted this license by Temenos to develop Country Model Banks in Pakistan and in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region. This milestone is a testament to our capabilities as a long-standing partner of Temenos. Our deep knowledge of global market practices and regulations and expertise in modern architectures has enabled us to be the trusted partner for the region’s pioneering banks. This region is full of potential, and now we are not only driven but also equipped to extend our footprint by collaborating with leading banks in this space.”

Systems Limited is excited as this will be a great opportunity for Temenos and NdcTech to innovate and deliver value to all the banks and financial institutions in those seven countries.

Chinese tech giant let consumers make payments with their palms

Chinese tech giant let consumers make payments with their palms
Chinese tech giant let consumers make payments with their palms

BEIJING – Chinese technology giant now helped consumers to pay amounts by using their palms as a card.

In its report, MIT Technology Review revealed that multinational conglomerate Tencent earlier conducted tests on the first of its type of touchless palm payment which let consumers pay for goods and services without carrying any typical card.

In the country of 1.4 billion, the tech giant’s social media app WeChat hits 1 billion users and is replacing traditional bills across several cities.

In one of the clips on the Chinese short video App TikTok, a consumer can be seen paying for a soda merely using his palm.

MIT Technology Review’s report further stated that the feature was rolled out some time back and had properly been released in Guangzhou, the leading financial center in China.

The touchless palm payment is capable to distinguish the palms of individuals. People can now make payment by waving their hands up to a few inches from the camera, with no facial or fingerprint recognition required.

Despite unforeseen technology advancements, payment by password, fingerprint, and facial recognition technology remain the most popular methods with top brands using them.

China’s rival US has been testing palm-scanning payment technology in Amazon’s Seattle store, per reports. Meanwhile, experts have warned of privacy concerns as such tech requires a large database of biometric information linked to users,

Elon Musk is now owner of Twitter

Elon Musk is now owner of Twitter
Elon Musk is now owner of Twitter

Tesla/SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is finally the owner of the microblogging site, Twitter, as $44 billion purchase deal was finalized on Thursday.

The 51-year-old business tycoon made the announcement on Twitter in an official statement.

In the statement, Elon explained his reasons for acquiring Twitter, saying, “There is currently great danger that social media will splinter into far right wing and far left wing echo chambers that generate more hate and divide in our society.”

“In the relentless pursuit of clicks, much of traditional media has fuelled and catered to those polarised extremes, as they believe that is what brings in the money, but, in doing so, the opportunity for dialogue is lost.”

He added, “That is why I bought Twitter. I didn’t do it because it would be easy. I didn’t do it to make more money. I did it to try to help humanity, whom I love. And I do so with humility, recognising that failure in pursuing this goal, despite our best efforts, is a very real possibility.”

The Twitter bio of the one of the world’s richest persons reads as “Chief Twit”.

Meanwhile, videos circulating on social media shows Elon roaming in Twitter headquarters.