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Twitter considering legal action over Meta’s Threads

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Twitter is considering legal action against Meta over its fast-growing rival app Threads.
Threads, which was launched to millions on Wednesday, is similar to Twitter and has been pitched by Meta bosses as a “friendly” alternative.

Twitter’s Elon Musk said “competition is fine, cheating is not” – but Meta denied claims in a legal letter that ex-Twitter staff helped create Threads.

More than 30 million people have signed up for the new app, according to Meta.

The look and feel of Threads are similar to those of Twitter, BBC News technology reporter James Clayton noted. He said the news feed and the reposting were “incredibly familiar”.

In a move first reported by news outlet Semafor, Twitter attorney Alex Spiro sent a letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday accusing Meta of “systematic, wilful, and unlawful misappropriation of Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property” to create Threads.

Specifically, Mr Spiro alleged that Meta had hired dozens of former Twitter employees who “had and continue to have access to Twitter’s trade secrets and other highly confidential information” that ultimately helped Meta develop what he termed the “copycat” Threads app.

“Twitter intends to strictly enforce its intellectual property rights, and demands that Meta take immediate steps to stop using any Twitter trade secrets or other highly confidential information,” the letter says.

“Twitter reserves all rights, including, but not limited to, the right to seek both civil remedies and injunctive relief without further notice.”

BBC News, which has seen a copy of the letter, has contacted both Meta and Twitter for comment.

Mr Musk said that “competition is fine, cheating is not” in response to a post on Twitter that referred to the legal letter.

On Threads, Meta spokesperson Andy Stone posted that “no one on the Threads engineering team is a former Twitter employee – that’s just not a thing”.

Both Mr Musk and Mr Zuckerberg have acknowledged the rivalry over Threads, which is linked to Instagram but works as a standalone app.

As it launched in 100 countries, Mr Zuckerberg broke more than 11 years of silence on Twitter to post a highly popular meme of two nearly identical Spider-Man figures pointing at each other, indicating a stand-off.

Shortly after, and as the word “Threads” trended globally on his platform, Mr Musk said: “It is infinitely preferable to be attacked by strangers on Twitter, than indulge in the false happiness of hide-the-pain Instagram.”

(BBC News)

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Tech giant Samsung workers to strike indefinitely

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A union representing workers at South Korean technology giant Samsung Electronics has called on its roughly 30,000 members to go on strike indefinitely, as part of its campaign for better pay and benefits.

The announcement came on the last day of a three-day general strike being held by the National Samsung Electronics Union (NSEU).

The union said it had made the decision after management showed no intention of holding talks over its demands.

The NSEU, which represents nearly a quarter of Samsung Electronics’ workers in South Korea, said its actions had disrupted production. Samsung has disputed these claims.

“Samsung Electronics will ensure no disruptions occur in the production lines. The company remains committed to engaging in good faith negotiations with the union,” the firm told BBC News.

However, the union said: “The company has no intention to engage in a dialogue even after the first general strike, thus we declare a second general strike starting from July 10th, lasting indefinitely.”

The NSEU said about 6,500 workers have been taking part in the strike so far and called on more of its members to join the industrial action.

A spokesperson for Samsung Electronics declined to comment on how many workers had joined the walkout.

A protest on Monday was attended by around 3,000 people.

“In our view, there will be no production disruption,” Jung In Yun, from Fibonacci Asset Management Global told BBC News.

Last month, the union staged the first walkout at the company since it was founded five and a half decades ago.

Samsung Electronics is the world’s largest maker of memory chips, smartphones and televisions.

It is the flagship unit of South Korean conglomerate Samsung Group.

The firm is also the biggest of the family-controlled businesses that dominate Asia’s fourth-largest economy.

Samsung Group was known for not allowing unions to represent its workers until 2020, when the company came under intense public scrutiny after its chairman was prosecuted for market manipulation and bribery.

After the NSEU announcement, the company’s shares were trading flat to slightly lower on the Korea Stock Exchange.

Last week, Samsung Electronics said it expects its profits for the three months to June 2024 to jump 15-fold compared to the same period last year.

A boom in artificial intelligence (AI) technology has lifted the prices of advanced chips, driving up the firm’s forecast for the second quarter.

(BBC News)

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SriLankan Airlines to undergo restructuring, not sale – Minister

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Minister of Ports, Shipping, and Aviation Nimal Siripala de Silva affirmed that SriLankan Airlines will undergo restructuring instead of being sold.

He emphasized that according to existing regulations, only up to 49% of the airline’s shares can be transferred to another entity, yet no suitable investor has expressed interest thus far.

Addressing the press briefing titled “Collective Path to a Stable Country” at the Presidential Media Centre (PMC) today (03), Minister Siripala de Silva further elaborated;

President Ranil Wickremesinghe addressed Parliament yesterday (02), outlining the on-going debt restructuring crucial for the country’s economic progress. Despite political scepticism from the opposition, he emphasized that the message conveyed was largely positive for the country’s interests.

Furthermore, the International Monetary Fund is actively involved in the restructuring process based strictly on legal frameworks, regulations, and objective criteria, without regard to personal considerations. Sajith Premadasa noted examples such as Argentina, Ecuador, and Ghana, which have successfully negotiated a 25% reduction in commercial loans, distinct from bilateral debts. Discussions to restructure commercial debt within Sri Lanka are on-going, with evolving criteria influenced by IMF assessments of each country’s economic resilience.

It is stressed that pursuing narrow political objectives without acknowledging internationally accepted realities would be inappropriate in this context.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe has initiated the first step towards rebuilding the country from its recent challenges. The next crucial step is to safeguard and propel it forward, crucial in preventing a regression to conditions of two years ago.

This year’s budget allocates funds not only for provincial councils, pradeshiya sabha and government departments, but also for social security benefits like “Aswesuma”. Those activities are not being conducted in anticipation of the elections.

Furthermore, SriLankan Airlines should be addressed here. Our approach involves restructuring the airline rather than selling it outright. Under Sri Lankan law, only 49% of SriLankan Airlines’ shares can be transferred to another entity. However, there has been minimal global interest in this opportunity, with only six individuals expressing interest, none of whom were deemed suitable. Even if we were to extend this opportunity to a Sri Lankan entrepreneur, their capabilities would need to be demonstrated.

Additionally, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is set to discuss the resumption of their projects next week, marking another advantage of debt restructuring. Despite interest from Chinese firms in the airport project, contractual obligations with Japan stipulate that contracts should be awarded to Japanese companies.

Furthermore, the management of the financially burdened Mattala Airport will soon be entrusted to a joint venture between Russia and India. Development at the Kankesanthurai port is progressing with assistance amounting to USD 69 million from India. During a recent visit to Sri Lanka, Indian Foreign Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar confirmed plans to initiate a ferry service between Sri Lanka and India in the near future.

(President’s Media Division)

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Laugfs gas prices to remain unchanged

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The price of Laugfs domestic LP gas cylinders will remain unchanged, despite price reductions made by Litro Gas PLC today (July 02), the company announced.

Accordingly, the current prices of Laugfs domestic LP gas cylinders are as follows : 

12.5 kg cylinder – Rs. 3,680
05 kg cylinder – Rs. 1,477

Earlier today, Litro Gas PLC announced their decision to slash gas prices.

Related News :

Litro Gas reduces prices again

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