DGCA removes fare caps on domestic flights tickets (from Aug 31)

  • The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has decided to remove the ongoing fare caps on the tickets of domestic airlines from August 31.
  • Fare caps are currently applicable on a rolling basis for a 15-day cycle, which means airlines are free to set prices of tickets beyond a 15-day period from the date of booking.

Silicon Valley engineers are quitting for climate change

“You’re fed the idea that you can change the world, and then you end up working on ads.”

“I think every generation has a zeitgeist … For Gen X that mission imprint for a lot of folks was the internet. I think for Gen Z that mission imprint is increasingly climate,”

SoftBank will cut stake in Alibaba; Books $34 billion gain

  • SoftBank Group Corp said on Wednesday it would book a gain of $34.1 billion by cutting its stake in Alibaba Group Holding, as the investment behemoth looks to shore up its cash reserve.
  • SoftBank will reduce its stake in Alibaba to 14.6% from 23.7% by settling prepaid forward contracts. Alibaba’s U.S.-listed shares were down 1.7% in premarket trade after the announcement.

Coinbase’s quarterly loss widens as trading volumes decline sharply

  • Coinbase Global Inc reported a larger-than-expected quarterly loss as investors worried by this year’s rout in risky assets shied away from trading in cryptocurrencies, sending its shares down 6% after the bell on Tuesday.
  • Trading volumes at the cryptocurrency exchange more than halved to $217 billion in the second quarter, with retail participation sinking 68% and institutional trading falling 46%.

Lenovo records slowest revenue growth in nine quarters

  • Lenovo Group, the world’s biggest maker of personal computers, reported flat revenue for the April to June quarter when many Chinese cities were hit by COVID-19 lockdowns, marking its most subdued result in nine quarters.
  • Total revenue during the period was $16.96 billion, up 0.2% from the same quarter a year ago though it was in line with an average Refinitiv estimate of $16.87 billion drawn from seven analysts.

Iran brings into play cryptocurrency for cross-border trade to bypass sanction

  • Iran has begun using crypto-currencies to settle cross-border trade deals, as the country continues to look for ways to avoid using the U.S. dollar and the international banking system.
  • In a tweet on August 9, the head of the Iran Trade Promotion Organization (ITPO) Ali Reza Peymanpak said the first official import order using crypto-currencies had been placed “this week”.

U.S. convicts former Twitter worker of spying for Saudi Arabia

  • Ahmad Abouammo, a U.S. citizen and former media partnership manager for Twitter’s Middle East region, was charged in 2019 with acting as an agent of Saudi Arabia without registering with the U.S. government.
  • The U.S. complaint alleged that user data of over 6,000 Twitter accounts was accessed, including at least 33 usernames for which Saudi law enforcement had submitted emergency disclosure requests to Twitter.

Snap launches Snapchat+ in India at just Rs 49

  • Snap on Wednesday launched the paid version of its widely used social media service in India, bringing its exclusive and experimental features offering to the South Asian nation for just 62 cents a month.
  • The launch of the subscription offering, priced in India at 49 Indian rupees, follows Snap introducing the $4 subscription offering in the U.S., the UK and Canada among a few other key markets in late June.

ISRO to send another Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) flight soon

  • The failure of India’s newest rocket to put small satellites in orbit was not a setback, and the space agency will soon attempt another flight, Space Commission member AS Kiran Kumar has said.
  • Kumar said the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) was significant because satellites were now becoming smaller and the new rocket could help India get a share of the small satellite launch market.

U.S. DOJ prepares to file antitrust lawsuit against Google over its ad business

  • The Department of Justice is preparing a second major antitrust suit against Google. The DOJ could sue Google as soon as next month in federal court in either Washington or New York.
  • Unlike the first major Google antitrust case the federal government initiated during the Trump administration, the new lawsuit would focus on the company’s command of the digital ad market.

Paytm partners with Piramal Capital to broaden its loan business

  • Paytm’s parent One 97 Communications has tied up with Piramal Capital and Housing Finance to further expand its merchant loan business to India’s smaller cities and villages.
  • Through the partnership, Paytm said merchant partners will be able to avail credit worth up to Rs 10 lakh, with terms ranging from 6 to 24 months.

WazirX trading volumes decline 50% amid ED row and ownership controversy

  • Crypto exchange WazirX, which has been in an ugly spat with Binance over its ownership, has seen trading volumes tank by more than 54 percent over the last five days.
  • WazirX is India’s biggest crypto exchange with more than 10 million users who have been stunned by the Enforcement Directorate’s money-laundering probe and Binance disowning the exchange following the investigation.

Elon Musk unloads $7 billion worth of Tesla shares, citing chance of forced Twitter deal

  • Elon Musk has sold nearly $7 billion worth of Tesla shares, according to legal filings published Tuesday, amid a high-stakes legal battle with Twitter over a $44 billion buyout deal.
  • “In the (hopefully unlikely) event that Twitter forces this deal to close and some equity partners don’t come through, it is important to avoid an emergency sale of Tesla stock,” Musk, the world’s richest man wrote on Twitter late Tuesday.

The future of subscription NFTs (and why you should care)

The future of subscription NFTs (and why you should give a s*** in the first place). 🧵
“Why subscription NFTs?” Web2 subscriptions are rented, not owned. You do not own your Spotify membership. You can not sell it. And due to Apple’s 30% commission, you are also paying “platform tax.” But this is just first inning thinking. Here’s what they’re really capable of.
Feature Unlocks and Exclusives Tesla NFTs that unlock access to premium features. HBO NFTs that let you watch new movies before release. Food Network NFTs that serve up interactive cooking lessons. By attaching scarce perks to NFT-based subscriptions, their value increases.
IP & Royalties Netflix PFPs that puts subscriber’s characters “in the show.” Spotify NFTs that stake to royalties from your most listened-to artists. Crunchyroll NFTs that grant commercial rights to anime IP. NFTs enable each subscription to have unique market value.
Airdrops Disney+ subscriptions that airdrop NFTs of Marvel artwork and Star Wars PFPs. Tidal NFTs that airdrop fractional ownership of music vids. Coinbase NFTs with access to premium market data and NFT airdrops. Airdrops are great for engaging and keeping subscribers happy.
Composability Web3’s killer feature is interoperability. Imagine your Criterion Collection NFT being forked to unlock access to communities of film enthusiasts. Or, a new coffeeshop trying to attract business: “One free drink for holders of Starbucks loyalty NFTs.”
Loyalty Perks A StockX subscription NFT that guarantees drop access to their most loyal customers, and continuously updates the NFT’s metadata to reflect its value. Reward top customers, but allow them to sell their NFT on the open market if they so choose.
The “Team Staking” Subscription A premium Netflix Subscription that only activates when several holders stake together. This could enable access IRL showings or celeb meet-and-greets. It also encourages loyalty as members remain staked so as to not upset their co-stakers.
Performance-Based Subscriptions A Fortnite PFP that doubles as an NFT Subscription where all members get access to exclusive skins and maps, but top players unlock rare traits and exclusive events. The better the player, the more valuable their NFT.
Evolving Passes Apple Health NFTs that update to reflect your exercise routine. Calm NFTs that increase in rarity the more you meditate. Peloton NFTs that grow in value the more you ride. Because NFTs aren’t static, brands can tell stories and add layers of value.
Believe me, these ideas are just scratching the surface of what it is possible. And yes, it is true that we are years from mainstream adoption. But these concepts represent real utility. The kind needed to onboard mainstream users. If you build it, they will come.

Provident Fund Data of 28 Crore Indians Leaked By Hackers, Claims Ukraine Based Researcher

  • Provident Fund data of about 28 crore Indians was found to have been leaked by hackers earlier this month.
  • According to Diachenko, he found two different internet protocol addresses hosting two clusters of leaked data.

“After quick review of the samples (using a simple browser), I was sure that I am looking at something big and important”, Diachenko said in his post. However, he was not able to find who owned the data. Both the IP addresses were hosted on Microsoft’s Azure platform and were India-based. He wasn’t able to obtain other information via a reverse DNS analysis.