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Facebook gives up on attempt to develop a ‘Gmail killer’

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Facebook, after unsuccessfully trying to get its users on its own email system, has thrown in the towel.

The social networking giant told AFP by email that it was giving up on email “because most people haven’t been using their Facebook email address, and we can focus on improving our mobile messaging experience for everyone.”

The company launched its email service in 2010, and in 2012 prompted an outcry by changing the default address for messages to users’ Facebook addresses.

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The project was seen as an attempt to be a “Gmail Killer,” by getting members of the biggest social network to switch email accounts, but Facebook now admits it did not work.

“We’re notifying people who use their @facebook.com email that the feature is changing,” the company spokesman said.

“When someone sends you an email to your @facebook.com address, it will no longer go to your Messages on Facebook. Instead, the email will be forwarded to the primary email address on your account. (People have the option to turn forwarding off.)”

The news comes just days after Facebook announced a huge deal worth up to $19 billion in cash and stock for mobile messaging service WhatsApp.

The deal bolsters the world’s biggest social network — which has more than 1.2 billion members — with the 450-million-strong WhatsApp, which will be operated independently with its own board.

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[Image via Agence France-Presse]


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There’s no respite from Trump’s vindictiveness and foolishness

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As we know, even in the midst of a national emergency, Donald Trump could find time and bandwidth to continue his retribution campaign.

He dismissed Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the intelligence agencies, for doing “a terrible job,” satisfying his own thirst for vengeance for anyone who actually adhered to law and practice over blind loyalty to Trump himself. Indeed, asked about it the next day, Trump underscored his action by saying, Atkinson “was no Trump supporter, that I can tell you.”

It was an act that we once would have labeled corruption, by Democrats and Republicans – that is using the office for personal purposes – if Congress and too many Americans had not since become inured by so many like instances.

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This is how Taiwan and South Korea bucked the global lockdown trend

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As the coronavirus pandemic sparks global lockdowns, life has continued comparatively unhindered in places like Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong after their governments and citizens took decisive early action against the unfolding crisis.

At first glance Taiwan looks like an ideal candidate for the coronavirus. The island of 23 million lies just 180 kilometres (110 miles) off mainland China.

Yet nearly 100 days in, Taiwan has just 376 confirmed cases and five fatalities while restaurants, bars, schools, universities and offices remain open.

The government of President Tsai Ing-wen, whose deputy is an epidemiologist, made tough decisions while the crisis was nascent to stave off the kind of pain now convulsing much of the rest of the world.

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Republican ex-lawmaker with coronavirus scolds Wisconsin GOP for forcing voters to risk their health

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On CNN Tuesday, former Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), who is himself dealing with a bout of COVID-19, chastised the Wisconsin GOP for doing everything in their power to block the state elections from being moved — and forcing many voters to stand in line and risk exposure to the virus to cast their ballot.

"I have to tell you, here in Pennsylvania we have a Democratic governor and Republican legislature," Dent told host Don Lemon. "They postponed the election here from April 28 until June 2. Without any controversy. Everybody agreed it was the right thing to do and they moved on. I'm surprised Wisconsin took this risk, knowing they don't have to."

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