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Who will deal with your online presence when you die? How to create a ‘digital will’ | Social media

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Two things are certain in life: death and the internet.

With so many day-to-day functions, tasks and memories now taking place online, the question of what will become of your digital legacy – who will preserve, control or delete your accounts when you are gone – has become increasingly important.

Making a plan now can prevent identity theft, preserve documents and records you want saved, and stop your friends and family receiving painful pop-up reminders on social media. But from privacy issues and cybersecurity to copyright, there are many potential hurdles to organising your digital will.

Here’s what you need to know.

What can a person to do organise their digital legacy?

Dr Emily van der Nagel from Monash University says that people should spend some time planning for how their online accounts and identities will be managed after they die.

At a basic level, she says people should think of it like backing up their data. If there are things you want to preserve – for your family, friends or for your own records – it’s best to download a version so that you won’t have to rely on third-party companies.

That could be favourite photos, tweets, blog posts, videos or songs you’ve uploaded.

“A lot of platforms, including Twitter, Facebook and in some cases YouTube, offer really good tools for you to download everything that has been part of that platform,” she says. “That is really good practice to do, semi-regularly, say when you are updating your passwords.

“It is worth thinking about how you may want to save this digital content for people who might want to access it after your death. It might be good practice to curate a little bit, set up a folder.”

The reason for doing so is that once you are gone, your family, friends or an executor may find it harder to access your data than they anticipated.

“A lot of platforms have terms of service agreements that prevent other people from logging in to your account,” she says. “Of course that is a privacy thing, especially things like email accounts or social media accounts that include direct messaging. Those messages are considered private for good reason.”

What if I’m the family or friend of someone who has died?

On sites like Facebook, there are options to have people designated as “legacy contacts” who can manage your account after you die. Your executor can then decide whether to leave your account active, delete it, or memorialise it – which can stop it showing up in feeds in insensitive ways.

“The danger is if you don’t do anything, it can impact on the algorithm in an upsetting or unsettling kind of way,” van der Nagel says. “You can get them turning up as people you may know, or nudged about a happy memory that happened a year ago.”

Another way to manage a digital legacy is to create a secure document (either a physical sealed item, a hard drive, or a password-protected cloud drive) that has your accounts, usernames and passwords. Though, van der Nagel warns, you should take all the necessary privacy precautions and only give it to people you trust.

“It’s really important that people are aware that these services exist,” she says. “There are steps you can take before it happens, you don’t want to have to deal with this suddenly and unexpectedly while you are grieving.”

What about email?

“It depends on which platform, but there are ways people can access the accounts of a deceased person,” van der Nagel says. “With Microsoft, which runs Outlook, you can request access to some information in that account and close it. There is an email address set up specifically for that – the Microsoft custodian of records.”

Van der Nagel says that this is similar to letting banks or billing companies know that a person has died, and usually relies on showing a company a death certificate.

But, due to privacy concerns, she says people should be aware they may not gain full access to an account.

“Through email, you can turn off some services, and gain some information. For example if your mother has died you can turn off some services … but you can’t necessarily read every email that she sent.”

Is there a one-stop-shop to set up a ‘digital will’ yourself?

Van der Nagael says that in Victoria, a person can create a digital register through the state trustee.

This is quite an involved process that goes alongside the legal making of a will, but if done right, you can include all your account logins and information.

“You can create a digital register, it doesn’t go in your will, it goes alongside your will. You can basically give all the keys to your lawyer. Now that would be a really daunting option for someone to set up in their 20s, who does not yet own property. In that case, maybe it would be the most practical option to save it in a hard drive and give it to your dad.”

What legal rights do I have? Can these tech companies still use my photos, tweets and more after I die?

The answer is, broadly, yes.

Van der Nagel says that most terms of service for these social media accounts set up licences and rights between an individual person (ie you) and the companies.

For example, it is very possible that a video that you make and put on Youtube does not necessarily go to your family after your death.

“This is more complicated that simply owning a photograph or owning a CD,” she says. “Physical property you are legally allowed to bequeath. Digital property is not that easy in some cases.”

And sites like Instagram usually reserve the right to use your photos to advertise the platform – and this could technically continue after you die.

Can you ask sites to delete accounts or take them down?

“You can in some cases,” van der Nagel says. “It is always easier to do when you have a death certificate. It is an important legal document.

“On Google there is an inactive account manager, so you can set up and add trusted contacts who can go in and shut down your account. For Microsoft you can contact the Microsoft custodian of records.

“Usually you can show the death certificate, show yourself as the executor and put into place the processes they have put in place. This will usually mean shutting down the account rather than gaining access to the account.

But she adds: “It is much easier with Facebook to memorialise accounts than to delete them.

“It is not hard to say that Facebook still wants your data after you are dead. These platforms don’t want to let go of somebody’s account and all the info they have given the platform”.

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US pharmaceutical giant West invests in Dublin start-up Latch Medical

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Ronan Byrne, CEO, Latch Medical said the company could ‘rapidly increase the impact’ of its vaccine delivery tech thanks to the investment from West.

Pennsylvania-headquartered West Pharmaceutical Services has made a minority investment in Dublin’s Latch Medical.

Latch Medical is a developer of vaccine and biologics delivery platforms. Its Pharma Latch technology offers two delivery device platforms that allow for intradermal delivery of drugs and vaccines with rapid, consistent dosing. It is low-cost and requires minimal training for medical professionals to use.

The company is based at NovaUCD in Belfield, Co Dublin. It is a spin-out of UCD, founded in 2019 by Ronan Byrne and Nicky Bertollo.

Its existing investors include Atlantic Bridge and Enterprise Ireland. Details about the investment amount and the stake size that West is taking in Latch Medical are not being released.

Latch Medical’s CEO, Byrne, said that “With this investment from West, we can rapidly increase the impact of our technology.”

“West’s investment in Latch advances our leadership in innovation through a dedicated focus on the needs of patients. The methods by which medicines are delivered to patients continue to evolve to meet their desire for ease-of-use and effectiveness. Latch’s innovative intradermal delivery technology fits well into this strategy,” according to Dublin-based Cormac Ashe, West’s senior director of R&D.

West has been in business for close to 100 years. It employs more than 1,000 people in Ireland and more than 10,000 worldwide across 50 sites.

West has a manufacturing and development centre in Dublin that specialises in providing device design, development and manufacturing services for pharma and medtech customers. Last September, it pledged to create 60 jobs with the opening of a new global finance centre in the capital.

The company also has a site in Waterford. During the pandemic West scaled up its Waterford plant’s working schedules, supplying millions of rubber vial stoppers its global customers. The vial stoppers were used to package billions of vaccine doses in multi-dose vials.

The Ireland-US Council later presented its Global Public Service Award to West for the significant contribution made by the company’s Waterford plant to the global fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Elon Musk’s Twitter lawsuit: what you need to know | Elon Musk

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Elon Musk did not become the world’s wealthiest person through a lack of confidence.

But the Tesla CEO revealed on Tuesday that he had sold $6.9bn (£5.7bn) worth of shares in the carmaker, in case he loses his attempt to walk away from a $44bn takeover of Twitter.

Twitter is suing Musk in Delaware over his abandonment of the deal and wants to make him buy the company.

In a countersuit released last week, Musk put his side of the argument. According to him: Twitter misled investors; it breached the agreement by failing to provide enough information on spam accounts; another breach occurred when Twitter failed to consult with him on business moves such as firing senior employees; and its misstatement of user numbers constitutes a material adverse effect, which substantially alters Twitter’s value and therefore invalidates the deal agreement.

Here is a breakdown of Musk’s suit.

The relationship between both sides remains poor

There is $44bn at stake and the language in Musk’s countersuit is just as punchy as Twitter’s in the original lawsuit, when the company described his behaviour as “a model of bad faith”. In the preliminary statement Twitter is accused of making financial disclosures to the US financial watchdog that were “far from true”.

“Instead, they contain numerous, material misrepresentations or omissions that distort Twitter’s value and caused the Musk parties to agree to acquire the company at an inflated price. Twitter’s complaint, filled with personal attacks against Musk and gaudy rhetoric more directed at a media audience than this court, is nothing more than an attempt to distract from these misrepresentations,” said the lawsuit.

Strong words, but Musk will need strong evidence as well to convince the judge.

Musk’s core argument is about user numbers

From the moment the deal started to go sour, the focus was on the veracity of Twitter’s numbers. It is at the centre of Musk’s countersuit as well. He argues that the number of monetisable daily average users (mDAUs) – authentic, active accounts that can see adverts (hence monetisable) – is falsely inflated by Twitter miscounting the number of false and spam accounts on the platform. As well as being a threat to the ad income on which Twitter depends, Musk said his plan to introduce a subscription service for Twitter would be affected because there would be fewer customers to target than first thought.

Twitter has consistently stated that it estimates the number of false or spam accounts on the platform to be less than 5% of its mDAUs base, which stands at just under 238 million currently.

The suit says that Musk became alarmed about how Twitter accounts for its mDAUs when, three days after signing the deal agreement, it admitted it had overstated its mDAU total for three years, by between 1.4 million and 1.9 million users per quarter. Twitter denies that the user change was a “restatement” (it describes the alteration as “updated values”) but admits it did not give the information to Musk prior to the deal being signed on 25 April.

Musk is not happy with Twitter’s verification processes

After agreeing to buy the business with minimal due diligence, the suit says Musk was “astonished” to learn about how “meagre” Twitter’s processes for identifying spam accounts were. It said 100 accounts a day were sampled by human reviewers in order to come up with the less-than-5% figure. Twitter’s CEO and chief financial officer were unable to explain how these accounts were selected to be a representative sample.

“Musk realised that, at best, Twitter’s reliance on and touting of its process was reckless; at worst, it was intentionally misleading,” says the suit.

Twitter argues that it uses a much more layered process for weeding out dodgy accounts, including using automated systems. It also pointed to the detailed explanations of how it polices spam accounts, which had been given to Musk, the press, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the public via a Twitter thread by CEO Parag Agrawal. In the most notorious episode of this takeover saga, Musk replied to the latter with a poo emoji.

But according to the countersuit at least Agrawal and Musk agreed on one thing. The document states that on 8 April Musk sent the CEO an example of a spam tweet saying: “I am so sick of stuff like this.” Agrawal replied, acknowledging “[w]e should be catching this.”

Musk’s counter-estimates

Citing “preliminary expert estimates”, the countersuit claims that in early July one-third of visible accounts may have been false or spam. This means that the true proportion of spam accounts among Twitter’s user base is at least 10%.

It says users that see zero or almost no ads account for almost all the growth in monetisable daily users. The majority of ads are served to less than 16 million users, the suit claims.

Twitter says that although not every user sees ads on a given day, in the first quarter “significantly more than” 229 million accounts contributed to Twitter’s average quarterly user number.

Regarding the 10% number, Twitter says it was based on a publicly available web tool, botometer, that has designated Musk’s own account as a likely bot.

Twitter made decisions without consulting Musk

One of the clauses in the merger agreement states Musk must be told when Twitter is deviating from its obligation to conduct its business in the “ordinary course”. In the countersuit, Musk claims that Twitter has made several “significant” changes – including firing two executives, starting a hiring freeze and initiating a legal clash with the Indian government – that occurred without his consent.

Twitter’s response is that axing employees or acting to protect users’ rights in foreign jurisdictions are part of the day-to-day business of running a company.

Information was not forthcoming

Musk is also claiming that Twitter failed to provide him with all the data and information that he requested “for any reasonable business purpose related to the consummation of the transaction”. The suit says Musk was sent reams of “stale data” that didn’t answer his questions.

It says, pointedly, that Twitter was happy to send data such as “a copy of its agreement with the Golden State Warriors for courtside basketball tickets and VIP parking”.

After more back-and-forth arguments over increasingly detailed information requests, the suit claims “the only conclusion the Musk parties could draw from Twitter’s obfuscation and delay was that Twitter knew that it had something to hide”.



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Economic uncertainty can’t stop cloud growth • The Register

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The hyperscalers and public cloud providers are barreling ahead, unfazed by a rapidly deteriorating economic outlook, according to a recent Dell’Oro Group report.

In fact, these internet behemoths stand to benefit from the current market conditions in more ways than one, analyst Baron Fung told The Register.

As chipmakers like Intel, Nvidia, Micron, and others face increased pricing pressure across their lineups due to declining demand, hyperscalers are well-positioned to take advantage of this and add more capacity on the cheap, he explained.

“Looking at the recent Q2 earnings, it was really pretty impressive from a growth standpoint,” Fung said of the cloud providers.

Amazon and Azure in particular saw robust revenue gains in their most recent quarters. AWS saw revenues climb 36 percent from the prior year, while Microsoft reported its cloud biz saw year-over-year growth of 40 percent. However, things weren’t as peachy for Google, which saw a otherwise strong quarter for cloud revenue tempered by a $858 million loss in income.

Worsening macroeconomic factors may end up helping cloud providers as enterprises look for alternatives to capex-heavy server refreshes. We saw this phenomenon once before – in the early days of the pandemic.

These factors, combined with a wave of enabling technology – next-generation CPUs, GPUs, smartNICs, and CXL-enabled components to name a handful – will further accelerate hyperscaler spending, which is expected to grow 13 percent over the next five years, Fung said.

So it’s no surprise many chipmakers are optimistic about their cloud and datacenter-related revenues over the next few quarters, despite a slump in PC and gaming demand.

The analyst firm expects next-generation CPU platforms from the likes of Intel, AMD, and Ampere will be among the strongest drivers of hyperscale spending in the near term.

Intel and AMD are expected to launch their next-generation server processors later this year. Both of these chips pack a bevy of new features, including DDR5, and PCIe 5.0, in addition to having substantially higher core counts compared to the previous generation.

These chips are also among the first to support the CXL interconnect standard, “which will enable a new kind of paradigm in the datacenter,” according to Fung.

In its first iteration, the technology will allow systems builders to pack larger quantities of memory into servers than there are DIMM slots, using CXL memory-expansion modules. And in the years to come, the technology has provisions for tiered memory, memory pooling, and disaggregated compute architectures.

The operational and resource efficiencies enabled by the tech may eventually trickle down to customers in the form of lower prices, Fung added.

But it won’t just be the x86 stalwarts leading the charge in the datacenter. Fung also expects Arm chipmakers, like Ampere, to continue gaining traction in the hyperscale arena. Here, the chipmaker’s Altra and Altra Max processors have already attracted several high-profile customers including Microsoft Azure, Google, Cloudflare, and Oracle – to name just a few.

Finally, Dell’Oro predicts hyperscalers will drive edge infrastructure deployments – a market that Intel currently dominates – to 8 percent of the total datacenter infrastructure market by 2026. ®

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