Wisconsin, Michigan were key targets of Russia-linked ads on Facebook: CNN

(Reuters) – Russia-linked Facebook ads during last year’s U.S. presidential election mainly focussed on the states of Michigan and Wisconsin, CNN reported on Tuesday.

The ads targeted key demographic groups and used divisive messages including promoting anti-Muslim sentiment, the report said, citing sources. cnn.it/2klAM2y

Wisconsin and Michigan were among the handful of battleground states that helped Trump win the presidency over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. Trump carried Wisconsin by 22,748 votes and Michigan by 10,700 votes.

About 10 million people in the United States saw politically divisive ads on Facebook which were purchased in Russia in the months before and after the U.S. election, Facebook said on Monday as social media companies face calls for increased regulation and more transparency to open up the opaque world of online political ads.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller and congressional committees are investigating possible links between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia. Russia denies meddling in the election.

A representative from Facebook could not be reached for comment outside regular U.S. business hours.

Reporting by Kanishka Singh; Editing by Sunil Nair

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Tech

Salesforce targets ‘citizen developers’ with new tools and training

If there’s an overriding trend in the world of enterprise software lately, it’s democratization, as tools previously reserved for experts are put in the hands of average users. On Tuesday, Salesforce.com climbed on board with new software, training and support services that aim to help more users — not just professional developers — build applications for the Salesforce platform.

There aren’t enough trained developers to create apps for the business world, the company says, so it wants to help users in all parts of the organization make their own. More than 2.8 million developers have already built some 5.5 million apps based on the company’s customer relationship management software, it says, and at its TrailheaDX developer event in San Francisco, it made several announcements to expand that further.

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CIO Cloud Computing

Amazon targets compliance-driven markets

Heavily regulated industries with lots of regulation compliance rules, such as healthcare and finance services, have found the cloud to be a bridge too far, since they had such strict controls over data, where it resided and how it was protected. 

Late last year, Amazon sought to fix that issue with its Amazon Web Services EC2 Dedicated Hosts, which provide dedicated physical servers, along with the management and visibility tools, to ensure a more granular control over which VMs certain applications and data reside. 

“EC2 Dedicated Hosts are a good choice for any customer looking to save money by leveraging existing server-bound software license investments within EC2. Dedicated Hosts can also help customers meet compliance and regulatory requirements by giving more flexibility, visibility, and control over the placement of instances on dedicated hardware,” says Jim Sherhart, senior product marketing manager at Amazon Web Services. 

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CIO Cloud Computing

Intel targets IoT with new Quark chips and free cloud OS

Intel has released new processors and free cloud services as part of its latest push to capitalize on the nascent Internet of Things market.

The products include new low-power Quark processors and microcontrollers for devices that will connect to the Internet of Things, and cloud services from its Wind River subsidiary to make it easier for companies to network these devices and upload data for analysis.

The promise for organizations is that they can connect devices in their business — everything from factory equipment to goods in the supply chain — and upload data to the cloud to make their operations more efficient.

“There’s a need for a suite of connected products and services that are aware of each other and their surroundings,” said CEO Brian Krzanich at a press event in San Francisco.

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

Uber investing $1 billion in India, targets 1 million daily rides

Uber Technologies expects to hit over 1 million trips per day in the next six to nine months in India, the largest market outside the U.S. for the ride-hailing company.

The company said Friday it was making a new investment of US$ 1 billion in the country over the next nine months. The money will be spent on expanding and improving operations, including into more cities, developing new products and payment methods, and to establish a “great support network,” Amit Jain, president of Uber India, said in a statement.

Uber, which is currently growing at a whopping 40 percent monthly, is expecting faster growth after the investment, Jain added.

In India, Uber is up against the country’s largest player Ola, run by ANI Technologies, which acquired a smaller operator TaxiForSure in March for $ 200 million.

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Network World Cloud Computing