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Found 36 results

  1. Android continues to have more loyal users than the ones using the iOS, a new report by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) said on Friday. The report says that not only has Android loyalty been rising since early 2016, but it's currently the highest it has ever been. CIRP's survey concludes that 91 percent of Android users in the US stayed with the same platform, whereas 86 percent stayed with iOS. "The data was measured as the percentage of customers that remain with each operating system when activating a new phone over the twelve months ending December 2017," said Mike Levin, Partner, and Co-Founder of CIRP. (c) CIRP While Apple enjoyed record revenue in November due to growth in services such as Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, AppleCare, and App Store, much of Android's brand loyalty could be attributed to a customer's ability to switch to different styles of phones without having to leave the operating system. As TechCrunch highlights, the figure measures the percentage of US customers who stayed with their operating system when upgrading their phone in 2017. (c) Pexels The report is based on quarterly surveys with a sample of 500 subjects each. Android loyalty has hovered at 89 to 91 percent since January 2016, while iOS loyalty has been between 85 and 88 percent. iPhone owners were found to be more loyal than Android users in 2013 but the trend shifted the following year and Android has risen ever since. “We know Android has a larger base of users than iOS, and because of that larger base, the absolute number of users that switch to iOS from Android is as large or larger than the absolute number of users that switch to Android from iOS,” said Levin. “Looking at the absolute number of users in this way tends to support claims that iOS gains more former Android users, than Android does former iOS users.” Source: TechCrunch
  2. The masthead of US President Donald Trump's Twitter account (@realDonaldTrump) as of July 11, 2017. @realDonaldTrump/Handout via REUTERS/Files NEW YORK: A federal judge on Thursday expressed scepticism about whether US President Donald Trump can constitutionally block Twitter users whose views he does not like from following and retweeting from his own Twitter account. At a hearing in Manhattan federal court, US District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald asked Trump?s lawyer Michael Baer whether letting Trump bar users from @realDonaldTrump would violate their First Amendment free speech rights. She asked whether Twitter was different from a public town hall, where government officials would be unable to pull the plug from a microphone to mute speakers with unwelcome views. ?Once it is a public forum, you can?t shut somebody up because you don?t like what they?re saying,? Buchwald said. Baer said the appropriate analogy was not a town hall, but rather Trump choosing to walk away from someone at a public event. ?The president has an associational interest in deciding who he?s going to spend his time with in that setting,? he said. Buchwald scheduled the hearing to consider Trump?s request to dismiss a lawsuit filed in July over his use of Twitter by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University and several Twitter users. They said Trump?s account is a public forum, and that the president cannot block Twitter users simply because they criticize, mock or disagree with him in replies to his tweets. Trump?s Twitter use draws intense interest for his unvarnished commentary, including attacks on critics. His tweets often shape news and are retweeted tens of thousands of times. Baer, who works for the US Department of Justice, has also argued that Trump?s use of Twitter was personal, and did not qualify as a ?state action.? In contrast, Katherine Fallow, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, told Buchwald the record ?shows unambiguously that the president operates his account in an official capacity.? She said Trump often uses Twitter to announce policies or policy proposals, such as banning the military from accepting transgender recruits. Twitter lets users post snippets of text, called tweets, to which other users may respond. When one user blocks another, the blocked user cannot respond to the blocker?s tweets. It is not clear when Buchwald will rule.
  3. The Snapchat app logo is seen on a smartphone in this picture illustration taken September 15, 2017 - Reuters WASHINGTON: Snapchat's latest app redesign, aimed at broadening the appeal of the youth-oriented social network, sparked a backlash from many users complaining about the abrupt overhaul of their preferred service. More than 578,000 users had signed an online petition by midday Monday calling on parent firm Snap Inc. to roll back the update, which was released last week. "Many users have found that it has not made the app easier to use, but has in fact made many features more difficult," the petition at change.org states. "Many 'new features' are useless or defeat the original purposes Snapchat has had for the past years." The update separates the "media content" from that of friends, a move aimed at avoiding problems faced by social media rivals Facebook and Twitter on proliferation of misinformation. But a flurry of Twitter comments took issue with the update to Snapchat, which has become a favourite of teens for its disappearing messages but also offers content from various media partners. "I don't even wanna use Snapchat till they fix this update, I just immediately get mad when I open the app," one user tweeted. Another Twitter comment said, "this snapchat update is the worst thing to happen since U2's album was downloaded to everyone's phone." Supermodel Chrissy Teigen added her voice to the protests, tweeting, "How many people have to hate an update for it to be reconsidered?" Some Snapchat users complained the app was updated automatically and may have caused the loss of some messages or archived data known as Memories. Twitter users offered tips on how to uninstall the update to get the old version of the application. But the Snapchat support team tweeted that "unofficial workarounds to change the way Snapchat looks are temporary and can result in getting permanently locked out of your account or losing Memories." Debra Aho Williamson, an analyst who follows social media for the research firm eMarketer, said it was too soon to judge user reaction to the redesign. "We're watching users' reaction to Snapchat's redesign very closely, but at this point we don't see it having an impact on usage among young people," she said. "It's very possible that once they get used to the new way the app is laid out, they will use it just as heavily as before." An eMarketer survey released Monday showed Facebook is losing younger users at a pace faster than anticipated, with many switching to applications like Snapchat or the Facebook-owned Instagram.
  4. Facebook announced Friday it will ask its two billion users to rank their trust in news sources, in its latest attempt to combat the spread of misinformation on the social network. Photo: file SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook announced Friday it will ask its two billion users to rank their trust in news sources, in its latest attempt to combat the spread of misinformation on the social network. The change comes as the online giant seeks to address charges that it has failed -- along with Google and Twitter -- to prevent the spread of bogus news, most strikingly ahead of the 2016 US presidential election. In a Facebook post, co-founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said the network would seek to "prioritize news that is trustworthy, informative, and local." "There´s too much sensationalism, misinformation and polarization in the world today," Zuckerberg said. "Social media enables people to spread information faster than ever before, and if we don´t specifically tackle these problems, then we end up amplifying them." The new "trusted sources" ranking, which starts next week, would aim to "make sure the news you see is high quality" and "helps build a sense of common ground" rather than sow division, Zuckerberg said. To do so, he said, Facebook decided to rely on member surveys as the most "objective" way to rank trust in news sources. "We could try to make that decision ourselves, but that´s not something we´re comfortable with," Zuckerberg said. "We considered asking outside experts, which would take the decision out of our hands but would likely not solve the objectivity problem." The new ranking system, he said, would hopefully separate news organisations that are only trusted by their readers or watchers, from ones that are broadly trusted across society. "This update will not change the amount of news you see on Facebook," he said. "It will only shift the balance of news you see towards sources that are determined to be trusted by the community." Friends get priority The latest move comes a week after Facebook announced a major update to its user feed that highlights what friends and family share on the network, over advertisements, celebrity and media posts. The company cast the change as part of a refocus on "community" -- prioritizing social interactions and relationships -- while acknowledging it would likely result in people spending less time on the platform. "For some time, we have argued that Facebook should give priority to news from trusted sources," David Chavern, head of industry group News Media Alliance, said in a statement. "This would be positive for consumers, as well as help to address ´fake news´ issues." The group will watch how the Facebook ranking changes are implemented and whether they deliver on the social network´s stated goals, according to Chavern. "My hope is that this update about trusted news and last week´s update about meaningful interactions will help make time on Facebook time well spent," Zuckerberg said. Known for annual personal goals ranging from killing his own food to learning Chinese, Zuckerberg´s stated mission for this year is to "fix" the social network. He plans to target abuse and hate, and interference by nation states. Brexit vote Meanwhile, British lawmakers probing possible Russian interference in the Brexit referendum revealed this week that Facebook agreed to broaden its own investigation into fake news around the vote after the social media platform´s initial efforts drew criticism. The House of Commons' Digital, Culture, Media and Sports Committee said Simon Milner, the tech titan´s head of policy in Britain, had vowed the company would now search for "clusters engaged in coordinated activity around the Brexit referendum" that appeared to have originated in Russia. Milner said it may take several weeks to produce results. The commitment follows demands from MPs for Facebook and Twitter to provide further information on alleged Russian social media meddling in the run-up to the June 2016 referendum. Executives from the platforms, as well as from Google, are due to give evidence to the parliamentary inquiry in February, when MPs will visit America for the occasion.
  5. Number of mobile phone users in Pakistan reaches 144 million ISLAMABAD: The number of broadband subscribers including those using 3G and 4G in Pakistan has crossed the 50 million mark, showing a 24.5 per cent penetration until November 2017. According to statistics revealed by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), of the total users, mobile broadband remained the major contributor, sharing 48 million 3G and 4G subscribers till the period. 3G and 4G subscription registered 23.5 per cent penetration. revealed Till the period, the number of mobile phone users reached 144 million as compared to 142.5 million by October 2017. The tele-density for cellular mobile reached 70.83 percent. PTA is also in process of formulating a framework for testing of 5G in Pakistan.
  6. Samsung had a rough year in 2016 when the Galaxy Note 7 started facing battery issues that resulted in explosions. Fast forward to 2017 and some Galaxy smartphones are still facing battery issues of their own. Some Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy S8+ users have started to point out other battery problems with the new device. Once the battery is depleted to 0%, the smartphone won't turn on even when it is connected to a wall charger. Samsung has officially recognised the problem and is now working on a fix for the same. © YouTube However, another issue has risen, according to various users who noticed abnormal behaviour that leads to battery drain. According to these users, the Galaxy S8/S8+ and the Galaxy Note 8's screen is waking up on its own and causing the battery to drain faster than usual. It is yet unclear what is causing the screen to light up on its own. © YouTube The issue was brought to light on Reddit and Samsung's forums where the problem has been described in full detail. A video was also captured and posted on the forums so that it makes it easier to understand what's happening with the screens. Users have tried to restore the smartphone to factory settings, however, the problem is still prevalent. A temporary fix was found by another user where wiping the cache would work for a while until the phone is used again and the problem reappears. © YouTube Users have tried to cover the screen with a flip cover however the screen would turn on regardless. The two Galaxy smartphones have an OLED panel which is more efficient than LCD screens but the constant lighting up and the inability of a user to control the screen leads to shorter battery life. One should note that this problem is a separate issue and is not related to the previous battery life problem where the smartphone would not switch on. Even if this inadvertent screen bug does drain the battery of the Galaxy Note 8 or Galaxy S8 all the way down to 0%, the phone should still reboot and recharge when connected to a charger.
  7. One day after Apple acknowledged that it has been downclocking the CPUs in older iPhones to prevent sudden shutdowns from battery exhaustion, the first lawsuit has arrived. Los Angeles residents Stefan Bogdanovich and Dakota Speas, represented by Wilshire Law Firm, this morning filed a lawsuit with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California accusing Apple of slowing down their older iPhone models when new models come out. Another lawsuit has been filed in the Northern District of the State of Illinois on Thursday, the complaint aspires to become a class action for the supposedly thousands of affected individuals in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and North Carolina. © Reuters Stefan and Dakota argue Apple installed a new feature to throttle old iPhones without the owners' permission. They also allege it intentionally interfered with the phones to damage them, which became a “substantial factor in causing (iPhone owners) to replace iPhones, buy new batteries, or loss of usage of their iPhone.” They allege Apple breached implied contracts with them and other iPhone owners by “purposefully slowing down older iPhone models when new models come out and by failing to properly disclose that” when they bought their iPhones. iPhone users have long speculated that once a new iPhone is released, software updates would slog down older models to push customers to buy new phones. © iFixit "Lithium-ion batteries become less capable of supplying peak current demands when in cold conditions, have a low battery charge or as they age over time, which can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components," Apple said. "Last year we released a feature for iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE to smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down during these conditions." Apple's reasons for purposely slowing down older iPhones has some technical merit. Current batteries degrade considerably over time and expecting them to perform just as well two years after they were made is plain unreasonable. Either the iPhones randomly start shutting down because the batteries can no longer deliver the peak charge the iPhone requires or, the iPhone reduces its workload to reduce its demands on the battery. iPhones, like many recent Android devices, do not have batteries that can be easily replaced by users. Apple charges $79 for a new battery for those without its AppleCare warranty protection. Source: TMZ
  8. Are you tired of friends? non-stop vacation photos popping up on your news feed? Annoyed with people constantly talking about an upcoming get-together? Well, have no fear as Facebook is here to help you. Facebook rolled out a new ?snooze? feature which allows users to unfollow friends, pages or groups for 24 hours, seven days or 30 days, according to Tech Crunch. The new feature can serve as a way to dial down the content you don?t want to see. Photo: Tech Crunch The new feature can serve as a way to dial down the content you don?t want to see, without having to fully unfollow or unfriend someone. Snooze joins a series of other content controls for News Feed, like Unfollow, Hide, Report and See First, which give people more ways to customise their experience on Facebook.
  9. Google has been tracking locations of Android phones even with location services turned off, even when no SIM card has been inserted in the phone, an investigation carried out by Quartz revealed. According to the report, Google has been tracking and collecting information including addresses of nearby cell towers since the beginning of 2017. When Quartz reached out to Google, it confirmed the practice. The report states that Google - a subsidiary of Alphabet - has access to data beyond "a reasonable consumer expectation of privacy." "The cell tower addresses have been included in information sent to the system Google uses to manage push notification and messages on Android phones for the last 11 months," Quartz reported, citing a Google spokesperson. However, responding to the queries via email, the Google spokesperson explained; "In January of this year, we began looking into using Cell ID codes as an additional signal to further improve the speed and performance of message delivery," adding that the Cell ID information was not incorporated into the Google system and was immediately discarded. Google has stated that the practice of requesting Cell ID information will be discontinued by the end of November 2017. Most modern smartphones track locations to enable applications to send personalised location-based information from weather forecasts to information about nearby business and traffic updates. These permissions can be denied by users not willing to be tracked. However, the practice that Google was indulging in did not give users this option, nor the knowledge that they were being tracked. The investigation discovered that devices that had been factory reset and where location tracking had been disabled were still sending information to Google every time they connected to a new cell tower. In the case of phones without SIM cards, the information was sent to Google every time the device was connected to a WiFi network. Security experts expressed concern as to why the collection of such data was not by consent and the option to opt out was not given to users. "It seems quite intrusive for Google to be collecting such information that is only relevant to carrier networks when there are no SIM card or enabled services," said Matthew Hickey a security expert at Hacker House while speaking to Quartz.
  10. PARIS: The theft of the personal data of 57 million Uber riders and drivers highlights how vulnerable we make ourselves when we install apps on our mobile phones and tablet computers. What happened? Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi said Tuesday that hackers had compromised personal data from some 57 million riders and drivers in a breach kept hidden for a year. Stolen files included names, email addresses, and mobile phone numbers for riders, and the names and driver license information of some 600,000 drivers, according to Uber. Uber is notifying drivers whose license numbers were swiped, and offering them credit and identity theft protection. The company also said it is notifying regulators, and monitoring affected rider accounts for signs of fraud. How did hackers do it? The stolen data are thought to have been stored on an external server of Amazon Web Services -- a division of Amazon offering cloud data storage facilities. Two hackers gained access to it using the log-ins of Uber employees taken from an account at the software development platform, GitHub. What did Uber do wrong? Aside from the problem of safeguarding the data, Uber sought to keep the breach quiet. CEO Khosrowshahi -- who took over at the end of August -- has acknowledged wondering why it took Uber a year to make the breach public. He also admitted that the company failed in not immediately informing the users affected or the authorities. His predecessor, Uber´s co-founder Travis Kalanick, was advised of the breach shortly after it was discovered, according to a source familiar with the situation. Uber paid the hackers $100,000 to destroy the data, not telling riders or drivers whose information was at risk, the source said. Who is affected? A lot of people. While Uber has not said exactly which users were affected, the number of 57 million is enormous, considering that former CEO Travis Kalanick said in October 2016 -- roughly when the breach took place -- that Uber had 40 million users worldwide. Sean Sullivan, security adviser at Finnish company F-Secure, suggested that companies tend to downplay the number of people affected, while the hackers exaggerate their "booty". An outside party was needed to undertake an in-depth investigation, he said. Gerome Billois, cybersecurity specialist at consultancy Wavestone, said that nasty surprises or "aftershocks" could not be ruled out. "In the case of private individuals, we need to wait a bit," he said. What are the consequences for users? For the moment, not a lot, even if the volume of the data would represent a sizeable market value for cybercriminals. Users may perhaps receive a lot of spam or ads on their mobile phone. Experts quizzed by AFP pointed out, however, that with the names, email addresses and telephone numbers, hackers could orchestrate phishing campaigns by creating fake Uber accounts, asking users to "confirm" their banking details or to click on links that would allow viruses into their devices. What can you do? "Not a lot," said Jerome Robert, marketing chief at EclecticIQ, a Dutch company specialising in cyber threats. Users could try to protect their identity by providing the wrong date of birth, or a false telephone number. But "in the end, that won´t work because there are verification," he said. It may just be a matter of crossing your fingers and hoping for the best. We all more or less have to trust the apps we download. But don´t provide personal data to apps that aren´t trusted. At the very least, use an alternative email address for these sorts of services, not your main address. What are the consequences for Uber? Fines, certainly, especially as Uber sought to hide the breach. In the United States, Donald Trump´s administration might be more lenient than that of his predecessor Barack Obama, said Sean Sullivan of F-Secure. In Europe, the General Data Protection Regulation is scheduled to come into force in May 2018. Under that measure, companies that have lost personal data may be fined up to four percent of their revenues. In the case of Uber, this would be $260 million. Sullivan said Uber might find it more difficult to have its licence renewed in London, not to mention the bad publicity. "If they don´t pay a fine, they are going to pay a cost."
  11. Whatsapp users will no more have to fret over messages sent on chat windows they were not intended for. The messenger service has introduced a feature which will allow users to delete such messages sent to either a group or an individual chat. As stated on Whatsapp.com, the messages that one successfully deletes will be replaced with ?This message was deleted? in the recipients? chat. So if you see ?This message was deleted? in a chat, it means the sender deleted the message for everyone. However, a user cannot avail the opportunity of correcting their error hours after sending the wrong message. One can only delete the messages for everyone for up to seven minutes after sending it. Once the time is over, the window closes. There is no way to erase messages for everyone after seven minutes pass.
  12. WASHINGTON: Google said Tuesday it would offer stronger online security for "high risk" users who may be frequent targets of online attacks. The US technology titan said anyone with a personal Google account can enroll in the new "advanced protection," while noting that it will require users to "trade off a bit of convenience" for extra security. "We took this unusual step because there is an overlooked minority of our users that are at particularly high risk of targeted online attacks," said a Google security blog post. "For example, these might be campaign staffers preparing for an upcoming election, journalists who need to protect the confidentiality of their sources, or people in abusive relationships seeking safety." Google will require these users to log into their accounts with a physical USB key which will be part of two-factor authentication, to guard against fraudulent access. "An attacker who doesn´t have your security key is automatically blocked, even if they have your password," the statement said. Google will provide additional monitoring for these accounts and limit access to sensitive applications, aiming to protect against impersonation and "phishing" to gain access to an account. "Sometimes even the most careful and security-minded users are successfully attacked through phishing scams, especially if those phishing scams were individually targeted at the user in question," the company said. Phishing is the use of deception to gain confidential information such as usernames, passwords, bank account details and credit card numbers. In one of the most highly publicized phishing attacks, Hillary Clinton´s campaign chairman John Podesta gave up his password to a hacker, resulting in a series of embarrassing leaks during the 2016 presidential race.
  13. Facebook and Instagram users in some parts of the United States, Europe and Canada were unable to access their accounts on Wednesday as the social networking website faced technical issue. ?We?re aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing Facebook and Instagram. We?re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible,? a Facebook spokesperson told Reuters. Earlier in the day, DownDetector.com, which monitors outages, showed that there were over 12,000 incidents of people reporting issues with using the website. Fifty percent of the people reported having trouble logging in while 40 percent complained that they faced total blackout issues and the remaining 10 percent faced problems with pictures, Downdetector said on its website report.
  14. Photo: courtesy WhatsApp Ever regretted sending a text on Whatsapp? Well, now you will have the option of deleting a sent text. WhatsApp is testing a new feature, ?Delete for Everyone?, which will allow users to delete their sent messages. However, the message can only be deleted if the receiver has not read it. The messaging app is testing the feature both on iOS and Android, according to famous WhatsApp leaker WABetaInfo. WhatsApp just released its picture-in-picture feature for its users across the globe. The feature allows users to text message and video chat at the same time.
  15. WhatsApp finally rolled out its picture-in-picture feature for video calls. The new update allows users to return to the home screen or any other app during a video call. However, the feature will be available for devices on Andriod 8.0 Oreo. The PiP feature allows users to text and video call at the same time. Photo: Android police The instant messaging app has been testing the picture-in-picture for video calls since July. The testing was being done in its beta programme version, though it was not announced when the feature will be officially launched. Moreover, the app is also looking out to expand its platform and make itself more constructive and productive. Hence, the messaging app, which is owned by Facebook, is planning on introducing a Whatsapp business app. The tool will allow businesses to connect and communicate with its consumers. The feature seeks to boost the productivity of different businesses.
  16. Demonstrators across India protested Lankesh's murder. Photo: AFP An online campaign was launched against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi after it surfaced that he is following Twitter account users who appeared to celebrate and justify the recent murder of a prominent Indian journalist, AlJazeera reported. Editor of the weekly Gauri Lankesh Patrike publication, Gauri Lankesh, was shot dead by unidentified attackers outside her house in Bangalore on Tuesday. #BlockNarendraModi was the top trend in the country on Wednesday night through to Thursday, with users demanding that Modi un-follow the handles and apologise. Modi has yet to condemn Lankesh's death. Journalists, politicians, and activists across India sharply denounced the murder. Indian users decided to block the premier after it surfaced that many of the trolls were followed by leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), including several claiming Modi as their follower. One of the tweets celebrating Lankesh?s murder was sent by user Ashish Mishra, who wrote in response to a news story about the journalist?s death: jaisi karni vaisi bharni (you reap what you sow). Another Twitter account followed by Modi, Nikhil Dadhich, equated Gauri, an outspoken critic of right-wing groups, to a "bitch". His tweet, written in the Hindi language, was apparently deleted later. Its closest translation reads as: "It took a bitch to die a dog's death, for all pups to howl in the same tune". Many Indians registered their anger by blocking Modi, who is one of the most popular world leaders on Twitter with 33.8 million followers. Several groups, including the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), have demanded a thorough investigation into the killing, while a Special Investigating Team has been tasked with probing the murder. The comments against Lankesh drew the attention of Ravi Shankar Prasad, minister of law and justice and of information technology, who condemned the trolls, many of them ruling party supporters, for expressing happiness at the killing of the journalist. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), however, defended Modi for following trolls. Amit Malviya, BJP's head of IT Cell, refused to comment on the issue but referred Al Jazeera to a party statement released on Thursday that dubbed the controversy as "mischievous and contorted". "PM Modi is the only leader who freely engages with people on social media platforms," the statement said. "The PM following someone is not a character certificate of a person and is not in anyway a guarantee of how a person would conduct himself."
  17. Facebook has turned to its sister application, Instagram, to boost the popularity of the 'Stories' feature. The latest test feature was spotted by some of the users including Next Web?s Matt Navarra and Twitter user @mruiandre. The users noticed that they were given an option to share their Instagram Stories on Facebook. This was followed by Instagram confirming that this feature is currently being tested. Facebook also has the Stories feature but it failed to gain the popularity of the Instagram counterpart. However, the sharing option will allow the users to have their Stories available on both the social media sites. Since long, Instagram users are given the option to share their pictures and video posts on Facebook. Interestingly, no content travels the other direction. The Stories feature, which is a copy of the Snapchat feature, was added to Instagram in August 2016.
  18. Twitter has enabled 'Night Mode' for desktops, a feature which was previously available on iOS and Android devices. The feature was rolled out on Wednesday but has yet to reach all user accounts, hence some users may not have the option to activate it instantly. To enable the new feature, users must click on their profile photo and select night mode. Night mode turns Twitter's usual vibrant white and blue background into a navy blue dark screen with an icon of the moon on it. Night mode was rolled for iOS and Android users in July and August last year, respectively. The feature is expected to ease eye strain while using the social media platform in a low-light environment.
  19. Apple is about to launch their brand new phone soon and even though Samsung has launched two absolutely beautiful smartphones, iPhone users are not going to be swayed easily. A survey was published recently which paints a picture for companies who are trying to sway iPhone users towards their products. The grim picture painted by the survey suggests that 70% of iPhone users won't even think of moving to another device. (c) BCCL The survey was conducted earlier this month which involved asking 2,117 adults who use smartphones on a daily basis. The result of the survey indicated that Apple users are going nowhere. 80% of the adults said that they plan to stick with the iPhone and 47 percent of the audience owned at least 4 iPhones in their lifetime. However, the number that is most astonishing is that the at least 70% of the sample audience said their next phone would be another iPhone and they would not even think of buying anything else. (c) YouTube More than 65% percent of the people who were part of this survey said they feel that the iPhone is the best phone one can buy. Most of the respondents also said that they would find switching from the iOS platform to Android a bit too tedious and would prefer to not go through that inconvenience. The next line of iPhones is expected to have a similar design to the current generation and another model would have an OLED screen and a design overhaul. The rumoured iPhone 8 is expected to have a new bezel-less screen and augmented reality features. The iPhone 8 is expected to cost $1,000 and at least 67 percent of the respondents who intended to upgrade to a new iPhone said that the price tag is too expensive. However, at least 40% of the respondents intend to buy it no matter how much it costs. Source: cNet
  20. Tech giants Apple and Amazon, too, have moved to limit their customers' access to VPNs in China in what has been seen as a voluntary move to get ahead of the impending crackdown Photo: AFP Beijing: Enterprising internet users in China fear the tools they use to tunnel through the country's "Great Firewall" may soon disappear, as Beijing tightens its grip on the web. Tens of millions of people are estimated to use Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to bypass Chinese internet restrictions -- getting access to blocked websites such as Facebook and Twitter. Beijing has for years turned a blind eye to these holes in its Great Firewall, but recent events suggest the virtual tunnels may soon be bricked up. In January China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) announced it would be banning the use of unlicensed providers of the services. In the months since the rule's announcement, rumours have swirled that a crackdown was coming, but there was little clarity on what exactly the rule meant and how, or even if, it would be implemented. In the past few weeks, however, omens of significant tightening seem to be everywhere. Several luxury hotels in Beijing have said they will stop using the tools, which once provided unfiltered Internet as a convenience to their customers. On Thursday, a cloud service provider in the capital notified users that it would practise shutting down and reporting VPN providers on the orders of Beijing's Public Security bureau. Tech giants Apple and Amazon, too, have moved to limit their customers' access to the tools in China in what has been seen as a voluntary move to get ahead of the impending crackdown. On Sunday, Apple said it was removing a number of the programs from its app store, while Amazon's Chinese partner said that customers would no longer be allowed to use "illegal" VPNs on its cloud service. "There have been many rounds of government murmurings about VPN crackdowns, and foreign and Chinese businesses had grown used to only minor or temporary restrictions," said Graham Webster, a senior researcher scholar at Yale Law School. But "this time appears different." 'You cannot lock the heart' For now, however, it still remains unclear who will be able to access VPNs and under what circumstances, a situation that has left both companies and regular users on tenterhooks. Ordinary people have reacted to the new rules with a mixture of annoyance and quiet defiance. "You've blocked the last way to watch US TV dramas, as well as my Facebook friends!" one user of China's Twitter-like Weibo platform said after the Apple announcement. "You can lock my cellphone, but you cannot lock my heart." Firms are casting around for information about the developments and have expressed alarm at the potential impact on the way they do business. In a statement, the European Chamber of Commerce told AFP it "has not seen any updated official document concerning restrictions on VPN use by companies," adding that in a recent survey of its members almost half expressed concern that the "continued strengthening of measures to tighten Internet control and access are having an even bigger negative impact on their companies". "Our members' success depends on instantaneous access to information worldwide, and the ability to freely communicate with affiliates, suppliers and customers around the world," William Zarit, Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China said in a statement to AFP. "Recent regulatory developments, including limiting VPN use, have created uncertainty for cross-border data communication." Apple has come under fire for bowing to the rules, but in an earnings call Tuesday CEO Tim Cook said the firm had to follow local laws. He said Apple was "hopeful that over time the restrictions we're seeing are lessened because innovation really requires freedom to collaborate and communicate". 'Tighten Internet control' Analysts said that Beijing was likely not looking to choke off VPNS completely, but was instead seeking to control them more tightly. James Gong, an expert on Chinese cyber law at Herbert Smith Freehills, said that the regulations are not targeted at companies. The government can "shut things down, but that's not their purpose," he said. Instead "they want to drive all the traffic through the network operators so all of the connections will be transparent to them". Paul Triolo, head of global technology at the Eurasia Group, said he believes that the ultimate goal is not to cut off all VPNs but to "get visibility on (their) use so that they know what is going in and out and can turn off selectively if they want to or need to".
  21. Tele-density has reached 72.51 per cent in Pakistan ISLAMABAD: Mobile phone users in the country have reached 140.5 million by May this year which was 133.2 million till July 2016, showing a moderate growth with each passing month. All the operators providing mobile phone services have added around 7.3 million new users in their subscribers during the period. Mobilink is still leading the operators charts with its around 53 million customers. As per statistics issued by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), the subscriber base of Telenor reached 41 million by May this year. Zong has 28.2 million customers at end of May 2017 while Ufone stood with 18.5 million customers till the time. With touching current subscribers base of 140.5 million, the tele-density in area reached 72.51 per cent which was 70.71 percent by July last year.
  22. A mountain scenery made on Paint, shared by user Valprine on Twitter It?s not yet the end! Microsoft has announced Paint will stay alive, after an outpouring of love across the internet managed to convince the company not to axe its 32-year-old program. The tech giant had announced on Monday its age-old Paint feature would be either removed or no longer developed, triggering an outcry as loyal users grieved over the potential demise of their old companion, which has been part of the Windows operating system since its launch in 1985. Microsoft Paint to be killed off after 32 years Paint has been signalled for death having been added to the ?features that are removed or deprecated in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update? list. Persuaded by the love, Microsoft has now decided to save MS Paint by putting it on the Windows Store. ?Today, we?ve seen an incredible outpouring of support and nostalgia around MS Paint. If there?s anything we learned, it?s that after 32 years, MS Paint has a lot of fans. It?s been amazing to see so much love for our trusty old app,? Megan Saunders, Microsoft?s general manager of the ?3D for Everyone? initiative, wrote in a blog post. ?Amidst today?s commentary around MS Paint we wanted to take this opportunity to set the record straight, clear up some confusion and share some good news. Paint 3D ? the new app for creativity, also available for free with the Windows 10 Creators Update, will continue to get new feature updates. In addition to the new 3D capabilities, many of the MS Paint features people know and love like photo editing, line and curve tools, and 2D creation are in Paint 3D,? she stated. This basically means Paint will no longer be available by default on Windows and work and enterprise machines, but users will be able to download Microsoft Paint from the Windows Store for free.
  23. I was visiting the United States last week and I could not help but notice that almost everyone was an iPhone user. Maybe it was California, the spiritual home of Apple, however, there were a few people I came across at cafes and bars who have not embraced the Apple life yet. During the course of my casual conversation, many of the people who didn't own any Apple products were using either the Samsung Galaxy S8 or the Google Pixel. Being curious and inquisitive about their choice, I wanted to know what they thought about Apple iPhone users since they are surrounded by them at all times. And here's what I gathered: 1.The iPhone Is A Status Symbol (c) Thinkstock Sure the iPhone costs a lot of money and is also a way to judge somebody's cool factor. Having said that, the Apple brand has now become one of the most revered, sought after companies and is perceived as a status symbol brand. Similar to fashion houses such as Louis Vuitton or a luxury watch like a Rolex, the iPhone is now considered a must-have device or even a fashion statement. 2. They Aren't As Intelligent As Android Users (c) Thinkstock One of the most insulting presumptions Android users make is that iPhone users are not intelligent enough to run an Android smartphone. To be honest, I feel that this is probably a ridiculous thing one can presume about an iPhone user. Sure Android phones work in a different way and have other features that may not be available on the iPhone. However, working on the iPhone is no easy task either. Transferring music, apps or even making a ringtone can be a complicated process. Yes, the iPhone's iOS is easier to learn than Android, however, it depends on how one perceives it. To be honest adjusting to an Android smartphone is as simple as adjusting to iOS and this presumption about iPhone users being dumb is not warranted. (As a tech journalist, I have to use both platforms every day) 3. iPhone Users Don't Like To Mess Around With Their Device (c) Thinkstock Android users have one advantage over the iPhone and this they can customise many aspects and functionality of their smartphone. They like to explore their device and try to find out how to make use of their device most effectively. Android users believe that iPhone fans are completely fine with not tinkering with their device and are not interested in making their smartphones more personal. 4. iPhone Users Will Buy Anything Apple Makes Thanks To Their Marketing (c) Thinkstock Android users honestly believe that iPhone fanboys will blindly buy anything Apple makes. Yes, the iPhone is probably the highest selling smartphone in the world but it doesn't necessarily mean that Apple fanboys will buy anything the company makes. To be honest, when was the last time you bought something that was advertised on TV? If that were the case, I would have bought a lot of ridiculous things by now. Android users believe that Apple fanboys have been brainwashed by the company's advertising tactics which isn't entirely true. Not all Apple fans buy everything the company makes because if it were true, the Apple Airpods would have sold like hot cakes. 5. They Just Buy The iPhone Because Of Famous People (c) YouTube It is also assumed that since most celebrities, public figures and musicians use the iPhone, Apple fans simply fall for that. In fact, many Android users believe that people buy Apple products solely because of Steve Jobs. We all know who Steve Jobs was and he was one of the most recognisable faces in the world and probably still is. (c) YouTube Many Android users believe that people buy an iPhone only because it has something to do with Steve Jobs' ethos 6. iPhone Users Feel Intimidated By Choice (c) YouTube Almost every smartphone in the market (except the iPhone) runs on Android. There are a large number of devices that utilise the Android ecosystem and some of them are hard to even remember. The iPhone is the same all across the world, however, each Android phone is different from the other. The plethora of choices out there does not make it easy for an iPhone user to switch devices easily. The iPhone is the same all over the world and they often get turned off by the number of choices they have. 7. The iOS Ecosystem Is Hard To Let Go (c) YouTube The iOS ecosystem is one of the most comprehensive and inclusive ecosystems that keep everything synced together. If you own multiple Apple devices, you can easily sync pictures, music and transfer files amongst each device. You can even control certain applications with the Apple Watch or the Airpods. Android users believe that the iOS ecosystem has made it so difficult for iPhone users to switch that they tend to just stick with Apple products and refuse to even try Android smartphones. Android users may have gotten something right about their criticisms regarding iPhone users and some of them are affected by more than one of these assumptions. However, it all depends on personal choice and what attributes that iPhone users can't see in themselves. The iPhone is meticulously crafted and is beautifully engineered. Its design is something many manufacturers have tried to replicate and it is probably one of the best smartphones ever built. On the flip-side, Android's open platform has their own share of attributes that make it special. However, a closed and integrated platform like the iOS makes the iPhone's experience a bit more responsive and better and the same thing cannot be said about every Android smartphone.
  24. The Twitter logo is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, US, September 28, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo Twitter Inc, in its latest step to curb abusive behaviour on its platform, rolled out new features on Monday to help users disable notifications from accounts that they want to avoid. The microblogging website said its "advanced filter settings" will now have options for users to mute notifications from accounts that they do not follow as well as from accounts that do not follow them. Users can also filter lower-quality content from notifications such as content that appears to be automated and mute notifications related to certain words and phrases. Twitter had said in March that it would introduce new filtering options for notifications to allow users to limit what they see from certain types of accounts, such as those that do not have a profile photo. Twitter and rival Facebook Inc have been facing a barrage of criticism for failing to tackle cyber-bullying, fake news, and extremist propaganda on their platforms.
  25. For all those who were hoping Instagram would stop turning into a Snapchat clone, here?s news for you: Instagram has added a new exciting feature for its users, enabling them to reply to Instagram Stories with photos and videos. Sounds familiar, doesn?t it? But wait, it doesn?t end there! Along with the photos and videos, users can now make use of any of the creative tools in the Instagram camera such as Boomerang, face filters, the reverse effect, and the various stickers which can be resized or repositioned in order to reply to the Instagram Stories. For instance, with the new update installed, now if you open the story, a camera icon appears at the bottom right of your screen. You can tap on that button to get access to all the Instagram camera features and reply the way you want. After you?ve sent your reply, the person will get a notification and can take a screenshot which you will also be notified of. However, after 24 hours, your reply disappears. Seems like Instagram has deployed a new tactic to keep its users hooked, no? Though this might not be the first of its kind, you can?t deny that this feature will definitely help users get more expressive with the various stickers which can depict exactly how you feel and can conversational engagement.