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ZODIAC

Found 17 results

  1. Netflix, as we all know, has strong local competition in some countries. Specifically, in India, the streaming service is trying unusual experiments such as low-cost mobile only plan to win people. On the same lines, Netflix is now testing Rs. 65 mobile-only weekly subscription plan in the country. That's right, Netflix is now testing a new plan in India, under which the users can now sign up for as low as Rs. 65 per week and access the entire catalogue of films and TV shows on the platform. It is, however, worth pointing out that this particular weekly plan does not offer HD or Ultra HD content. You'll have to shell out more for that. But hey, we're not really complaining, because it's the platform's cheapest plan. © Hindustan Times In an official statement, Netflix said, “We are always looking for ways to make Netflix more enjoyable and accessible. We will be testing different options in select countries where members can, for example, watch Netflix on their mobile device for a lower price and subscribe in shorter increments of time. Not everyone will see these options and we may never roll out these specific plans beyond the tests.” In addition to the Rs. 65 plan, Netflix also has three more weekly plans priced at Rs. 125, Rs. 165, and Rs. 200. Rs. 125 is the weekly version of the basic plan. It adds an extra screen to watch your content on. Alternatively, you can also opt for Rs. 165 or Rs. 200 plan and pay per week for extra screens and stream at better quality. © Unsplash Please note that these weekly plans are not yet live for all the users in the country as it's just an 'experiment' according to Netflix, but we think it's only a matter of time until these weekly plans go official.
  2. Just a couple of days back, ASUS suffered a cyber attack following which the company's update system was hacked. The hackers used the system to distribute a malware to about 1 million users using ASUS computers and laptops. Since the software update was distributed using ASUS' servers and was signed using ASUS certificate, there was no way of telling if it was a malware attack sent by hackers. Kaspersky Lab, which brought the matter to light, named the attack 'ShadowHammer', and said they would reveal more about the attack in an upcoming conference. © ASUS Unfortunately, no one could figure out what the hackers were after. But according to reports, it looks like the hackers were targeting specific ASUS customers with their MAC addresses. The update was made to install the malicious programs once one of those systems were detected. ASUS says it has fixed the issue with a security update, which the users can now download using its Live Update software tool. So, if you've updated your ASUS computer, then you should be fine. If not, then we highly recommend you do it right away. In addition to the security update, ASUS has also created an online security diagnostic tool to check if your system was affected. If you're still concerned to run the software as a precaution, then you find it right here. © Reuters To run the diagnostic tool, all you need to do is download the zip file and run the software after extraction. Do make a note that the tool will only work on ASUS computers, and running it on other systems will return an error message that reads, “Only for ASUS machine!” ASUS hasn't apologized for the mishap, and instead it said they're working to prevent such attacks from happening again in the future. The press release said, “Only a very small number of specific user group were found to have been targeted. At the same time, we have also updated and strengthened our server-to-end-user software architecture to prevent similar attacks from happening in the future.”
  3. Facebook and Instagram users in India can now use licensed Indian music in their posts and videos, as the company has signed licensing deals with three of India's top music labels including T-Series, Zee Music Company and Yash Raj Films. Licensed music from these labels can be used in social experiences such as videos, messages, stories and other creative content on Facebook and Instagram. Facebook noted that the posts and videos, which users choose to share on the platform, can be made more meaningful and personal with music. © Instagram Thanks to this partnership, users can include their favorite tracks from popular Bollywood films including the latest hits like Apna Time Aayega from 'Gully Boy', Aankh Marey from 'Simmba', Swag Se Swagat from 'Tiger Zinda Hai', as well as regional hits like Lahore by Guru Randhawa, Zingaat from 'Sairat' plus old classics like Bas Ek Sanam Chaahiye from 'Aashiqui'. Commenting on the partnership, Facebook India's Director and Head of Partnerships, Manish Chopra said, “Music has always been a powerful medium of expression. We are excited about partnering with the music industry in India and the idea that people here will be now be able to include music in their videos on Facebook and Instagram, opening up more options for more ways to express and sharing memories with friends and family.” Facebook signed its first ever music label deal in December of 2017 with Universal Music Group, and the company now has licensing partnerships with different labels across 40 countries.
  4. Spotify's silent launch in India last week sent out waves around the music industry, and the streaming app has already added more than 1 million users in the country. It's a remarkable number, but there's no denying that the service already has stiff competition from the existing streaming platforms, especially Apple Music. As an Apple Music user myself, I was really excited about Spotify's India launch and I instantly pulled the trigger on Spotify. Having used Spotify as my primary music streaming app this past week, I have a few observations. So, just how good is Spotify when compared with Apple Music, one of its biggest competitors in the country? Here's a quick look at the points that matter: Pricing Pricing is honestly one of the first and most important factors while picking any service in general. In this case, I would say Spotify has an upper hand, mainly because of the varied subscription packages. Unlike other music streaming services, Spotify gives its users an option to opt for either the daily, weekly, half-yearly or yearly packages, in addition to the monthly subscription. Essentially, you can avail all the premium Spotify subscription for as low as Rs. 13/ day to see if you like the service and all the features that it offers. Apple Music, on the other hand, offers only one option, i.e. Rs. 120/ month. You'll effectively be shelling out Rs. 360 for three months, Rs.600 for six months and so on. So, Spotify is the clear winner here. You can just sign up for a single day and check out the app and all its features which we'll be discussing below. Music Selection & Beyond As soon as you start using Spotify in India, it won't be too long until you realize that a lot of your favourite music isn't there. Yes, it's really a bummer. It's like the Netflix debacle all over again, when a lot of binge-worthy shows like 'House of Cards' wasn't available at launch in India. Of course, things will get better over time (hopefully), but if you love your Iron Maiden or Led Zeppelin playlist, then Apple Music is a no brainer. © Spotify The native-language song selection, on the other hand, isn't bad on either service. Both Apple Music and Spotify will ask you for your preference in music to suggest similar kinds of tracks, artists, and more. If you are into local Indian music, however, I think you'd be better off using services like Gaana.com and JioSaavn. They have partnerships with better record companies under their belt and therefore you'll get to enjoy more comprehensive libraries. Again, Spotify may end up signing better labels, but for now, it is safe to say that they're barely scratching the surface with T-series. Both platforms also suggest curated playlist, but I found myself spending more time on Spotify's curated playlist than Apple Music. Apple has its own way of doing things, and the curated lists are based on the genres you select, as opposed to the songs you listen the most as Spotify does. It comes down to personal preference, but I found Spotify's 'Your Daily Mix 1' or 'Your Daily Mix 2' etc. to be more appealing than Apple Music's 'Friends Mix', and 'Chill Mix' playlists. Lastly, it is worth pointing out that Apple Music gives you a lot of options like podcasts, music videos, short films, etc., whereas Spotify only gives the option of listening to podcasts apart from songs. Music Sharing & Platform support Both platforms let you follow your friends and family members using the service. You can share, say, a playlist or keep a track of what others are listening to. The sharing features, however, are much better on Spotify. Besides connecting to your friends, you can also share your tracks via mediums like Instagram Stories, which is where most people are spending their time these days anyway. © Spotify Coming to platforms, both Spotify and Apple Music are available on Android, iOS, Windows and macOS. But if I was to switch back to Apple Music again, I'll definitely be missing the web player. It's effortless to pull up a web browser and switch over seamlessly from your phone, tablet, etc. Just a convenience that I am not ready to give up anytime soon. Final Thoughts Both streaming services in their current state have caveats of their own. While Spotify has better algorithms in place giving it an upper hand on the music discovery over the others, Apple Music has a strong music selection and has its own ecosystem with deep Siri integration. I personally won't be switching to Apple Music again, because I am not particularly bothered by lack of artists. I am also quite optimistic about Spotify's growth in India. If it's not a major a concern for you too, then I highly recommend checking out Spotify's premium subscribing at least for a day.
  5. Spotify was launched in India barely six days ago and the music streaming app has already managed to make a small dent in the Indian music streaming space. Even though Spotify is in the middle of a legal battle with Warner Music, the company still managed to get a million users in less than a week. A representative from Spotify confirmed with The Verge about the streaming service's rapid success. © Spotify Spotify offers free music stream with ads and also offers a premium membership which is priced at Rs 129, its Rs 389 for 3 months, Rs 719 for 6 months and Rs 1189 for a year. The premium membership removes advertisements and enables users to skip songs without any limits. Even though Spotify has some missing content due to a legal battle, the streaming company is focusing on adding regional content which includes music from Bollywood. Other regional music includes content in languages such as Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu. © Reuters According to research firms Deloitte and IMI, India has about 150 million subscribers for music streaming services and is only set to grow in the near future. Many streaming services are bundled with mobile plans such as Airtel's Wink, Free Amazon Prime memberships and others. Spotify's entry into India has been late and will face tough competition from other services such as Apple Music, Google Pay, Gaana, JioSaavn and Amazon Prime. In order to undercut the competition, Spotify offers a free plan which lets everyone stream for free. However, the free plan limits carry advertisements just like how you would find it on YouTube. © Reuters Spotify is currently available on iOS and Android platforms, Windows 10 PCs, Android TV, Microsoft Xbox, Sony PlayStation, and macOS. Spotify also works with Google Home and Sonos natively, which is an added bonus for smart speaker owners. If you have Android Car or Apple CarPlay installed in your automobiles, Spotify also works natively on both auto platforms. At this time, Spotify will be available as apps for your smartphone and tablet (free download for Android and iOS), Windows 10 PCs, macOS computing devices, Android TV, Sony PlayStation, Microsoft Xbox and also available via the web browser. Spotify is also compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in-car infotainment platforms. Source: The Verge
  6. WhatsApp is now rolling out an update on iOS which lets users further protect their chats with the help of iPhone's onboard biometric authentication. WhatsApp already has end-to-end encryption making it one of the more secure instant messaging apps. However, the new update is set to make it even more secure. WhatsApp has now started to roll out an update where users can protect the app with either Touch ID or FaceID authentication depending on the iPhone model you use. Your facial data and fingerprint data will remain encrypted in the phone and WhatsApp will not be getting access to your personal biometric data. © MensXP-Akshay Bhalla Setting up this feature is fairly simple as you need to open WhatsApp, head to setting > account > privacy and select “screen lock”. You can then select the option “Require Face ID” or “Require Touch ID”. Select the preferred time you want the feature to kick in. When replying to messages or answering calls from the lock screen, WhatsApp does not require additional authentication. © YouTube However, if someone knows your PIN, then they will be able to access your WhatsApp the same way you will be able to. It's needless to say that you should be keeping your PIN safe to prevent people from accessing your WhatsApp chats and in-app purchases from other applications that provide micro-transactions. As of now, this feature is only available to iPhone users; however, Android users will be getting a similar feature in the near future. The system that enables Android devices for protecting apps is mostly the same as Apple's and Android users will be able to take advantage of the feature very soon. Will you be protecting your WhatsApp with the new feature? What would be your primary purpose? Let us know in the comments if you love the newly added security on WhatsApp or not.
  7. The OnePlus 6T has been facing a battery drain issue reported by users on Reddit which is causing the battery life to cut by half. The OnePlus 6T increased the battery capacity to 3,700 mAh as compared to the smaller 3,000 mAh battery on its predecessor. However, there's a new bug that is affecting the OP6T to face an unexpected bug. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla According to users on Reddit, the battery life has been cut in half and the users tried to clear background apps, cache memory and had the latest firmware installed. Having said that, users were not able to identify the cause of this battery drain. The only fix that has worked so far has been a factory reset. The Reddit post reads, “So for the past day or so my 6t's battery has suddenly started draining from 80 per cent extremely fast. If I had to guess I'd say my battery life was at least halved all of a sudden and I'm not even putting it through heavy workloads or anything.” © YouTube Other users have also pointed out that the battery drain is also causing the smartphone to heat up unexpectedly, even when on idle. OnePlus has not responded to the issue yet and haven't detailed if the company is working on a fix. OnePlus released a new OTA Android Pie update for the OnePlus 5 and 5T. The new update caused users of older devices to face Wi-FI connectivity problems, especially when using third-party apps. The problem was later fixed via an update. © OnePlus OnePlus 6T was launched in India for Rs 37,999 for the base 6GB RAM and 128GB storage variant. The smartphone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC and comes with an in-display fingerprint sensor and 3,700 mAh battery.
  8. In an attempt to show solidarity towards Huawei, companies in China are reportedly attempting to encourage employees to buy products from the Chinese giant. A Chinese textile company has released a notice banning staff who use iPhones from possible promotions and providing subsidies to those who buy Huawei devices. Several organisations and business groups in the country have issued notices urging staff members to show their support for the Chinese telecommunications giant by boycotting iPhones. © Reuters One company in Shenzhen, where Huawei is based, has even said that it will punish employees for buying iPhones. Menpad, which makes LCD displays and is one of Huawei's many suppliers, wrote in a statement on its website that “if employees buy an iPhone for themselves, the company will impose a 100 percent penalty on the basis of the phone's market price.” "So far, all members of the management team have changed their smartphones to Huawei models to show support for homegrown brands," a manager of Zhejiang Kangjiesi New Material Technology Co, based in Zhuji, East China's Zhejiang Province, surnamed Liu told the Global Times on Tuesday. © Reuters According to 9to5Mac, A Henan Province Brewer is offering free alcohol in the amount of 30 percent of the Huawei device sale price to both employees and customers who present a receipt. Xinjiang Nor-West Star Information Technology said in a statement they will only support Huawei, saying that it 'actively backs the calls to support Huawei and protect national brands with real action'. © Reuters Huawei's CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Vancouver on December 1 on behalf of the U.S Government under claims the company violated U.S. sanctions against Iran. China and U.S.A are currently in the middle of a trade war after the Trump Administration threatened to apply tariffs on US$ 200 billion of goods imported from China. The U.S has accused Huawei of using a Hong Kong shell company to sell equipment to Iran in violation of US sanctions. It also says Meng and the tech company misled banks about its business dealings in Iran. © Reuters A Chinese court also recently ruled that Apple infringed on patents by Qualcomm, and moved to block sales of some models of the company's smartphone. Apple said it is appealing the ruling.
  9. Mobile gaming has taken a serious turn ever since Indians started playing the mobile version of PUBG as a religion. The game can work on various smartphones that have a good GPU, enough RAM and a good processor. Having said that, smartphones generally tend to heat up real quick which has made companies introducing new cooling solutions. © ASUS Even though mobile gaming can't match up to the same quality delivered on consoles and PCs, however, ASUS may have just built a smartphone that might bridge the gap. Smartphones don't have dedicated powerful GPUs to deliver high-quality graphics, but smartphones can be innovative enough to deliver a good gaming experience. The ASUS ROG phone retails in India for Rs 69,990 (8GB+128GB) which is a bit expensive for a gaming smartphone, so let's find out if it's worth the price tag. Design & Display © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla If you've ever seen an ASUS ROG laptop, you can instantly recognise it for its design. The same can be said for the ASUS ROG phone where it has sharp cuts, a sweet multicolour light-up logo on the back, massive vents to prevent overheating and a look that resembles some sort of an alien warship. It's cool to see ASUS incorporate a similar design like its gaming laptops, but the key notable difference is its metal body. Gaming laptops generally have plastic bodies as it does not conduct heat as quickly. As the smartphone has a metal unibody design, it comes with an additional accessory out of the box that aides in cooling down the phone. The accessory is called the AeroActive Cooler and it has a fan and an audio jack that is powered by the extra USB-C port on the side of the phone. What's ingenious about this design is the fact that no wires come in the way and interrupt your gaming experience. To make it easier for users to game, the smartphone has squeezable and tappable sides for customisable phone functions. You can map these functions for specific game functions and the mappable Air Triggers are great for first-person shooters. Overall, the ASUS ROG phone has all the answers for woes most smartphone gamers face. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla This is where things get interesting as the ROG phone has a 6-inch OLED display that has has a resolution of FHD+ (2160 x 1080 px). It even has support for HDR content and a 90Hz refresh rate. That's the best display you can get on any gadget (including monitors) and the refresh rate is the added bonus for gamers. The refresh rate reduces the response time drastically which is crucial in games like PUBG. You can even customise the display according to your own liking. The colour reproduction is decent and you can even switch to modes such as Standard and Splendid. You even have the ability to tweak the saturation and hues according to your own liking. Performance The ASUS ROG smartphone has specs under the hood you would expect from a flagship smartphone. It as Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 processor clocked at 2.96 GHz (the fastest speed-binned 845 SoC) and is coupled with 8GB of RAM. In terms of internal storage, the smartphone comes in one configuration for India i.e. 128GB.To back up these components, the ASUS ROG phone has a 4,000 mAh battery which is enough for mobile gaming and daily usage. The phone performed well during the course of our review as it could easily handle day-to-day tasks and we didn't come across any glitches of OS flaws. There have been reports of the ASUS ROG phone's OS acting up, but we thank the gods that our review unit was flawless. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla Since this is a gaming phone, we had to check out its capabilities while playing PUBG Mobile. Even without enabling the dedicated gaming mode, the game performed without any frame rate drops or app crashes. Having said that, if you want the optimum experience with a little boost, we would recommend you switch on the X mode. The 90Hz refresh rate on the display did give us a slight advantage over our enemies as the game felt much smoother as compared to playing it on other flagship smartphones. When playing games on smartphones, battery life is one of the most important features to consider. During our gaming session, PUBG Mobile did not consume a lot of battery thanks to the massive 4,000 mAh battery. We even used the secondary USB-C port to use the Aeroactive cooler accessory that would cool the device when it would heat up while playing games. The cooling fan, in turn, improves battery life as it keeps the battery cool and as a result gives you more juice for gaming. Accessories © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla Apart from the Air Triggers and Aeroactive cooler, ASUS has also launched a few accessories that can enhance your gaming experience. We didn't really get to test these features at length so we can only tell what they can do. These include TwinView Dock for dual-screen handheld mode (works like Nintendo 3DS), a Mobile Desktop Dock for desktop-style gaming and a Gamevice controller. The Final Say Even though gaming smartphones are becoming a rage in India, buyers are still a bit price sensitive when it comes to buying gadgets. The ASUS ROG phone has all the bells and whistles you can expect from a flagship phone along with the added feature of phenomena gaming. Having said that, if you look at the smartphone from a buyer's perspective, it's not really a feasible smartphone if you're on a budget. Costing Rs 69,990, your an always buy the Huawei Mate 20 Pro for the same price and get cheaper accessories for a good gaming experience. I absolutely love this smartphone to the core as it appeals to the gamer in me, however, it's something only an enthusiast would buy.
  10. According to a report by Kaspersky Labs, your personal data could be up for sale on the Dark Web for as low as Rs 3,500 (US$ 50). This includes everything you do online, right from your bank details to the games you play and the porn you watch. © Reuters Kaspersky Labs has been investigating markets on the Dark Web and discovered that the user's personal data often sells for a very cheap price. These sensitive credentials are a core part of everyone's life and with increasing online identity thefts and frauds, you may anytime be a victim. "This can include data from stolen social media accounts, banking details, remote access to servers or desktops, and even data from popular services like Uber, Netflix, and Spotify, as well as gaming websites, dating apps, and porn websites which might store credit card information" the report states. A single vulnerable account costs just US$ 1 and hackers sell them in bulk, which costs even lesser. These accounts could be your email, third party services, or even your own devices. © Reuters We come across major vulnerabilities in products every now and then and while companies strive to keep their systems secure, the internet has a history of compromised accounts. This is the primary reason why it's always recommended to have a different password for all your online activities. With two-factor authentication gaining wider support, it's always a healthy practice to keep it switched on. Hacked accounts may not only lead to financial loss but also contribute to identify theft. The perpetrator can use your identity for illegal actions, indirectly putting you in the line of fire. Another way to stay safe is never giving your credentials to untrusted websites or apps. One way to verify authenticity is to check the SSL certificate by clicking the green lock icon beside the URL. An encrypted transfer has become a basic norm for services and majority of the mainstream, sites have identity verification as well in the certificate. The Dark Web is a partitioned part of the internet that is not indexed by search engines. Many reside on encrypted networks like TOR and use proxy servers to hide their location and IP address. Hence, it becomes near to impossible for law enforcement agencies to track cybercrime. Source: The Economic Times
  11. Apple takes health extremely seriously and it's all reflected in the Apple Watch with new features that helps humans from fatal diseases. Apple Watch has already been credited for saving numerous lives by detecting discrepancies in heart rate that would, in turn, make diseases discoverable to users. It seems like Apple Watch now wants to prevent other types of diseases and even sunburns. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla Overexposure to UV rays have been credited to cause some serious health complications such as skin cancer. Other types of damages to the skin such as elastic and collagen tissue, discolouration and severe sunburn are other cancers for sun-seekers. Apple is now looking at a way for the Apple Watch to discover if the user is outdoors and how much the user has been exposed to UV light. The new patent by Apple was granted last week by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which is for "UV dosimetry and exposure alert.” It describes a system that will detect sunlight and track the exposure over time. The Apple Watch will then send users an alert about exposure levels and guide users on how to avoid excessive exposure. © U.S. Patent and Trademark Office The patent details that a future Apple Watt will have a number of UV light sensors which will aid the smartwatch to detect the user's location and outdoor conditions. It will also be able to determine the period of time spent outdoors by a user. The data from these sensors will then be fed into an analyser that will compute the total exposure time. Other sensors such as an ambient light sensor and an infrared light sensor can also be used to deliver more accurate data about the amount of light being exposed to the user. These sensors can also detect the type of light i.e. indoors or outdoors. © U.S. Patent and Trademark Office The Apple Watch could also use GPS to deliver "location-dependent UV index information” as levels change at different times of the day. Users could be warned in advance of high-risk UV exposure periods of the day. The inclusion of a UV monitor a user's UV intake would definitely set it apart from other smartwatches out there. This extension to Apple's already health and wellbeing features will make it the ultimate smartwatch to own that does way more than a regular fitness band. Having all said, this is a patent by Apple which was granted recently and it does not mean that the new feature will come in a future Apple product soon. Would you like this feature on a smartwatch? Let us know in the comments below. Source: Apple Insider
  12. Free

    Version 1.0.1

    21 downloads

    This plugin allows members to conceal the content in their posts so that other members of the need to reply to the topic before they can see the hidden content. With its powerful custom BBcode There are no file editing is required, additional plug-ins has an internal cache to keep all the threads Checked each session, which reduces the number of queries used. Due to the fact that only one additional request is used when viewing a topic and sometimes no queries at all! Features No edits files (it makes the use of plug-in system) 2 options to specify who can bypass Answer: Check, groups members All default areas are covered: Themes (Print preview in the complete set) Profiles (Both threads and posts Tabs) Quote Reply to both Ajax and Non-Ajax Citations (Hidden Content section) E-mail notifications The content is always Hidden (both forums and subscribe to threads digests Too) Easy integration with third party mods Display posts (As long as \ IPSorums \ theme \ Post class is used) New version add your own text Hidden text This is a modification (TB) Hidden Content If you have installed the offer you uninstall it before installing this You must enter the content hidden in the [hide] [/ hide] Tags You can easily make a plugin for CKEditor response boxing going admin -> customization -> editor -> toolbars, and then select to add a button, select Custom and name it hide Content Loading and What ever image you want (I do not make the image) and in the HTML section of Just Add [hide] [/ hide] Now Save it to put it on the editor and job Easy Way to use [hide] [/ hide ] tags, otherwise just manually enter [hide] [/ hide]] tags
  13. Google has now confirmed that the search engine giant tracks its users even when the feature is turned off by users. The news was broken by Princeton Researchers and the Associated Press earlier this week. The report detailed that whether you are on iOS or Android, many Google apps including Google Maps store a user's location whenever the application is open. © Google Applications like Google Maps require access to your location in order to help users navigate in real-time. This means that users have to allow that access, especially on iOS. If users don't want their location data to be stored, Google offers a feature called 'Location History' with can pause the tracking. Google's support page details that the Location History feature can be turned off if a user does not want data like places visited to be stored on Google's servers. "With Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored," the document read. The AP investigation showed this was not entirely true. Google's updated the support page, which now says, "This setting does not affect other location services on your device," and adds, "Some location data may be saved as part of your activity on other services, like Search and Maps.” © Reuters "We have been updating the explanatory language about Location History to make it more consistent and clear across our platforms and help centers." Google said in a statement to AP. If you don't want Google to store your location history and stop tracking altogether, you must disable "Web and App Activity" along with the Location History feature. Turning off the "Web and App Activity” will prevent Google from storing your location data on Google Maps. The new statement by Google and details about the feature is not likely going to sit well with users; however, it is great to see transparency from the search engine giant. Source: Associated Press
  14. Planning to go on a much-needed vacation? Or a solo trip and explore the world? Either way, there are a few things you might want to make sure are on your phone. Here is a list of a few apps we'd advise you to download on your phone for all your travel needs. And don't worry, we've made sure that these are available for both, Apple and Android fanboys. These set of apps are super useful for international as well as domestic travelling and range from trip organizers to bookings: 1. Google Trips: © Google This app is basically a compiler that scans through your trip-related info with the assistance of Google services. Just like your flight and hotel bookings often show up on Google Now, Google trips extracts that information from Gmail. Apart from that, it uses Google's already robust Maps to show you nearby attractions and restaurants. It has a feature that gives you an itinerary for the day if you wish to. It's a neat little app to help keep travel info together. The information is as reliable as the one on Google maps. Users have reported poor to no information of small cities and towns, although larger cities have a well-curated list of things to do and places to visit. Thanks to Google's Local Guide program, the details are even more accurate. Download for Android 2. Easy Currency Converter: © Google Play Store Straightforward name of an app which gets the job done and you can rely on for currency conversions. It updates whenever you are connected and allows you to save numerous currencies offline. All you need to do is select currencies, start your favourites and save for offline. The only drawback seems to be the UI which is by and large primitive. But that's only on Android. Functionality comes over aesthetics here. And don't worry, it has added Bitcoin as well! Download for Android 3. Skyscanner: © Skyscanner This should be your go-to app for affordable flights, car rentals, and hotels. It is an all-in-one for your transport and accommodation needs. It has the most affordable time and flights listed in neat lists. For the adventurer in you, the app can surprise you whenever you type “Everywhere" in the search. It comes up with the cheapest travels to destinations around the world. Added benefits: it has it's own frequent flyer miles program and has no additional fees. It is also smart enough to show you cheaper routes to cities which have multiple airports. For last minute trips, this app should be your first stop. Download for Android 4. Duolingo: © Duolingo One of the best things to bring back from any trip you take to a foreign land is the culture and language of the place. Duolingo allows you to learn new languages on the go for free. This app has been a trusted one for many users to learn the basics of any, among a host of popular languages. It is fun, has a net UI, uses visual, audio and textual aid to help you get a good grip on the language. What's more, you can practice what you learn while travelling, and impress the locals with your knowledge of the same. Download for Android 5. Google Translate: © Google Learning a new language is not easy and while you may know the basics, it is still a foreign language to you. Finding yourself in a new land with little connection may be your idea of a perfect holiday, but sometimes you need to navigate through signs and text which you don't understand to reach a destination or even interact with locals. Google Translate, a long and withstanding service from Google, will come to your rescue. The most exhaustive resource of a number of languages which can help translate images containing text by just pointing your camera at it. You can translate and make the local you're speaking to, listen to the audio. No need to fret about the accent and the pronunciation. Download for Android
  15. Samsung and Apple have a long history of rivalry, something that everyone is familiar with by now. The fight has intensified further in the last few years, as both the companies continue to try to pitch their products as the best. Samsung has gained a lot of ground and is the world's largest smartphone vendor, while Apple rules the premium segment. It is quite normal to see the two giants firing shots at each other, in courts as well as billboards. While the Note 9 is expected to debut soon, Apple's new iPhone lineup is also scheduled to launch in September. Right now, the S9 and the iPhone X are the flag bearers and often a benchmark for the industry. In a series of new video ads, Samsung is targeting the iPhone X and honestly, they've done a pretty good job. © BCCL In the recent 'Upgrade to Galaxy' Ads, the company has compared the iPhone X's LTE download speed with the S9. A shopper is seen asking about the best download speeds on the iPhone X and the 'Genius' store assistant says it is better than the iPhone 8. The shopper then says "The download speeds aren't faster than the Galaxy S9. But I thought it was the “smartphone of the future?" While Apple has a reputation of comparing newer generation iPhones with the older ones, the company is often accused of living in its own bubble. Samsung wants the consumers to look outside of the Apple ecosystem, and see how fast and better things are and can be moving. The second Ad punches Apple for not including the fastest available charger with the iPhone devices. The iPhone X does support fast charging, but a separate adapter needs to be purchased. On the other hand, the S9 ships with a fast charge ready adapter and the user does not need to shell out additional cash. The third Ad emphasizes on the S9+'s higher DxOMark score, 99 vs 97 of the iPhone X. While picture output is an extremely subjective matter, Samsung wants everyone to know that its products are benchmark leading. The fourth Ad is about the Dongle. A user asks if he can listen to music via his wired headphones while charging and the 'Genius' replies that a double dongle will be required. To begin with, the user will have to use a dongle for a 3.5mm jack because the iPhone X only sports a lightning port. Whatever you want to do, the dongle life ain't leaving you! While these jabs at Apple are technically correct, there are a lot of loopholes as well. The faster LTE coverage has been concluded by considering Ookla's SpeedTest, 20,000 tests have been conducted on the S9 while 350,000 tests have been conducted on the iPhone X. The difference in volume is more than enough to understand that the end result isn't very accurate.
  16. If you're one of those serial WhatsApp message forwarders, we have some bad news for you. In a recent blog post by WhatsApp, the company said it will soon be limiting users from forwarding messages to only five people at a time. This decision was taken to curtail the rapidly spreading menace of fake news, especially in India, which has led to misunderstood mob lynching and deaths of several civilians. © Reuters WhatsApp said in the blog post, “Today, we're launching a test to limit forwarding that will apply to everyone using WhatsApp. In India - where people forward more messages, photos, and videos than any other country in the world - we'll also test a lower limit of 5 chats at once and we'll remove the quick forward button next to media messages.” The Indian Government recently issued a notice to WhatsApp to bring more effective solutions to curb this problem. Recently, WhatsApp added a feature that would let users identify forwarded messages with a label. The company also took out full-page advertisements in Indian newspapers to highlight “easy tips” for spotting fake news. © WhatsApp The Centre said in a statement “When rumours and fake news get propagated by mischief mongers, the medium used for such propagation cannot evade responsibility and accountability. If they remain, mute spectators, they are liable to be treated as abettors and thereafter face consequent legal action. It has been conveyed to them in unmistakable terms that it is a very serious issue which deserves a more sensitive response,” © Reuters WhatsApp currently has over 200 million active users in India, where forwarding messages is a common practice. Forwarded messages include simple 'Good Morning' messages and sometimes even fake news, which has led to angry mobs targeting innocent people. Most of these forwarded messages include texts, photos, and videos. Fake messages about children kidnappers on WhatsApp has led to at least 12 people being harassed or physically assaulted. Source: WhatsApp Blog
  17. The Twitter application is seen on a phone screen, August 3, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas White/FilesSAN FRANCISCO: A Twitter Inc policy change on Thursday to increase the service?s credibility cost its 100 most popular users about 2 percent of their...
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