Tag: Tech

Microsoft Set To Make Google Chrome Browser Better With This Latest Development

Microsoft has always used pop-ups, notifications, and warning signs to sway people away from installing Chrome on Windows 10. The software maker even performed battery tests to show how bad Chrome is for your laptop’s battery life. With the news that Microsoft is moving to the Chromium rendering engine for Edge, all of these comparisons and notifications are about to become irrelevant. Microsoft now has a reason to make Chrome run better on Windows.

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“We will offer our Windows platform expertise to improve the experience of all Chromium-based browsers on Windows,” reads a letter from Microsoft to the Chromium open-source community. “We recognize that making the web better on Windows is good for our customers, partners and our business – and we intend to actively contribute to that end. We welcome the opportunity to partner with the Chromium community in the areas of battery life, touch, accessibility, security, and other areas of mutual interest.”Microsoft

Microsoft has naturally held back most of the secret sauce of its Edge rendering engine in order to maintain a browser advantage on Windows. Microsoft has had the benefit of knowing the underlying code of Windows to improve many aspects of Edge behind the scenes, including hardware acceleration, touch and scrolling support, accessibility improvements, and platform support for ARM-based processors. Now that Microsoft is pledging to share this with the Chromium project, Chrome as a browser will improve on Windows. While Microsoft won’t be open sourcing Windows and sharing its code freely, any changes it commits to the Chromium rendering engine to benefit Edge will now benefit Chrome as well. Microsoft’s seemingly strong commitment to Chromium is an interesting twist in the browser wars.

“We expect our engineers to learn and over time become experts in the Chromium project and grow into active and responsible members of the community,” says the Microsoft letter to the open-source community. “We are eager to increase our contributions to the Chromium project and will continue to maintain any contributions we make.”

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If Microsoft is going to make Chrome better on Windows, then why would people even want to use Edge now? That’s a question that Microsoft doesn’t have all the answers for right now. “We recognize the value of competition and intend to bring-to-life our best vision for a Microsoft Edge browser that builds on Chromium open source via differentiated user experience features and connected services.” That certainly sounds like Microsoft will continue building features on top of Edge that aren’t available natively in Chrome, including services like Bing and Cortana. Google has often been very slow to adopt Windows changes in the past. High-resolution screens were growing in popularity years ago, and Chrome didn’t support high DPI for months. Likewise, Microsoft made some great improvements to Windows trackpad support and touchscreens, but Chrome took far too long to support those changes. Now that Microsoft is joining the Chromium project, future hardware changes will be properly supported inside Edge and Chrome and other Chromium-based browsers. That’s certainly a good thing for anyone running Windows.Microsoft

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Egyptian Cabinet announces country’s first smart parking garage

car-parkEgypt’s cabinet has announced the second phase of building Egypt’s first smart parking garage, in Korba district, Cairo. Dubbed the “first smart parking in the Middle East”, the garage is set to be the largest in the region, in terms of both surface area, and the number of cars it can fit.

In a video by the cabinet, which aired on DMC channel, Ebrahim Saber, deputy Cairo governor announced that “Egypt has finished the first phase of the garage and is on its way to operating it. The cost of the first phase is around LE 230 million.”

“This phase was designed to accommodate 900 cars through four levels underground,” Maged Zarif, operating manager of Roxy garage said. He added that the total surface area of the project was 40,000 meters square.

Some more details were revealed in the video, including the fact that the garage will have six automated systems, as well as six entrances and exists.

As for how clients can use the garage’s automated system, Zarif revealed the simple steps that a car owner has to follow in order to park their car, and then, later in the day, get it back,

“There is an elevator,”  Zarif said, “the client would put his car into the elevator, then the machine releases a card. He takes the card and leaves, goes to run his errands and forgets about the car.”

Zarif went on to explain how the car gets to an actual parking spot from the elevator, stressing that the entire process is automated; “The car descends 100% automatically, with no human interference, to a place in the garage.”multi-storey-car-park

The car stays in its designated parking spot underground, until the owner finishes his errands and return to the garage. All the car owner has to do is to “pay through his smart card,” which is given to him upon exiting the garage after parking the car. “Then, he inserts the card in the machine near the gate where he parked his car.”

“The car automatically ascends. This process, either entering or exiting, takes between two and three minutes.”

Back in July, Cairo governorate announced a plan to build several multi-story parking lots, in an attempt to reduce Cairo’s severe traffic congestion, and lack of parking spaces.

The project also aims to eliminate the phenomenon of the “Sayes”, who are individuals who illegally take control of free parking spaces in the streets, then charge customers parking there.

According to a study published by the World Bank in 2013, traffic congestion in Cairo costs Egypt around LE50 million. This is four percent of Egypt’s GDP.

#2020: China To Launch An ‘Artificial Moon’ To Light Up City

A city in China is planning to launch an ‘artificial moon’ that will light up the skies as far as 50 miles around. The so-called illumination satellite set to deploy over the southwestern city of Chengdu in 2020 is touted to be eight times as bright as the real moon. File photo.

Wu Chunfend, chairman of Chengdu Aerospace Science and Technology Microelectronics System Research Institute Co., Ltd, revealed the plan at an event in the city on Oct 10, People’s Daily reports.

It will complement the moon to make Chengu’s night skies brighter when it launches in 2020, potentially serving as a replacement to conventional streetlights.

The artificial moon can be controlled to light up an area between 10 and 80 kilometers wide 6 to 50 miles).
While it might sound implausible, Wu says the technology has been in the works for years and has now ‘matured’ toward readiness.

Whether the plan will ultimately come to fruition, however, remains to be seen.

Chengdu’s artificial moon has already been met with criticism from skeptics and concerned citizens who argue that the light will have adverse effects on animals and astronomical observation, People’s Daily points out.

But according to Kang Weimin, director of the Institute of Optics, School of Aerospace, Harbin Institute of Technology, the light will amount only to a ‘dusk-like glow.’

It’s not the first time humans have attempted to launch a light-reflecting object into the sky – but in the past, such plans have largely ended in failure.

Man Vows To Hack And Delete Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook Page On Sunday

A Taiwanese hacker named Chang Chi-yuan has claimed he would take down Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook page in a live broadcast before appearing to pull out of the plan.

Chang Chi-yuan told his 27,000 followers he would target the Facebook founder’s own account this Sunday.

Then he backtracked today and said he would instead demand money from Facebook in return for flagging up the glitch to Facebook.

He added that he had not expected the world’s media to pick up on his plans.
Chang describes himself as a “bug bounty-hunter” who claims to have exposed flaws in a series of high-profile companies’ security systems, Bloomberg reports.

In the post he said: “Broadcasting the deletion of Facebook founder Zuck’s account. Scheduled to go live”.

Some commenters had criticised his plans, with one saying: “Listen man, if you really have a bug that can take over Zuck’s page, I don’t recommended you do it.

You can just inform them about that bug and you will get rewarded for this.”

Another said: “It’s really sad to prove your strength by hurting others.”
Later Chang wrote in a comment:

“I am canceling my live feed. I have reported the bug to Facebook and I will show proof when i get bounty from Facebook.”

The Taiwanese social media celebrity has previously said: “I don’t want to be a proper hacker, and I don’t even want to be a hacker at all. I’m just bored and try to dabble so that I can earn some money.”

He claims to have targeted the software of major corporations including Apple and Elon Musk’s Tesla.

Windows 10’s next major update arrives in October

Microsoft is officially unveiling the name for its next major Windows 10 update today.

Previously codenamed Redstone 5, the “Windows 10 October 2018 Update” will arrive at some point in October.

It will include a number of new features for devices, like a new cloud clipboard that syncs across machines, a dark File Explorer, an updated snipping tool, improvements to Microsoft Edge, and performance information in the Xbox Game Bar.

Microsoft’s naming follows the Windows 10 April 2018 Update that was released earlier this year.

Microsoft is expected to conclude development of the October update by the end of September, and it should be available to Windows Insiders by early October followed by regular consumers.

Microsoft is now focusing on its next Windows 10 update, codenamed 19H1.

This update will likely arrive in April 2019, and the company has not yet revealed which major features will be included.

Testing for 19H1 begun in late July, and it’s possible we might see the return of the Sets feature that won’t be included in the Windows 10 October 2018 Update.

Meet 14 Year Old Google Employee Who Is Richer Than Your President, Earns Over ₦450 Million Annually

This 14 year old Tanmay Bakshi is said to be among the youngest developers building applications around Watson, IBM’s artificial intelligence platform.

Currently working for Google with a Salary of 1.25 Million US Dollar annually, reports of the young boy has gone viral owing to his high level of intelligence.

Tanmay Bakshi is not looking for success.

He is just interested in building things and now that he has got a good platform to work upon, we may expect him to contribute things for a good cause.

Google Rolls Out Free Wi-fi Hotspot In Nigeria’s Major Cities.

Google has rolled out free fast speed Wi-Fi stations across Lagos.

The Internet giant plans to extend the roll out to four more cities across Nigeria by 2019 as part of its commitments to support Nigerian startups and help grow the country’s bourgeoning vibrant tech scene.

This was made known this week at the Google For Nigeria event in Lagos. According to the tech giant, about 200 Google Stations will be rolled out across the five cities to make the WI-Fi connectivity accessible to millions of Nigerians.

The other cities expected to experience the roll out of the Google Stations before year-end are Abuja, Port Harcourt, Ibadan and Kaduna.

Google said sites where the Wi-Fi hotspots will be installed are markets, transport hubs, shopping malls, universities and other places with high population density.

The company also announced it was extending its Street Views into seven more cities Nigeria cities while the rest of Lagos state will be covered.

Google Street Views will now be available in where the service is available in Kano, Ibadan, Kaduna, Port Harcourt, Benin City, Abuja and Onitsha.

Google For Nigeria. Image The Cable
Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai takes shot with Nigerian youths at the Google For Nigeria in Lagos.

The Cable at the moment, the Wi-Fi connectivity is currently available at about five significant locations in Lagos.

They are Ikeja City Mall (ICM), Computer Village, MMA2 Domestic Airport, The Palms Mall and Landmark center.

Plans to roll out in more locations across Nigeria will further bring the Internet access home to millions of Nigeria.

Country Director, Google Nigeria, Juliet Chiazor described the development as channel to help Nigerians and people in Africa better leverage the many opportunities on the internet.

“Today, at our second Google for Nigeria event, we announced more products and programs to help more people in Nigeria and across Africa benefit from the opportunities the web has to offer,” she said.

“We’re announcing Google Station for Nigeria: a program to provide high-quality, high-speed Wi-Fi hotspots in partnership with 21st Century, one of the largest fiber network providers in Nigeria.

“Google Station will be rolling out in 200 locations in five cities across Nigeria by the end of 2019, bringing Wi-Fi to millions of people,” she added. She also reckoned that the initiative would help address issues of affordability and access to data as well as broadband penetration.

Nigeria’s broadband penetration is only 22 percent. Government is aiming to up the figure to 30 percent by year end to further deepen the penetration.

Similarly Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai commenting on the initiative on his Twitter page, said “Excited, we’re expanding Google Station to Nigeria, helping to make the internet more accessible to everyone with free wifi hotspots rolling out through the next year #GoogleForNigeria.”

Nigeria is the fifth country where the Google Station will be launched, after India, Indonesia, Thailand and Mexico.

#Future: Rolls Royce Goes Into Flying Taxis, To Be Ready By 2019 For Testing

Whenever the name Rolls Royce is mentioned, it comes with class, wealth and royalty.

The company seems to be diversifying into flying taxis. Remember the likes of Telsa, Uber, Airbus and some other auto firm are already in this race, so Rolls Royce has joined the bandwagon.

Rolls-Royce has revealed more details around its plans to launch a five-seater flying taxi and confirmed that a prototype vehicle will take to the skies next year.

The timeline for the launch was announced during a keynote presentation at the Farnborough Airshow, in Hampshire.

Rolls-Royce expects the taxi to be operational within the next three to five years.

The aerospace company has purportedly ploughed millions into the development of the vehicle, which has cost Rolls-Royce in the ‘single-digit millions of pounds’.

The hybrid-electric vehicle will be capable of both vertical take-off and landing, bypassing the need for a runway.

Rolls-Royce says its plane will transport five passengers at speeds of up to 250mph (402 km/h) with a maximum range of 500 miles (800 km).

The Rolls-Royce presentation allowed the world-leading engineering company to divulge more details on its flying taxi concept, which it teased ahead of the keynote.

Rolls-Royce believes flying taxis will revolutionize the way people travel.
Speaking during the keynote, head of Rolls-Royce’s electrical team, Rob Watson said: ‘In this market, you will see something like this flying within three to five years, and we will demonstrate the system in two years.

Once it has reached the right altitude, the propellers on the wing can be folded away, reducing drag and cabin noise, with the craft relying upon the two rear propellers for thrust, Rolls-Royce claims.

Rolls-Royce says its flying taxi will be able to make use of pre-existing infrastructures, such as heliports on-top of buildings and airports.

‘Building on our existing expertise in electric technologies and aviation, Rolls-Royce is actively exploring a range of possible markets and applications for electric and hybrid electric flight.

Rolls-Royce has a strong track record as pioneers in aviation.

‘From developing the first turbo-prop and jet engines to creating the world’s most efficient large civil aero-engine and vertical take-off and landing solutions, we have a very strong pedigree.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Appointed To Board Of Twitter

Yesterday Twitter, Inc announced the appointments of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Robert Zoellick to Twitter’s Board of Directors (the “Board”wink as new independent directors, effective immediately.

Marjorie Scardino will be stepping down from the Board for personal reasons at the end of the year.

“Ngozi and Bob are distinguished leaders with unparalleled global perspective and policy expertise,” said Omid Kordestani, Executive Chairman of Twitter.

“We are confident they will be incredible assets to Twitter as we continue to focus on driving transparency and making Twitter a safer, healthier place for everyone who uses our service.”

Mr. Kordestani added, “On behalf of the Twitter Board, I want to thank Marjorie for her service on the Twitter Board over the past five years.

Marjorie joined the Board in 2013 and has been a strong voice on our board as our Lead Independent Director.

Marjorie’s insights and contributions have been invaluable, and all of us at Twitter wish her the best and look forward to her contributions through the end of the year.”

“Twitter is a powerful platform that continues to be used as a strong connector for the global community, and I’m thrilled to be a part of the team,” said Dr. Okonjo-Iweala. “As we strive to build a better world for tomorrow, Twitter can amplify messages and drive critical conversations around today’s most important issues.

I look forward to partnering with Twitter’s talented directors and leadership team as we work to leverage the power of Twitter for good.”

“I’m honored to join a company as purposeful as Twitter,” added Mr. Zoellick.

“Twitter has made meaningful progress in expanding and encouraging global dialogue and creativity on its platform, and I’m privileged to work with Jack, Omid and the rest of the Board to continue the strong momentum underway.”

Additional details regarding the appointments can be found in a Form 8-K filed by Twitter with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Tesla Car Use Thousands of Laptops cells To Generate Power

Have you always dreamed of seeing how the battery packs of Tesla Model S, X and 3 electric car looks like.

You will also see what’s inside the battery parks when they are when dismantled .

The Model S electric car has a 85 kWh/400volts battery pack sitting below the seats.

Each battery pack consists of 16 modules with 444 cells 25volts per module and a total of 7,104 battery cells per battery pack.

The newer Model 3 has 2,976 cells arranged in groups of 31 in its 50kWh battery pack for a 220 miles of range and 4,416 cells arranged in groups of 46 in its 75 kWh battery park for a 310 miles of range.

Each lithium ion battery cell contains the type found inside a laptop battery pack ,but a little tougher.

The 18650 cells (18-diameter/65-length, laptop batteries) are used in the Model S and Model X cars while Model 3 has 2170 cell (i.e. 21-diameter/70-length).

It stores about 30% more power than the 18650 cells.
The current found in 2170 cells is around 5,750-6,000 mA, which is almost twice the 3,000 mA current found in the 18650 cells.

The thousands of 18650 and 2170 lithium cells used in Model S, X and Model 3 are made by Tesla and Panasonic at the Nevada Gigafactory.

These battery packs that carry up to 350-400 volts are quite different from what is used in the conventional petrol or diesel powered vehicles that uses 12 volts batteries.

Ex-apple Employee Risks Prison Term For Stealing Apple’s Self-driving Car Secrets.

A former Apple staff has been arrested on charges of stealing self-driving car technology from Apple and sharing trade secrets to a Chinese electric vehicle company called Xpeng Motors.

He was arrested on July 7 at the security checkpoint at San Jose International Airport on the way to board a “last-minute” flight to Hangzhou, China.

This is coming during the peak of a heated trade war between the United States and China.

The U.S. federal prosecutors accused the ex-Apple hardware engineer, Xiaolang Zhang, of copying over 40 GB of Apple intellectual property to his wife’s laptop before submitting his resignation letter and leaving Apple in April to work for Xpeng Motors in China.

According to Reuters, the downloaded data includes a 25-page secret blueprint of a circuit board for a self-driving car, which investigators say “serves as the basis for the instant criminal charge.”

He took paternity leave in April 2018, and traveled to China, but was flagged for suspicious behavior when his supervisor discovered that he ran extensive searches of secret databases and returned to Apple’s campus on April 28, at a time when he was still supposed to be in China for paternity leave. On April 30, Zhang resigned from Apple to work for Xpeng Motors in China, guess he was more loyal to his country than he was to the Biggest Tech company in the world.

On June 27, the FBI questioned Zhang and served a search warrant at his house.

Agents later learned that Zhang purchased a “last-minute” ticket to China for July 7, on which day he was arrested.

He faces lengthy prison time if convicted and at the same time puts other Chinese workers in America in bad position because US president Trump have accused China of stealing American technology. Guess this arrest have proved him right.

Amazing Wheelchair that Can Climb Stairs And Overcome Obstacles.

This innovative wheelchair which started as a project by five masters students from two universities – the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and Zurich University of the Arts is set to hit the market this year 2018 and will be made affordable for all.

The basic wheelchair design has remained the same, however, the technology behind it has progressed greatly and is very futuristic.

With this advanced electric wheelchair people with disabilities no longer need people to carry them up the stairs, all they need to is push a few buttons and use the joystick.

The amazing features are,
Both wheels and tracks to allow the chair to overcome all manner of obstacles.

Various mode settings will ensure the user’s safety when stationary, on slippery surfaces and steep inclines.
The chair will even lift them up to reach objects above their reach or simply to allow for more comfortable eye-contact during conversation.

Self-balancing technology also enables the chair to turn on the spot, as well as to mount curbs without getting stuck.

The team is looking for funds to be able to mass-produce this amazing technology so it be available and are already sourcing for funds on PATREON, a crowd-funding page.

Speaking on the group’s Patreon crowd-funding page, the team said: ‘During our bachelor studies we built the first prototype of the wheelchair.’

It was a great experience and we got very good feedback from people all over the world.

‘This is why we decided to continue this project and design a new wheelchair that can be brought to the market.’

Users will be able to control the chair with a joystick or simply by shifting their body weight.

The project started in late 2014 and this is 2018, they believe it will hit the market real soon.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

YouTube Aims to Crack Down on Fake News

Google’s YouTube says it is taking several steps to ensure the veracity of news on its service by cracking down on misinformation and supporting news organizations.

The company said Monday it will make “authoritative” news sources more prominent, especially in the wake of breaking news events when misinformation can spread quickly.

At such times, YouTube will begin showing users short text previews of news stories in video search results, as well as warnings that the stories can change.

The goal is to counter the fake videos that can proliferate immediately after shootings, natural disasters and other major happenings.

For example, YouTube search results prominently showed videos purporting to “prove” that mass shootings like the one that killed at least 59 in Las Vegas were fake, acted out by “crisis actors.”

In these urgent cases, traditional video won’t do, since it takes time for news outlets to produce and verify high-quality clips.

So YouTube aims to short-circuit the misinformation loop with text stories that can quickly provide more accurate information.

Company executives announced the effort at YouTube’s New York offices.
Those officials, however, offered only vague descriptions of which sources

YouTube will consider authoritative. Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan said the company isn’t just compiling a simple list of trusted news outlets, noted that the definition of authoritative is “fluid” and then added the caveat that it won’t simply boil down to sources that are popular on YouTube.

He added that 10,000 human reviewers at Google — so-called search quality raters who monitor search results around the world — are helping determine what will count as authoritative sources and news stories.

Alexios Mantzarlis, a Poynter Institute faculty member who helped Facebook team up with fact-checkers (including The Associated Press), said the text story snippet at the top of search results was “cautiously a good step forward.”

But he worried what would happen to fake news videos that were simply recommended by YouTube’s recommendation engine and would appear in feeds without being searched.

He said it would be preferable if Google used people instead of algorithms to vet fake news.

“Facebook was reluctant to go down that path two and half years ago and then they did,” he said.

YouTube also said it will commit $25 million over the next several years to improving news on YouTube and tackling “emerging challenges” such as misinformation.

That sum includes funding to help news organizations around the world build “sustainable video operations,” such as by training staff and improving production facilities.

The money would not fund video creation.
The company is also testing ways to counter conspiracy videos with generally trusted sources such as Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Britannica.

For common conspiracy subjects — what YouTube delicately calls “well-established historical and scientific topics that have often been subject to misinformation,” such as the moon landing and the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing — Google will add information from such third parties for users who search on these topics.

WhatsApp Launches Campaign in India to Spot Fake Messages

After hoax messages on WhatsApp fueled deadly mob violence in India, the Facebook-owned messaging platform published full-page advertisements in prominent English and Hindi language newspapers advising users on how to spot misinformation.

The advertisements are the first measure taken by the social media company to raise awareness about fake messages, following a warning by the Indian government that it needs to take immediate action to curb the spread of false information.

While India is not the only country to be battling the phenomenon of fake messaging on social media, it has taken a menacing turn here — in the past two months more than a dozen people have died in lynchings sparked by false posts spread on WhatsApp that the victims were child kidnappers.

Ironically, the digital media giant took recourse to traditional print media to disseminate its message. The advertisements, which began with the line “Together we can fight false information” give 10 tips on how to sift truth from rumors and will also be placed in regional language newspapers.

They call on users to check photos in messages carefully because photos and videos can be edited to mislead; check out stories that seem hard to believe; to “think twice before sharing a post that makes you angry and upset”; check out other news websites or apps to see if the story is being reported elsewhere.

It also warned that fake news often goes viral and asked people not to believe a message just because it is shared many times.

WhatsApp published full page advertisements in The Times of India newspaper giving 10 tips on how to fight false information.

Internet experts called the media blitz a good first step, but stressed the need for a much larger initiative to curb the spread of fake messages that authorities are struggling to tackle.

“There has to be a repetitive pattern. People have to be told again and again and again,” says Pratik Sinha who runs a fact checking website called Alt News and hopes that the social media giant will run a sustained campaign.

“That kind of fear mongering that has gone on on WhatsApp, that is not going to go away by just putting out an advertisement one day a year. This needs a continuous form of education.”

Some pointed out that although newspapers are popular in India, many of the users of the messaging platform, specially in rural areas, were unlikely to be newspaper readers.

The fake posts that have spread on WhatsApp have ranged from sensationalist warnings of natural calamities, fake stories with political messaging to bogus medical advise.

The false messages that warned parents about child abductors were sometimes accompanied by gruesome videos of child abuse.

Experts said the that the need to curb fake news has also assumed urgency ahead of India’s general elections scheduled for next year — WhatsApp has become the favored medium for political parties to target voters.

With about 200 million users, India is its largest market for the messaging service.

Vice president Yemi Osinbajo Visits Google Headquarters In The US,

Vice President of Nigeria prof. Yemi Osinbajo today paid a visit to Google headquarters at the Silicon Valley in the US. He was received by Google CEO, Sundar Pichai.

He met and interacted with Nigerians working in Google headquarter.

Osinbajo is in the US to promote tech innovation and entertainment industries in Nigeria.

He will later tonight speak at LinkedIn headquarters at an interactive session.

6 things you need to do the moment your phone is lost or stolen

9bwufxw2hnitqnkaho2szi-650-802018151411.jpgLosing a smartphone either to theft, mishandling, or any other mishap can be a really horrible experience. Normally, the next step to take after the occurrence of a smartphone loss is to try to recover the device, before replacement comes to mind — i.e when recovery fails.

The actions below are some of the best things we think you should do swiftly as soon as you discover your device has gone missing.

1. Track or Locate the Device

The first advised step is to determine where you device is. This will help tell if your phone was stolen or mislaid, or you forget it at an event you attended.

If you have tracking and monitoring apps previously installed on the device, you can easily track them. There are a good number Android tracking apps available on the Google Play Store and likewise, App Store, for tracking iOS devices.

Alternatively, you can use the services of phone manufacturers to locate your phone. “Find My iPhone” is a perfect phone tracking service for iPhone users while the “Find My Device” is for Android devices.

These apps and services allows you remotely “call” your device to see if it around you (maybe lying somewhere in the kitchen drawer) and give map and satellite locations, too.

2. Password change

Either after successful tracking of your phone and you discover that it is in an unknown location, or all tracking efforts have proved abortive and your phone is still unreachable, the next best thing to do is the change the password of vital apps with sensitive information.

Passwords of apps like banking apps, email, cloud storage, electronic wallet, and social media apps. Some tracking apps and services even allow you remotely lock your device with a new security code to deny the anyone in possession of your phone access to the contents.

3. Contact your network carrier

If you still cannot reach your phone, or you are now sure that it is in someone else’s possession, the next point of action would be to contact your network carrier to block services on the phone (SIM card) and also commence service retrieval processes.

4. Contact your Bank

It is always recommended that you contact the financial institution(s) through which you make monetary transactions on the missing device. Inform them about the state of your phone and instruct them to temporarily restrict the number from carrying out any transactions till you retrieve your phone or number.

This action is particularly important in Nigeria as phone thieves can gain access to your Bank Verification Number (BVN) by dialing a USSD code on your device. And once this occurs, all the monies in your bank account can be withdrawn.

5. Contact relatives and work buddies

It is also highly recommended that you notify relative and the people at your workplace about your missing device, particularly if you use the phone to access work-related data and information. Inform your colleagues and employer will be an awesome idea.

According to TomsGuide,

“This allows the company to take preventive steps to secure its data. The company’s IT department may also be able to delete company data from your phone remotely.”

6. Wipe/ Erase contents of the phone

Depending on the contents of the missing phone, this is actually the last thing that is advised to do — i.e if the likelihood of ever getting the phone back is zero (or very close to zero).

The good thing about this is that it can also be done remotely — via phone tracking/monitoring apps and services, or authorities with relevant equipment to remotely wipe data off a missing/stolen phone.

However, you should know that after wiping data off a phone, the chances of recovering the device later in the future are slim.

The above 6 items are some of the precautionary actions you should take once you notice your smartphone is missing. Doing these will ensure 2 things:

  • 1. That you recover your phone.
  • 2. That is the case where phone recovery fails, you do not lose other things (like money, data, etc.) in the long run.

HTC Announces Plan To Sack 1500 Workers

7352433_images9_jpeg_jpegfdb2ae2272d49a281724a44126e0a27dTAIWAN, JULY 2ND. As revenue continues to dwindle and in a desperate effort for survival, struggling Taiwan based smartphone makers HTC has announced plans to slash 1500 staff members of their global workforce. The fortunes of HTC has no doubt nosedived drastically in recent years.

This indicate that the floor is about to cave-in for the struggling Taiwanese mobile phone maker that once sold one in 10 smartphones globally, but has seen its market share decline amid mounting competition from Apple, Samsung, LG and Chinese rivals.

HTC said it would cut 1,500 jobs in its manufacturing unit in Taiwan. This represents about a quarter of the 6,450 staff it employed globally as of June, data from the company shows.

“Today HTC announces plan to optimize the manufacturing organizations in Taiwan … This plan will allow more effective and flexible resource management going forward,” the company says in a statement made available to Reuters.

This massive layoffs follows a $1.1 billion deal late last year under which HTC lost 2,000 staff, mainly handset engineers, to Alphabet’s Google, casting doubts over the company’s longer-term future. Recall that HTC’s president Chialin Chang resigned in February this year following numerous challenges facing the company.

I wonder what went wrong with HTC considering the fact that they made some of the best smartphones few years ago. For a company who has over 19000 staff in 2013, now they’ll be less than 5000.

LG G6 ON T-MOBILE STARTS RECEIVING ANDROID OREO UPDATES

T-Mobile has announced the rollout of Android 8.0 Oreo for the LG G6 tied to its network just a few weeks since the unlocked version started receiving the update. The carrier had unveiled a list of devices from LG that would receive Oreo, and G6 is one of the five devices listed at the time.

The carrier’s support page featuring all the details about the Oreo update is also up. Just like the unlocked version of the device, the T-Mobile variant did not get Android 7.1 but will jump to Android 8.0. However, the latest version of Android Oreo now is 8.1 and there is no indication whether the update would launch for the device since Android P is scheduled to launch in the near future.

According to TmoNews, the update weighs in at 1729.8MB and brings standard Oreo features such as password auto-fill, picture-in-picture, notification dots. It also includes UI enhancements for LG’s custom skin.

If you have a T-Mobile version of the G6 and haven’t already received the update notification, you might need to check every day as there is a daily limit on the number of devices that can be updated until July 30.

Sony Xperia XZ3: what we expect

The Sony Xperia XZ3 is currently rumored to arrive in the second half of 2018, and if it does we’d like to see major changes over the Xperia XZ2 it will be replacing.

It’s not that the Xperia XZ2 was a bad phone, but when you compare it to what rivals are offering for the same, or in some cases less, money it’s difficult to get excited about Sony’s current flagship handset.

Sony has a lot of potential in mobile, with a long history in the market and a lot of great technology at its disposal. In recent years, though, it hasn’t been able to quite find the right combination of features, form and function to really make its smartphones stand out from the crowd.
The hope is that the Sony Xperia XZ3 may, finally, move away from the traditional ‘Sony look’ that’s been used for the last few years, bringing itself and the brand back to the fore.
XZ3 rumors are slowly starting to appear online, and we’ll be updating this page with everything you need to know as soon as news breaks, but we’ve also offered up Sony suggestions on what we’d like to see from the new Xperia XZ3 – just in case it’s still looking for some inspiration.

Globacom Emerges Fourth African Admired Brand

7331259_globacom890x395_jpeg85a5ac1399b90e6105b2ec18bf9782c3Telecommunications company, Globacom, has emerged as the fourth most admired African brand.

According to a survey by Brand Africa, Globacom was ‘incredibly consistent’ among the companies that featured in the survey.

The Chairman of Brand Africa, Thebe Ikalafeng, noted that the study was conducted by the company’s partner, GeoPoll.

He said, “The valuation is a multi-tier royalty relief methodology that blends a brand’s financial performance and consumer admiration to create a unique index and ranking.

“One of the primary drivers of Africa’s growth lies in stimulating and growing thriving African and global businesses and brands in Africa. Consumers are the ultimate arbiters of that success. Thus, the Brand Africa 100 signals which brands are getting it right on the continent.”

Other African brands that made the list of top 25 include Jumia, United Bank for Africa, MTN, DSTV, Tiger Brands and Amarula of South Africa, Econet and Kwese of Zimbabwe, Ankara Clothing of Ghana, Tusker of Kenya, Africell of Gambia and Ecobank of Togo.

MTN, Glo, Airtel Set To Increase Data, Call Tariffs – Phones

MTN-Data-Plans

Nigerians may soon begin to pay higher tariffs on calls and data as the telecommunications companies in the country brace up for a new cyber security levy to be implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

This is coming on the heels of a directive from the CBN to all banks on the collection of 0.005 per cent levy on all electronic transactions into a National Cyber Security Fund.

Section 44 of the Cybercrime Prohibition and Prevention Act 2015, which the CBN seeks to implement, states that “there shall be paid and credited into the Fund established under subsection (1) of this section and domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria: a levy of 0.005 per cent of all electronic transactions by the businesses specified in the second schedule to this Act.”

Businesses affected by this charge include GSM service providers – MTN, Glo, Airtel, 9Mobile etc. and all telecommunication companies; Internet service providers; banks and other financial institutions; insurance companies and Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

However, speaking at a press conference in Lagos yesterday, the President of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Mr. Olusola Teniola, said the implementation of the levy is ill-timed, considering the fact that the telecom operators are currently battling with multiple taxation, which has risen from 26 in 2015 to 38 under the current administration.

“At this point, if the CBN decides to go ahead with the implementation, we will have no choice but to pass the cost to the subscribers. Nigerians should be ready to pay more for calls and data subscriptions,” he said.

Teniola added that with the additional burden, the operators might also consider downsizing their staff strength to stay afloat.

ATCON, which is a professional, non-profit, non-political umbrella organization of telecommunications companies of Nigeria, said all its members have concluded that the only way to survive with the new levy is to increase tariff across board.

“The eventual implementation of this levy of 0.005 per cent would cripple, if not render useless government and private sector efforts to speed up the broadband penetration in Nigeria and our association has a mandate to protect the investment in the telecom industry from undue pressure from the government in the form of yet additional burden on our members that are already overtaxed by all tiers of governments,” the ATCON President added.

Google Agrees To Pay $11 Million To Owners Of Suspended Adsense Accounts – Webmasters

Google has agreed to create a fund of 11 million dollars as part of a a class action settlement for terminating or disabling a publisher’s Adsense accounts, but not paying out any balances that the publisher had at the time.

The class action complaint filed by a California company named Free Range Content, Inc. alleged that Google would shut down an Adsense account shortly before a payment was to be made and then deny the publisher the balance owed on the account.

The AdSense program is enormously popular. This popularity translates annually to billions of dollars payable to AdSense publishers – Google’s parlance for website operators that host its ads. But as the plaintiff and many other publishers have found, Google often shuts down AdSense accounts shortly before a periodic payment is due and then denies the publisher the entirety of the expected payment, notwithstanding all the ads the publisher already has served to visitors to its website during the payment period.

This practice has sparked numerous bitter complaints detailed at various places on the web. For example, one self-described AdSense publisher stated the following: “It’s common knowledge among SEOs that AdSense tends to be disabled a few days before the supposed payout. I haven’t lost any big sum – only $2000 but I know one person that lost $40,000. It was all legitimate traffic coming straight from Google themselves, no click fraud no bought traffic etc. PS: I was using AdSense from 2008 to 2013 – over 5 years so it’s not like only new users got banned.”1

While the Plaintiffs ultimately feel they would have won the case, they also acknowledged in the settlement agreement that they “recognize that Google raised defenses as to both liability and damages, which created a material risk that Plaintiffs would not have prevailed.”

Google on the other hand has “has at all times denied—and continues to deny—any and all alleged wrongdoing. Specifically, Google denies that its conduct concerning Google AdSense violates any law, and it is prepared to continue its vigorous defense, including at summary judgment and trial. Even so, taking into account the uncertainty and risks inherent in summary judgment and trial, Google has concluded that continuing to defend this Action would be burdensome and expensive.”

With both the plaintiff and Google recognizing that this case could have gone either way, they both felt it was in the best interests to settle rather than continue what would be an expensive case.

As part of the settlement agreement an 11 million dollar fund will be created, with no more than $5,000 being paid to Class Representatives, no more than $2,750,000 being paid to the class action lawyers, and $116,045 reimbursed to the lawyers for costs and expenses. The rest of the money will be used to pay Settlement Class Members whose accounts were terminated or disabled by Adsense and were not paid the current balance of their accounts.
Amount of payment is based on various criteria

The amount of money that a claimant will be paid depends on the payment group they would fall under, which is based on whether a notice of dispute was sent in a timely manner, when they were terminated, and what Adsense agreement their account was bound by. For “Payment Group 1”, the publisher would receive 100% of the balance, “Payment Group 2” would receive 50%, and “Payment Group 3” would receive 30%.

The minimum amount that can be claimed is $3.00 and any remaining distributions will be distributed as a “cy pres” award, which is proposed to go to Public Justice Foundation and Public Counsel.

For those who have had their Adsense accounts terminated or disabled by Google and were not paid the balance, you can visit the http://www.adsensepublishersettlement.com/ site to submit a claim.
Should Google’s actions be considered criminal?

Some are also concerned about the heavy handed actions of Google and their actions having no consequences.

For example, a user on Hacker News was baffled that an action like this would not be considered a criminal act. Terminating an account for breaking policy is one thing, but taking their money is another thing altogether.

After posting this story, Bad Packets Report pointed us towards an old Paste-bin post from 2014, which was supposedly from a Google employee that stated that these bans were an attempt by Google to increase earnings. Whether or not this post is true is not known and could be completely fabricated, but it does make for an interesting read.