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Facebook isn’t letting Australians view or share news

Even Google is threatening to shut down its search engine

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Facebook has blocked Australian users from sharing or viewing news content on the platform. The announcement is a response to proposed legislation in Australia that would force tech platforms to pay news publishers for content.

Several government-backed health and emergency pages were also blocked, though Facebook later confirmed it was a mistake. The ban sparked an immediate backlash, with many Australians angry about their sudden loss of access to trusted and authoritative sources.

“What the proposed law introduced in Australia fails to recognize is the fundamental nature of the relationship between our platform and publishers,” Campbell Brown, Facebook’s vice president of global news partnerships, wrote in a blog post. “Contrary to what some have suggested, Facebook does not steal news content. Publishers choose to share their stories on Facebook.”

Facebook firmly says that it has little to gain from third-party news links and is fine with pulling the cord, instead of paying the media companies. The company also said it helped Australian publishers earn about AU$ 407m (US$ 316m) last year through referrals, but for itself “the platform gain from the news is minimal.”

According to Facebook, news stories make up less than 4% of what people see on the site. If no deal is reached, the tech companies and media organizations will move to arbitration.

During a January hearing in Australia’s senate, Facebook had suggested it could block content in the country if the bill becomes law. Google also threatened in the same hearing to shut down its search engine in Australia altogether.

Many also suggest that Facebook’s solid stance against the Australian government is a precedent for other countries. Technology companies are increasingly under pressure from governments due to a host of issues like Apple’s 30% App Store tax, the big tech debate, and now, monetization of content.

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Cybersecurity updates for Google Chrome

Safety, speed, and security

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So much of our digital space’s safety relies on securing our privacy from privy eyes. This is why Google released updates for Chrome to easily navigate and control your privacy settings.

Per-site permissions

It can be disconcerting when certain websites require access to one’s microphone, location, and camera. But, with the updated site safety controls, it’s now easier to now keep track of which site has permission to specific information.

How-to

  1. Tap the lock icon on the left side to open the updated panel. There, you’ll find what permissions are granted for a particular site.
  2. From there, you will be able to easily toggle between sharing and not sharing access to important information for apps and sites.

In an upcoming release, an option will be added to delete a site from browsing history in Chrome.

Cybersafety and cybersecurity updates

Google is expanding its Site Isolation. If you haven’t kept up, this is Google’s security feature that protects people from malicious websites. It works by processing each site separately, so they can’t access data they’re not supposed to. Well with this update, Site Isolation will be covering a broader range of sites, as well as extensions.

With speed and security in mind, Google’s update has one more thing for us: phishing detection. With phishing continuing to be a leading threat on the web, Chrome has been improved with even better image processing in Chrome. Phishing detection is now 50 times faster.

Both site isolation and phishing detection updates have not only optimized safety but also, Chrome’s speed and battery use – keeping you safe and swift.

On the topic of speed,

Chrome Actions have made tasks easy and fast. From, typing “delete history” to “edit passwords,” Chrome Actions performs tasks at your beck and call. Since its introduction in November 2020, people have been using Chrome Actions millions of times. And now, there are even more tasks you can have Chrome do.

Try these out:

For example, typing in “safety check” allows security checks of passwords and scan for malicious extensions. And, typing “manage security settings” or “manage sync” enables quick access to relevant controls.

These new updates are coming to Chrome on Android, Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS in the upcoming weeks.

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mWell: new health & wellness app for Filipinos

Because, really, we needed this.

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Metro Pacific Health Tech Corporation (MPHTC) is looking to transform the digital health care ecosystem. With what, you ask? Well, with mWell. mWell is a health and wellness app made for every Filipino’s holistic well-being by providing you the medical aid you deserve through a secure digital space.

mWell has partnered with CareSpan, Philcare, Keralty Clinic, board-certified doctors and health practitioners. That way, they can give you access to the best digital medical aid.

For doctors, clinics, and hospitals

Doctors, clinics, and hospitals all over the country are welcome to sign up to mWell. With it, they can set up their own virtual clinic and virtual labs for free. From there, they’ll be able to easily book and manage digital appointments, access patients’ confidential medical records, and issue e-prescriptions.

If you’re a board-certified doctor who isn’t tech savvy, don’t worry. You’ll be given a quick and easy training to be able to access all of mWell’s services so you can immediately digitize your practice and reach more patients nationwide.

For the everyday Filipino

mWell provides everyday Filipinos access to professional consultations, wellness programs, products, and drug delivery services. With the partnership of Medicard, you can book COVID-19 testing services.

Starting August, mWell will let you access e-Pharmacies. From buying prescribed meds and getting them delivered to your doorstep, to buying PhilCare health insurance products for dengue, accidents, and emergencies, they’ve got you covered. They’re even launching nationwide virtual medical missions.

More coming

On September, mWell is partnering with Aktivolabs to let you monitor and track physical activities, sleep schedule, and stress so you can work on improving your health and wellness. And, for PLDT Home customers, you can avail free consultation with mWell doctors. The app is available for Android and iOS.

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5 Memoji-inspired outfit ideas: His and Hers

Play dress up virtually with the public beta preview of iOS 15

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Unveiled at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote are new customization options coming to Memoji on iMessage, including a much-awaited feature: outfit selection.

In 2019, Apple rolled out the most significant Memoji customization update. That year, users were able to apply makeup, change hair color, wear piercings and jewelry, and pick from different styles of headwear and glasses. The only thing missing was being able to choose clothing.

If you have the public beta of iOS 15 installed, you can now virtually play dress up and plan outfits for those trips you’ve been dreaming of and activities you’ve been deprived of after a year of quarantine.

#1 Romantic date night 

Who doesn’t like dressing up for a romantic date that will take you from a dinner at a restaurant to a cocktail or two at a speakeasy? Changing out of pajamas can do wonders to your mood.

His: a crisp long sleeved button down and his favorite hat

Hers: a flirty dress and statement earrings

#2 Stroll at the botanical garden

Has your apartment turned into a mini greenhouse with all the indoor plants you’ve adopted? Driving to the nearest botanical garden will either make you feel zen and content, or convince you that your plant collection is insufficient.

His: a breezy shirt and a pair of sunglasses

Hers: a colorful sundress and a top bun

Safari adventure

If there’s anything we learned about ourselves this past year, it’s that we all desire to be out in nature from time to time. A safari trip might not be realistic right now, but no one’s stopping you from imagining one.

His: a two pocket utility shirt and a cowboy hat

Hers: a loose tunic and a fedora

Sunny weekend at the beach

No summer is complete without a beach trip; and no beach trip is complete without some refreshing piña coladas, swimsuits that show off your summer bod, and copious amounts of sunscreen.

His: a linen top and a pair of polarized sunglasses

Hers: a long coverup, a pair of pearl earrings, and a straw hat 

Hike in the fall

Not a beach person? Maybe the mountains and autumn foliage are more your jam. Just make sure to stay warm from top to toe without sacrificing style and comfort.

His: a cable knit sweater and a fisherman’s hat

Hers: a turtleneck sweater and a beanie

BONUS: Big business convention

There’s never a bad time to get a good blazer or a pantsuit. You might not be able to wear them out to trade shows yet, but looking your best for Zoom meetings is always appropriate.

His: an olive green knit blazer, a black oxford shirt, and a skinny tie

Hers: a beige blazer, a pair of cat-eye glasses, and a pair of gold earrings

Apart from more than 40 different outfits, multicolored headwear, and new options for glasses, iOS 15 offers nine new Memoji stickers that include a shaka, a hand wave, a light bulb moment, and more.

iOS 15 will be available this fall as a free software update. If you’re interested in trying new Memoji outfits now, you can sign up for the public beta here: https://beta.apple.com/sp/betaprogram/

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