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Google is shutting down Google Plus after data leaks

Ten months to migrate your data

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When was the last time you managed your Google Plus account? If you’ve touched it within the last six months, one thousand points to you.

Among all of the major social networks alive today, Google’s struggling contender has not enjoyed the same popularity as Facebook or Twitter. Undoubtedly, Google Plus lives on borrowed time.

Now, a massive cover-up has placed the inevitable final nail on the platform’s coffin. Reported by the Wall Street Journal, Google suffered an enormous data breach. The blunder exposed hundreds of thousands of Google Plus accounts to outside access. However, instead of telling its users, Google chose to hide it from everyone, citing the lack of tangible damage.

According to the report, Google CEO Sundar Pichai was in on the deception. Google chose to avoid the same fate that befell Facebook after the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Following the exposé, Google announced that the company will shut down Google Plus’ consumer version. The move attempts to make amends for the breach and the succeeding deception.

Further, Google has admitted that the platform never took off. In a blog post, the company bared that 90 percent of its users spend less than five seconds on Google Plus.

Within ten months, the company will cease consumer operations for the social network. Instead, Google will pool its resources for Enterprise users of Google Plus. Despite the lack of consumers, companies still rely on the service for corporate communication. As such, Google will tailor the platform for corporate use, adding in more specialized features.

Regardless of Google’s deception, total deletion is a more strategic move to prevent further damage. At the very least, the move affects a minuscule portion of the company’s user base.

However, if you’re one of the paltry few who maintains a kicking Google Plus account, it’s time to migrate your data into a bigger (and hopefully, more secure) social network.

SEE ALSO: 8 most important announcements at Google I/O 2018

Enterprise

Huawei acknowledges the US ban is hindering its sales

But the US government isn’t ready to negotiate

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For the first time since the U.S. imposed trade sanctions on Huawei, the company has acknowledged that its sales have been affected. Even though the company’s revenue grew by almost 20 percent to nearly US$ 121 billion, it says the numbers could’ve been higher had the sanctions not been imposed.

Last year, Huawei was added on a U.S. blacklist known as the Entity List. It restricted American firms from doing business with the Chinese telecom giant. For the end-user, it meant that Huawei phones won’t have Google apps pre-installed out-of-the-box. Two of its most recent flagships — the Mate 30 and the P40, were released without licensed Google apps.

Eric Xu, Huawei’s rotating chairman, told CNBC that they’re projecting a revenue loss of US$ 10 billion due to the ban. The ban hasn’t come to full effect yet, but it’ll be extremely damaging for their international expansion plans in the future. The company wants to transact with Google, but the U.S. administration has left no choice for either of them.

The ban has not only sealed off the American market for the company, but it also can’t source components and other software technologies from American counterparts. Google is just one of these examples. Huawei can’t even acquire Intel processors for its laptops.

Huawei never had a considerable smartphone market presence in the North American country. This is not a big deal for the company in its home market China because Google apps have been banned there for years now.

As a mitigation plan, the company accelerated the development of its own operating system called Harmony OS, but it’s restricted to TVs for now. To bridge the gap of missing Google apps, the company has also been actively pushing its own suite of apps via Huawei Mobile Services.

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Apps

Airbnb sets aside $250 million for hosts affected due to cancellations

Protecting the hosts, the real assets

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Airbnb announced it has set aside US$ 250 million to help hosts recoup some of the income they lost as a result of the company’s Coronavirus policy, which lets travelers cancel trips and get a full refund.

The hosts weren’t particularly elevated with the idea of full refunds and sought to social media to show their disappointment and frustration. Many relied on business from Airbnb as their primary source of income and were now suddenly running out of cash flow.

While Airbnb’s decision greatly helped the guests (their users), it put all the financial burden on the hosts. Many have posted videos explaining how the company’s decision has been one-sided and the hosts are the only assets Airbnb has.

The company usually gets a 12 percent cut from the amount guests pay. But when guests cancel, the company refunds those fees to them. Ultimately, about 88 percent of the returned amount to travelers comes out of the hosts’ pockets.

As the world economy faces plunging stock markets and unprecedented unemployment claims, short-term rental hosts are assessing their own sudden loss of revenue. To help them recover and get through these tough times. Airbnb has set aside $250 million and its spokesperson said the company expects that sum will be enough to cover any losses that are made.

There’s no doubt that every industry across the world has taken a hit due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. But, the travel industry is has come to a sudden halt worldwide. With countries blocking off their border for foreigners, travelers or backpackers are non-existent right now. The aviation industry alone is bound to receive a humungous $50 billion bailout package from the U.S. government.

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News

Singapore will make Coronavirus tracking app technology freely available

One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind – Neil Armstrong

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Singapore will soon open-source (open up) a smartphone technology that helps track citizens’ encounters with Coronavirus carriers. Called TraceTogether, it’s developed by the government to prevent community-spread of the fatal virus that has killed thousands worldwide.

The government is urging citizens to run so that if they encounter a Coronavirus carrier, it’s easier to trace who else may have been exposed to the virus. Why run? Because that plunges your chances of contracting the virus since the encounter will barely be a second. Not to forget, it’s an excellent way to exercise. This way, health authorities are in a better position to detect, treat, and quarantine affected patients.

To reserve a user’s privacy, Singapore’s app is opt-in and doesn’t track users through space, instead, it records who you have encountered. If you come across someone who was exposed, the app will exchange four essential bits of information — a timestamp, Bluetooth signal strength, the phone’s model, and a temporary identifier or device nickname.

On the other end, If a user has diagnosed positive, they enable the health authorities to access their app data to identify people who had close contact with the infected individual.

Addressing privacy concerns, the government has assured that the user’s data is never accessed and all their personal details remain safe. If you’re still paranoid, you can simply check the app settings to confirm whether the app has access to your files, contacts, and other essential hardware.

Now, Singapore is ready to share their app and its back-end technology with the whole world.

From Israel to South Korea to China, governments around the world are using technology to track the Coronavirus outbreak as they race to stem its spread. In China, government-installed CCTV cameras pointed towards the apartment door of those under a 14-day quarantine to ensure they don’t leave.

Germany hopes to launch a similar smartphone app within weeks to help trace Coronavirus infections. Even they’ve shown interest in replicating the Singaporean model. And now that the technology is freely available, it’ll be easier for countries to adopt and adapt than to start from zero.

The Indian government has also launched an app called Corona Kavach (literally meaning Corona Shield) to track individuals by their smartphone locations and curb the community spread of Coronavirus. It’s built on the same concept that Singapore’s government has worked on. But, it’s still in beta. With a population of 1.3 billion and one of the worst healthcare systems, the country is highly vulnerable to the virus. Again, the government promises data privacy.

SEE ALSO: How to disinfect your tech from the coronavirus | Coronavirus porn is trending on Pornhub | Here’s how Facebook is trying to fight coronavirus


As general rules, the CDC or The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed these to help with preventing the spread of COVID-19:

  • Stay home when sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Frequently wash hands with soap and water
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces

Coronavirus: Where to donate

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