India asks Twitter to remove tweets critical of its COVID-19 response

Why is the government censoring the flow of information?



Twitter India

Twitter has withheld from public view around 50 tweets in India. Many of them criticized how the government handled the Coronavirus pandemic.

The tweets, which are no longer accessible in India, include those posted by Member of Parliament Revanth Reddy, West Bengal minister Moloy Ghatak, actor Vineet Kumar Singh and filmmakers Vinod Kapri and Avinash Das.

India recorded 352,991 new infections on April 26 and 2,812 deaths – the highest single-day spike so far. The country’s healthcare infrastructure is massively underdeveloped and cannot handle the load anymore. It faces a massive surge in cases, with many of its hospitals facing an oxygen shortage.

According to Twitter’s filings with the Lumen database — a transparency initiative run by Harvard University, the affected tweets have been taken down in response to a request by the Indian government. Lumen Database is an organization that receives and publishes disclosures of legal takedown notices from private entities, including social media companies.

The removed tweets are very critical of the government, and opposition leaders allege the incumbents are trying to hamper free information flow. Amid a raging pandemic, the government’s move is extremely disheartening because it’s now focused on covering up its tracks.

Although the government says it took down the tweets to discourage the flow of misleading information, most aren’t convinced. It isn’t clear which clause the government used to enforce the takedown, but it’s usually done under the guise of protecting India’s integrity and sovereignty.

Due to the systemic failure of India’s healthcare infrastructure, users took to social media platforms like Twitter to help others. The microblogging platform is now being used to help victims get hospitalized, procure medicines, and even manage the oxygen or ventilator shortage.


Samsung spoils what it’s launching in August

Including a foldable-only S Pen



Samsung is hosting its usual Galaxy Unpacked event on August 11. As made apparent through the invite, the company plans to launch the next generation of foldables for the event. Naturally, it won’t just be about foldables. Everyone is wondering what else the company has up its sleeve for August. Well, wonder no more.

Samsung president TM Roh has published a new blog post detailing what exactly is coming for the event. As expected, the president is excited for the third generation of foldables, promising “amazing new multitasking capabilities and enhanced durability.” Since the form factor’s initial announcement, durability has always been a problem owing to issues caused by the foldable hinge.

Additionally, Samsung has announced more partnerships with developers for foldable-friendly apps. Because of the form factor’s expandable screen, users can take advantage of more surface area for their device’s features.

In the same vein, Roh confirms that an exclusive S Pen is coming for their foldables. However, the post does not describe what an S Pen for foldables will look like. Given how delicate the foldable’s screen is, a custom S Pen is likely beneficial towards the device’s durability.

Finally, Roh closes off his post by confirming some dreaded news for some Samsung fans. As rumored in the past, Samsung is not releasing a new Galaxy Note this August. Instead, the company “will further broaden beloved Note features to more Samsung Galaxy devices.” Is the Note dead? We’ll find out on August 11.

SEE ALSO: Samsung might launch next Galaxy Fold soon

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iPhone 14 series might use titanium chassis

Stronger and lighter



A stronger iPhone is coming. An investor’s report recently released hints at a new chassis material coming for the iPhone 14 series next year. The company’s current flagship models, the iPhone 12 series, are made out of aluminum and stainless steel. If the latest rumor is true, Apple is going for something different for next year.

According to JP Morgan Chase’s China office (via Apple Insider), Apple is reportedly adding titanium as an option for next year’s iPhone 14 series. The lighter metal also has the added benefit of being stronger than the usual metals used for smartphones today. The iPhone 14 series might have a model positioned for durability.

The report, however, doesn’t indicate how the titanium will be used. Besides using it for the chassis, Apple can also use the metal for the phone’s insides. They can also mix it with other metals to make a hybrid alloy.

Of course, because of its premium offering, titanium might end up landing only for the flagship series’ Pro models. Additionally, since the report explicitly mentions Pro models, the upcoming series can potentially still have the same four-model structure that Apple has today. However, as previous reports indicate, the four models likely won’t include an iPhone 14 mini owing to the iPhone 12 mini’s poor performance.

Of note, Apple already uses titanium for the Apple Watch. If anything, the metal isn’t anything new to the company.

SEE ALSO: Apple iPhone rumor roundup: portless iPhone 13, foldables, bigger SE

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BlackBerry resurrection teased once again

It’s coming this time



BlackBerry’s rumored comeback might finally happen soon. OnwardMobility, the current owner of BlackBerry’s licenses, has teased the upcoming smartphones once again. Since their last “departure” from the smartphone industry, BlackBerry has been passed on to new owners in hopes of a future resurrection.

Last year, BlackBerry’s previous owner TCL backed out from making BlackBerry devices. The departure signaled another end for BlackBerry. However, soon after the announcement, a few companies announced the purchase of BlackBerry’s licenses, potentially hinting at a return. Notably, Huawei supposedly bought 90 patents from the company. Nothing came of the announcement yet, though.

Besides Huawei, another tech company OnwardMobility announced the most substantial news surrounding BlackBerry’s potential return. Announcing a licensing deal with BlackBerry, the company also promised an upcoming device for the next generation of smartphones. Despite the promise, we still don’t have a new BlackBerry smartphone.

However, OnwardMobility wants to keep the hype train rolling. Recently, the company launched a new “pre-commitment program” wherein subscribers can get information about upcoming products, the actual products themselves, and updates first before non-subscribers. The program specifically lists a BlackBerry device as part of the program. A new smartphone is likely coming soon.

Once upon a time, BlackBerry was one of the most popular handsets for consumers, along with Nokia. However, as slab phones became the norm, the phones of yesteryear either died out or adopted the new norm. Whereas Nokia found its place in the current industry, BlackBerry is still struggling to find its niche.

SEE ALSO: A BlackBerry phone with a physical keyboard is coming in 2021

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