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Latest iOS security patch is more important than you think

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As much as we love brand new features in our smartphone updates, security patches are top priority. This is the case with the latest update for Apple smart devices labelled iOS 9.3.5, which covers up the most dreadful exploit iOS has ever faced.

First documented in a comprehensive story by Citizen Lab, a hacking service group called NSO Group created malware to target journalists and government officials, specifically Ahmed Mansoor, a human rights activist based in the United Arab Emirates. A suspicious SMS message was sent to him, and had he followed the instructions on it instead of checking first with Citizen Lab researchers, hackers would have had complete control over his iPhone 6. As soon as Apple got word, the security team worked feverishly to deliver a patch that would save all other iOS users around the world.

The hack begins when you click a link from an unknown SMS sender that then leads to a trio of gaps in the software. When three of the security holes are combined, hackers gain enough access to plant malware in your device. Once in, the exploit can read messages, passwords, and call logs, as well as follow your location and record whatever you’re doing. Yes, it’s that powerful.

The good news is that Apple acted on the weakness right away, and thanks to the less fragmented state of iOS (as compared to Android), anyone using an iPhone 4s and up, iPad 2 and up, and fifth-generation iPod touch and up have access to the fix right now.

If you’re a seasoned iOS user, you know the downloading drill. For the newbies, you can begin by going through Settings > General > Software Update. Wait for the servers to detect your current firmware, and then let the update trickle in. Don’t worry about the file size; it’s not that large.

[irp posts=”4855" name=”Report: Android Nougat has much higher network crash rate than iOS 10"]

Source: Citizen Lab, via The New York Times

News

Samsung deploys Galaxy tablets for Grab rides

An attempt to make your commute bearable

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Commuting in Manila is a dreadful experience due to traffic. Grab passengers wait for hours before arriving at their destinations. Thankfully, Grab rides will be more bearable with Samsung Galaxy tablets.

Samsung has partnered with Grab Philippines to equip select Grab cars with Galaxy tablets until the end of October. The tablets equipped in select cars are the recently-launched Galaxy Tab S6 and Tab A 8.0. With these tablets, every Grab commutes will be a much bearable and entertaining experience.

Both the Galaxy Tab S6 and Tab A 8.0 feature large displays perfect for viewing Netflix episodes on the go. The Galaxy Tab S6 has a 10.5-inch AMOLED display while the Tab A 8.0 has an 8.0-inch LCD display. On the performance front, the Tab S6 is the more powerful of the two with a Snapdragon 855 inside. Meanwhile, the Tab A 8.0 has frugal Snapdragon 429 for daily tasks.

Both tablets are now available in all Samsung concept stores nationwide. But while saving up for one of the Galaxy tablets, why not take a Grab and try them out?

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Instagram will tell which accounts you should already unfollow

Test rolling out slowly

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Open your Instagram right now. How many accounts are you following? Ten points, if you already have more than a thousand. Regardless of how many followed accounts you have, you have a bunch you should probably unfollow already: an ex you still keep stalking, your old classmate’s bankrupt jewelry business, or a quirky meme page you thought was funny at the time. Of course, with hundreds of followed accounts, where should you even begin?

If you’re suffering this particular predicament, Instagram is testing an extremely helpful feature. Spotted by app reverse-engineer Jane Manchun Wong, the popular image-sharing social network has slowly released a new sorting algorithm for followed contacts.

Image source: Twitter / Jane Manchun Wong

The test sorts followed accounts into easily manageable accounts. The most prevalent categories are “Most Shown in Feed” and “Least Interacted With.” The “Most Shown in Feed” category will “review the accounts with the most posts in your feed over the last 90 days.” Meanwhile, the “Least Interacted With” category will “review accounts you’ve interacted with the least in the last 90 days, such as liking their posts or reacting to their stories.” In a way, this category will help you sort out accounts you don’t really care about.

Additionally, the categories also include seemingly custom ones defined by the user: “Art,” “Comics,” “Travel.” You can likely lump together accounts based on arbitrary criteria. The feature is useful for catching up on certain interests.

Unfortunately, the update has not rolled out for everyone. The test will likely take a while to conclude before it gets a wider release.

SEE ALSO: Instagram is finally getting a dark mode

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Gaming

PUBG Mobile has a host of surprise gifts this Diwali

Burst in-game crackers!

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Diwali is a very auspicious festival in the Hindu calendar and is comparable to Christmas in India. With the onset of the festive season, everyone is on a shopping spree. Companies are gearing up to send out gifts and streets will be lit up with diyas and lanterns.

The country is also one of the largest markets for PUBG Mobile, and the brand intends to leverage the festive season this year. The game has announced a plethora of in-game offerings as well as physical gifts.

Starting October 19, ‘Diwali Dhamaka Event’ will go live in the game and players need to complete daily missions to collect ‘Diwali Sparklers,’ which can be used to ‘Burst Crackers.’ Bursting these crackers will get you ‘Gift Tokens’ that can be redeemed for exclusive in-game items.

For reference, bursting crackers has been a tradition during Diwali. However, everyone is urged to refrain from bursting actual crackers because it leads to massive air pollution. A virtual celebration is best for everyone.

Progressing up the ladder, there will be three levels and each will offer you up to 25 tokens. Once all the Gift Tokens are collected, players will get a Diwali special in-game item for free. Additionally, few lucky winners will also stand a chance to win physical rewards like TVS Apache Bike, OPPO Phones, gold coins, and more.

In-game offering currently includes a Kurta Pajama Set (traditional clothes worn during Diwali), Cricket Costume, Future Policewoman set, Lobster Set, AWM/M416 gun skins, Crate Coupons, and more. The festivities will be available in-game till November 4.

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