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    👍|They/them/theirs: Instagram adds pronouns optio…

    Instagram has added a new section on user profiles allowing people to specify their pronouns. The Facebook-owned platform said the new field is available “in a few countries, with plans for more” though it has already been spotted on some accounts. People can pick up to four pronouns, from a selection chosen by the social network. Users are able to request other pronouns that do not already appear as an option via a form on Instagram’s help page. “We’ll continue to update the list of terms over time, so that more people around the world can share their pronouns more easily,” Instagram said. It…

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    👍|So you want to delete WhatsApp? This is what yo…

    WhatsApp collects information about how you use your phone and where you are, allowing the messenger and its parent company Facebook to create a picture of you for advertisers. But nobody one has to tolerate this. There are plenty of easy messenger alternatives widely in use, and switching is easy. Anyone who wants to turn their back on WhatsApp just needs a strategy. And that sounds more difficult than it is. It can be done in just two or three steps: find a messenger alternative, back up WhatsApp chats if necessary, then delete your account. Off you go. \- Find your alternative: Are there me…

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    📱|As of iOS 14.4, Apple lets you get more volume …

    When iPhones send audio to headphones, the system stops you from increasing the volume level above a certain threshold – and that’s a good thing. After all, no one wants to ruin their hearing. But if, for some reason, the music is just too quiet on a paired Bluetooth speaker or in the car, for the longest time there was nothing you could do about it. As of iOS 14.4, however, Apple has made a significant change to its limitations to prevent hearing damage. In the Bluetooth settings, you can freely define what kind of audio device each paired device is. And that means if you’ve paired a speaker …

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    👍|Twitter opens up its Clubhouse rival Spaces for…

    Twitter’s new Clubhouse rival for live audio chat rooms is being opened up to more users after an initial test phase, and now anyone with 600 or more followers can host their own chat room. Social media in 2021 is set to be dominated by audio chat, after not only Twitter but also Facebook and Reddit announced they were expanding into this new area first made popular by the invitation-only Clubhouse app. In the next few weeks, Twitter’s chat areas called Spaces will appear on Twitter apps on iPhones and Androids for all users, according to the company. So how does the whole thing work? As soon …

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    📱|’Top app – free’: Google cracking down on Play …

    Are you sure you want to install “Best App 2020: Speed Test FREE”? Apps on Google’s Play Store rarely hold back when telling you how great they are and many even cram their claims and sales tactics into the name and logo of the app. But until now, when Google checks an app before listing it on the Play Store, most of the pre-approval analysis focussed on the code to make sure no malware slips through. Now Play Store checks are being expanded and Google wants apps to stop bragging or pretending they are successful in logos and names, and is trying to make apps look more sophisticated and neutra…

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    📱|Apple rolls out iOS 14.5 with new controls on h…

    Apple has rolled out stricter privacy options in a new iPhone update giving users more control over how so-called Big Tech companies like Facebook track their behaviour to sell targeted ads. Once you’ve updated your iPhone to iOS 14.5, released on Monday, you’ll be given the option to decide whether or not an app is allowed to track you across multiple services on your phone for marketing purposes. With this update, app providers will have to explicitly seek users’ permission before collecting and analysing their data across apps or other companies’ websites. After updating to iOS 14.5, your i…

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    👍|Thunberg mocks British PM by changing Twitter b…

    Greta Thunberg changed her Twitter bio to “bunny hugger” in a jibe at British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s comments at a global climate summit. Johnson, in typical colourful language, told the other world leaders on the videoconference that actions towards combatting climate change are not about “bunny hugging” but about “growth and jobs.” Thunberg earlier on Thursday was highly critical of the pledges made by leaders at the US-hosted summit, telling her Twitter followers in a video: “The gap between what we are doing, and what needs to be done, is widening by the minute … Let’s call out t…

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    👍|Facebook announces its own Clubhouse-style audi…

    The recent success of the Clubhouse social media app appears to have impressed Facebook enough into creating its own version of the audio chat platform, and the social media giant has now announced plans to roll out so-called Live Audio Rooms for all app users. The social media giant said on Monday it was first testing the audio chat rooms in Groups and aiming to roll them out to all app users by mid-2021. Almost at the same time as Facebook, the platform Reddit also announced a similar service called Reddit Talk. In further proof that audio chat is set to be a major social media trend in the …

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    📱|OnePlus Watch test: The least smart smartwatch …

    When an up-and-coming smartphone manufacturer like OnePlus announces its first smartwatch, you’d be forgiven for hoping that an Android brand might finally come close to knocking the smartwatch crown from Apple’s head. But to the disappointment of OnePlus fans and smartwatch owners, this watch is nowhere near the throne, still claimed by the Apple Watch. Sadly, it offers simply too few smarts for a smartwatch in 2021. OnePlus gambled with its smartwatch and decided against using Google’s Wear OS, which allows for deeper integration with Android smartphones. Instead, the watch runs on its own p…

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    👍|Facebook leak shows the danger apps pose to you…

    (dpa) — The phone numbers and email addresses of hundreds of millions of Facebook users were recently discovered on a hacker forum. According to the social network, the data was captured using a security hole that Facebook closed in August 2019. However, such leaks are also possible without security holes or direct hacker attacks. Apps, which collect lots of personal data not only from their users, but also potentially from those users’ friends, can also be a source of leaks. “Apps are a way of collecting such personal data that is now appearing in dark channels,” says Hauke Mormann from the N…

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    📱|Google and Apple to stage online Android and iO…

    Silicon Valley is entering its second year of virtual events, and both Google and Apple are forging ahead with online summits for app developers amid the ongoing pandemic. First up: Google’s I/O conference, running from May 18 to 20, the internet giant has announced. Plans for the online event were made public just days after Apple announced it would hold its WWDC developer conference online from June 7 to 11. Both summits are set to focus on the future of smartphone software, with Apple and Google expected to unveil new features for iOS and Android operating systems. Last year, Google skipped…

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    👍|Twitter spotlights Asia democracy movements wit…

    Twitter on Thursday launched an emoji to mark one year since the first use of the “Milk Tea Alliance” meme which has grown into a symbol of pro-democracy movements in Asia. “To celebrate the first anniversary of the #MilkTeaAlliance, we designed an emoji featuring 3 different types of milk tea colours from regions where the Alliance first formed online,” the tech giant’s public policy account tweeted in a thread on Thursday. The hashtag – originating in the shared passion in Thailand, Hong Kong and Taiwan for milky tea – emerged as a symbol of support for democratic movements and concern over …

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    📱|The ‘Hey Google’ car: Fiat 500 family given Goo…

    “Hey Google, how much petrol is left in the car,” you ask from your couch. That’s one of the scenarios envisaged by Fiat and Google, who have teamed up for one of the most striking branding exercises in the modern car world. In what is believed to be the first time that a tech company has given its logo for use on car bodywork, three models in the 500 line-up get “Hey Google” badges above the front wheel arches and on the central B-pillars. Inside, the centre section of the front seats features a design resembling the swirling dots used in Hey Google animations and headrest tags are embroidere…

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    👍|Wave of phishing emails feared after massive Fa…

    Once again, the personal information of hundreds of millions of Facebook has surfaced online, following a new data leak that threatens to unleash a wave of sophisticated email scams relying on these stolen contact names. The IT security firm Hudson Rock said it found data of 533 million Facebook users, mostly from the US, in an online forum for hackers, according to a Business Insider report. This information includes phone numbers, email addresses, the names of the cities in which users live and their birthdays. The leak even contains the phone number of founder and chief executive Mark Zucke…

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    📱|Update your iPhone fast: Apple has fixed anothe…

    It’s that time again: Hackers have apparently been exploiting another vulnerability in iPhone and iPad software and Apple is calling for all iOS users to update to the latest version as soon as possible. A critical security vulnerability in the iOS browser engine WebKit was allowing attackers to use manipulated web content to access the user’s data. According to Apple, the gap is already being actively exploited by hackers, which is why the company is calling for users to update to iOS or iPadOS version 14.4.2 if their device hasn’t done so automatically. If you’re still running iOS 13, then y…

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    👍|German court dismisses bid to restrict Facebook…

    A German court on Wednesday said that competition authorities’ bid to restrict US internet giant Facebook’s data collection is partly illegal. The presiding judge in the case said a bid by the Bundeskartellamt, Germany’s competition authority, to prohibit Facebook from linking user’s data from services such as Instagram and Whatsapp to their Facebook accounts without their express permission focused too much on German law, and not enough on EU law. Judge Juergen Kuehnen added that it was quite possible that Facebook had a legitimate interest in a significant part of the data. In 2019, the Bund…

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    👍|Instagram boosts safety features around teenage…

    Instagram is to restrict the ability of adults to contact teenagers who do not follow them on the platform as part of new safety tools aimed at protecting younger users. Under the new rules, adults will be blocked from sending a direct message (DM) to any Instagram user under 18 if that account does not already follow them. As part of a range of new measures being introduced, the social media platform will also begin sending safety alerts to users aged under 18 to encourage them to be cautious in conversation with adults they are already connected to, but have exhibited potentially suspicious …

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    📱|Google creates massive online museum dedicated …

    Google has launched a sprawling online museum to explore the vast culture of electronic music, from the instruments that shaped iconic pop song riffs to the club culture silenced by the pandemic. As part of Google’s “Arts & Culture” gallery of experiments, history and culture-related games, the online exhibitions of electronic music history is a welcome addition to the internet at a time when many museums remain closed and difficult to access during the pandemic. The comprehensive show, developed by renowned curators and music journalists, pays tribute to the cultural significance of the elect…

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    📱|Chrome OS is getting some nifty new features

    For the 10th birthday of Chrome OS, Google is giving the Windows and MacOS alternative some handy productivity features, while also making the operating system feel a bit more like Android. Users can expect to see them in a Chromebook update over the coming days. Here’s what to expect: \- Phone Hub: With the new Phone Hub, Chromebooks and Android smartphones work more closely together. This means that incoming messages are now instantly mirrored from your paired smartphone, and you can also answer them from there. The last two web pages you’ve accessed on your phone can also be transferred to …

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    👍|Instagram recommending misinformation to users,…

    Instagram is recommending anti-vaccination and coronavirus misinformation to potentially millions of users, a new report has claimed. A study from the Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) and charity Restless Development says the social media platform is suggesting content to users that includes conspiracy theories about Covid-19 as well as anti-Semitic and other harmful content. It claimed that as well as health misinformation and anti-Semitic content, conspiracy theories tied to QAnon and false claims about the US presidential election were also being promoted by Instagram’s algorithms….

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    📱|Google vows to stop developing ways to track us…

    Google has vowed not to build new ways of tracking users across the internet as it makes plans to scrap third-party cookies on Chrome. The tech giant is pressing ahead with its proposal for the web browser, despite concerns from publishers who argue the move will impact their ability to generate revenue. Improving privacy has been the main argument for the project, known as the Privacy Sandbox, which was revealed last year. Third-party cookies are used by websites other than the one the user is visiting, and are particularly popular among advertisers. The Competition and Markets Authority is a… More

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    👍|Instagram launches Live Rooms for four-person l…

    Instagram has expanded its live-streaming feature to enable up to four users to stream at the same time. The social media platform has launched Instagram Live Rooms, an expansion of the app’s Live feature which allows a user to begin live-streaming to their followers. The Facebook-owned platform said it hopes that expanding the number of people allowed on a stream will spark increased use among prominent users for content such as creating podcasts, as well as offer a new way for friends to come together while also sharing the content with those who follow them. The new feature began rolling ou…

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    👍|Why is nobody following me on Instagram?

    Instagram is one of the most popular social networks out there. So how come you have so few followers? Sports stars, musicians and influencers often have enormous numbers of followers there and can earn a lot of money from it. Of course, that doesn’t have to be the goal of your own account. But if you’re hoping to collect a sizeable following, things shouldn’t just be ticking over. To start, you should at least be noticing a positive response from friends and family. But how can you give your account more profile? Social media consultant Teja Adams says the most important thing is to have fun …

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    👍|Twitter wants to allow creators to make money f…

    Twitter is exploring a feature that will allow users to charge followers for exclusive perks. Super Followers is designed to provide creators and publishers with paid support from fans who want a bit more than the usual tweets accessible to everyone. This includes bonus tweets only viewable to paying members, which would form part of a monthly subscription. In exchange, users could receive a support badge on their profile, subscriber-only newsletters, deals or discounts, special community access and other exclusive content, according to a mock screen published by the social network. The move c…

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    👍|Australia standing ground over media code despi…

    Australia’s treasurer said he spoke to Mark Zuckerberg on Friday in a bid to get Facebook to accept new rules that would require the social media giant to pay news outlets for their content. “We talked through their remaining issues and agreed our respective teams would work through them immediately,” Josh Frydenberg said, according to news agency AAP. “I reiterated Australia remains committed to implementing the code.” Frydenberg hopes to convince Facebook to accept the code after the social media giant blocked Australians from viewing and sharing news articles on its platform on Wednesday. T…

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    📱|When is my phone getting Android 11?

    Android 11 has been available since the beginning of September 2020. But many smartphone manufacturers are in no hurry to adapt the operating system to their devices. It’s also hard to find out which phones will be getting Google’s latest mobile operating system – and which will not. While Google has been the first to deliver new Android versions on its Pixel phones, other manufacturers like Samsung have been notoriously slow. That is why the programming community XDA Developers has created a comprehensive overview with an “Android 11 Update Status” for for each manufacturer and model. You can…

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    👍|Myanmar military orders Facebook block as resis…

    Myanmar’s military has ordered local telecoms providers to temporarily block Facebook, where a civil disobedience campaign has gained momentum since Monday’s coup. In a notice issued late on Wednesday, the Ministry of Transport and Communications told telecoms companies to block access to the platform until just before midnight on February 7. The notice said the platform was contributing to instability in the country. Posts and hashtags calling for people to perform acts of civil disobedience have gone viral since the military arrested top government officials, including the country’s de facto…

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    📱|Ford announces deal with Google to run cars on …

    Ford has announced it will use Android, Google Maps and Google’s voice-activated assistant as its standard digital equipment in cars from 2023 onwards. As part of a new cooperation announced on Monday, Google is also to become the central provider of cloud services for the US car giant, while infotainment features in Ford cars will be tied together by Android Auto as an operating system. Google’s role is mainly limited to the interaction of occupants with the vehicle. However, Ford also wants to use Google infrastructure to send data from future cars to workshops for maintenance recommendation…

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    📱|Google threatens to pull search engine from Aus…

    Google threatened to pull its search engine from Australia on Friday over a proposed media code that would require the tech firm to pay for news content. Mel Silva, managing director for Google’s Australian operations, told a Senate enquiry the code was unworkable and the company was unable to calculate the financial risk, news agency AAP reported. Leaving the Australian market is the “only rational choice if this law were to pass,” she said. The news media bargaining code bill was introduced into Australia’s parliament in December. If passed, it will force tech companies to pay news outlets f…

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    👍|Twitter permanently suspends Trump, cites risk …

    Twitter permanently suspended US President Donald Trump’s account from its platform on Friday, citing a risk of further incitement of violence. Twitter suspended his account for 12 hours on Wednesday after he encouraged supporters to head to the Capitol, which led to a deadly storming of the building and halted a Congressional joint sitting. The social media company had threatened permanent suspension if he broke their rules again. On Friday he tweeted “The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the fu…

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    👍|Twitter permanently suspends Trump, cites risk …

    Social media company Twitter permanently suspended US President Donald Trump’s account from its platform on Friday, citing a risk of further incitement of violence. Twitter suspended his account for 12 hours on Wednesday after he encouraged supporters to head to the Capitol, which led to a deadly storming of the building and halted a Congressional joint sitting, and threatened permanent suspension if he broke their rules again. On Friday he tweeted “The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future…

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    👍|Facebook bans Trump from access to accounts ind…

    Facebook banned President Donald Trump from his accounts indefinitely on Thursday, one day after pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol building. “The shocking events of the last 24 hours clearly demonstrate that President Donald Trump intends to use his remaining time in office to undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power to his elected successor, Joe Biden,” Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement. “We believe the risks of allowing the president to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great. Therefore, we are extending the block we hav…

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    👍|Facebook bans Trump from access to accounts ind…

    Facebook banned President Donald Trump from his accounts indefinitely on Thursday, one day after pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol building. “The shocking events of the last 24 hours clearly demonstrate the President Donald Trump intends to use his remaining time in office to undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power to his elected successor, Joe Biden,” Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement. “We believe the risks of allowing the president to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great. Therefore, we are extending the block we have…

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    📱|Chrome Music Lab lets you experiment with music…

    Forget piano lessons and sheet music: Google is making it fun and easy to learn the basics of music online with a series of hands-on experiments at the Chrome Music Lab. Teachers, schoolchildren and even adults can learn something new at the lab – or at least have some fun while they’re there. About a dozen experiments, as the modules are called, can be used in the browser and don’t require any special knowledge. Activities include using a sequencer to arrange little ditties or to create melodies. The spectrogram, which shows the spectrum of frequencies of a trumpet, for example, is visually a…

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    📱|Five search tricks to get better results on Google

    When it comes to finding exactly what you’re looking for on the multiverse of websites out there, it’s all about little things called operators. If you ever have to go beyond page one of Google’s search results, then it’s time to crack open the special toolbox for better online searches. These tweaks to your search will help the search engine better understand what you’re looking for. 1: Universal Google searches, not country-specific ones Before you start using operators, you need to make sure you’re getting results from the right region. That’s because whenever you carry out a search with Go…