Samsung Confirms It Will Remove Chargers, Earbuds From Phone Boxes Going Forward

Jan 17, 2021 - 10:57 AM - by Reverend
Samsung's newest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S21, does not come with a charger or headphones in the box, and the company confirmed this week that the approach will apply to other devices going forward, too.

As noted by The Verge, Samsung mobile communications EVP and head of customer experience Patrick Chomet wrote in an FAQ that many Samsung device users already reuse their accessories from device to device, so a transition away from including them in the box makes sense. But a "gradual" approach to their removal will "address sustainable consumption issues and remove any pressure that consumers may feel towards continually receiving unnecessary charger accessories with new phones," Chomet says.

"We’ve also been implementing standardized USB-C type charging ports since 2017, so older chargers can still be compatible with our newest Galaxy models," he adds.

Chomet did not elaborate on which devices might drop or include the accessories.

The move is an about-face for Samsung. Though rumors suggested last summer that Samsung's 2021 phones would ditch the in-box chargers, Samsung mocked Apple last fall when Cupertino said its iPhone 12 lineup would ship with a charger. By December, however, Samsung was caught scrubbing its social media accounts of those critical posts.

PC Magazine
  0 Replies | 165 Views

Apple Considers Foldable iPhone; Minor Changes Planned for 2021 Models

Jan 17, 2021 - 10:54 AM - by Reverend
Apple has begun early work on an iPhone with a foldable screen, a potential rival to similar devices from Samsung Electronics Co. and others, though it’s planning only minor changes for this year’s iPhone line.

The Cupertino, California-based company has developed prototype foldable screens for internal testing, but hasn’t solidified plans to actually launch a foldable iPhone. The development work hasn’t expanded beyond a display, meaning Apple doesn’t yet have full handset prototypes in its labs, according to a person familiar with the work, who asked not to be identified discussing private matters.

Like Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, the Motorola Razr reboot and other offerings from Chinese companies including Huawei Technologies Co., a foldable iPhone would let Apple make a device with a larger screen in a more pocketable package. Apple has internally discussed a number of foldable screen sizes, including one that unfolds to a similar size as the 6.7-inch display on the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Current foldable phones have screens that are from 6 and 8 inches unfolded.

The foldable Apple screens in testing, like those from Samsung, have a mostly invisible hinge with the electronics stationed behind the display, the person said. Other companies, including Microsoft, have recently launched devices with visible hinges separating two distinct panels. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.

This would be a radical departure for Apple. Its pioneering touchable, all-screen smartphone is arguably the most successful consumer technology product in history, helping make Apple the world’s most valuable company. However, a foldable iPhone is likely years away or ultimately may never be introduced. The company is currently focused on launching its next-generation flagship iPhones and iPads later this year.

Apple isn’t planning major changes for this year’s iPhone line given the enhancements made to the... [Read More]
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WhatsApp Postpones Privacy Policy Update After Users Flee to Rival Services

Jan 16, 2021 - 9:46 AM - by Reverend
WhatsApp is hitting the brakes on a privacy policy update that’s prompted users to flee the Facebook-owned platform for rival messaging apps.

WhatsApp’s original plan required people to agree to the new privacy policy on Feb. 8. If they didn’t, the app implied it would shut down their accounts. To make things more confusing, the update also said WhatsApp partnered with Facebook on new "integrations," without specifically saying how the data sharing works.

But on Friday, WhatsApp said it was postponing the plan amid an apparent user exodus. “We’re now moving back the date on which people will be asked to review and accept the terms. No one will have their account suspended or deleted on February 8. We're also going to do a lot more to clear up the misinformation around how privacy and security works on WhatsApp,” the service said in a blog post.

The heart of the problem is trust (or the lack of it). WhatsApp is owned by Facebook, which has a notorious record on digital privacy. The social network has repeatedly tried to clarify that the updated WhatsApp policy will not result in real changes for users. But many refuse to give Facebook the benefit of the doubt.

This became apparent last week when Telsa CEO Elon Musk urged his followers on Twitter to use competing messaging app Signal. Since then, Signal has seen a massive influx of new users, numbering in the tens of millions.

On Friday, WhatsApp reiterated that it will continue to use end-to-end encryption, meaning no one—not even Facebook—will be able to read your messages. “We also can’t see your shared location and we don’t share your contacts with Facebook,” the app added.

The company went on to say the policy update itself deals primarily with businesses using WhatsApp to send and store messages with consumers.... [Read More]
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Apple is reportedly working on a major redesign for the iMac

Jan 15, 2021 - 9:04 PM - by Reverend
According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple is working on a major redesign of its venerable iMac all-in-one desktop computer. Gurman says the company will release two new models later that year that will feature a design similar to Apple’s Pro Display XDR. They’ll do away with the current iMac’s ample display bezel, oversized chin and curved back. Naturally, they’ll also include the company’s next-generation of ARM-based processors, continuing Apple’s move away from Intel.

There’s more good news for Mac fans. Apple is also reportedly working on a more affordable monitor to complement its Pro Display XDR, which starts at $5,000 and comes sans $1,000 stand. The display wouldn’t offer the same image quality as its monitor for professionals. Apple hasn’t made a monitor explicitly for consumers since it discontinued its Thunderbolt Display in 2016.

Gurman also provides an update on the company’s Mac Pro plans. As things stand, he says Apple now plans to release two new versions of the Mac Pro. The first will feature the same design as the company’s current model and include a new Intel CPU. The other, more interesting variant, will reportedly include Apple Silicon and come in at about half the size of the current model, with a mostly aluminum exterior that will make it reminiscent of the Power Mac G4 Cube.

As usual, keep in mind the company’s plans could change at any point. But between the rumored MacBook Pro refresh and now this, 2021 is shaping up to be an exciting year for macOS users.

  0 Replies | 168 Views

WhatsApp advises users after group chat links seen again on Google search

Jan 11, 2021 - 12:53 PM - by Reverend
Concerned at private group chat links being available on Google Search, WhatsApp on Monday said that they have asked Google not to index such chats and advised users not to share group chat links on publicly accessible websites.

Google had indexed invite links to private WhatsApp group chats, meaning anyone can join various private chat groups with a simple search.

The indexed WhatsApp group chat links have now been removed from Google.

Independent cybersecurity researcher Rajshekhar Rajaharia on Sunday shared screenshots with IANS showing indexing of WhatsApp group chat invites on Google.

"Since March 2020, WhatsApp has included the "noindex" tag on all deep link pages which, according to Google, will exclude them from indexing. We have given our feedback to Google to not index these chats," a WhatsApp spokesperson told IANS.

"Links that users wish to share privately with people they know and trust should not be posted on a publicly accessible website," the company spokesperson added..

The issue was first cropped up in February last year when app reverse-engineer Jane Wong found that Google has around 470,000 results for a simple search of "", part of the URL that makes up invites to WhatsApp groups.

Journalist Jordan Wildon also discovered that WhatsApp's "Invite to Group Link" feature lets Google index groups, making them available across the internet since the links are being shared outside of WhatsApp's secure private messaging service.

The WhatsApp spokesperson further said that as a reminder, "whenever someone joins a group, everyone in that group receives a notice and the admin can revoke or change the group invite link at any time".

Danny Sullivan, Google's public search liaison, had tweeted earlier: "Search engines like Google & others... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 353 Views

Microsoft is fixing a Windows 10 bug that causes forced reboots

Jan 11, 2021 - 12:49 PM - by Reverend
Microsoft is finally fixing an annoying Windows 10 bug that causes a random reboot on some devices running the October 2020 Update. The tech giant has also removed the ‘compatibility hold’, which should allow more users to install the upcoming feature updates.

In November 2020, Microsoft confirmed that some of Windows 10’s most recent updates result in critical problems with the Local Security Authority Process for some configurations.

If your device is affected, Windows will start to randomly reboot with a cryptic error message that states your “PC will automatically restart”. You’ll have less than one minute to save your work. It could lead to data loss if you don’t quickly save any work you’ve open in the background.

The good news is that the issue is rare and a fix is now available, according to a new message posted to the support document.

The documentation states that the fix is bundled with the latest updates and users won’t encounter the critical error as long as they’re using the most recent version of Windows 10 version 20H2.

Microsoft has also lifted the upgrade block, which prevented the October 2020 Update (version 20H2) from being offered on some PCs. This move will also allow the tech giant to deliver the next update codenamed ’21H1′ to more users.

In addition to the forced reboot bug, Microsoft has also started rolling out a fix for an issue that deletes your passwords. When this happens, Windows will automatically delete your login sessions in apps and websites after rebooting your computer.

Anyone suffering from authentication and browser cookies problem will be hoping that the resolution comes soon. However, Microsoft has clarified that it’s still testing the fix with Windows Insiders and the patch... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 265 Views

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