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Monday, 20 May 2019

Chinese shout 'Boycott Apple' as US goes after Huawei

As the Washington-Beijing trade war intensifies along with fresh restrictions on Chinese telecom giant Huawei in the US, there has been a significant rise in "Boycott Apple" movement in China.
Apple, Huawei, mobilephone, Smartphone, tariff war, Trump, US-China trade war, Washington-Beijing trade war

According to BuzzFeed News, there has been a flurry of anti-Apple and anti-Trump messages on Weibo, China's version of Twitter.
"I feel guilty watching the trade war. Once I have money I will change my smartphone (iPhone)," one user posted on Weibo.
"I think Huawei's branding is amazing, it chops an apple into eight pieces," read another post.

China has urged the US to stop "harassing overseas companies" and slammed US President Donald Trump's decision to sign a national emergency order that prohibits American firms from using foreign-made equipment, citing espionage fears.

The US move, which effectively takes aim at Chinese telecom giant Huawei, comes as the two economic superpowers are locked in a bitter unending trade war.
Chinese telecom giant Huawei has said that it is still open to addressing US security concerns.
"The functions in Huawei are comparable to Apple iPhones or even better. We have such a good smartphone alternative, why are we still using Apple?" said one user on Weibo.
This isn't the first time that the "Boycott Apple" movement has gained traction in China.
Chinese companies in December last year rallied behind the tech giant, offering hefty discounts to employees to buy Huawei devices and shun iPhones.
According to Nikkei Asian Review, the move came after the detention of Huawei's Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou in Canada at the request of American prosecutors.
Over 20 Chinese companies also took to social media to announce that they will increase purchases of other Huawei products.
A Chinese court in December banned the sale and import of most iPhone models after granting Qualcomm an injunction against Apple.
To avoid the ban, Apple released a small update to iOS, saying that iOS version 12.1.2 contains software changes exclusive to China.

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People trust machines more than humans for sharing data

What Amazon Alexa knows about you and what you can do about it

Monday, 13 May 2019

People trust machines more than humans for sharing data

People tend to trust machines more than humans when it comes to sharing private information and access to their financial data, an Indian-origin researcher has stressed.
AI, Artificial Intelligence, data, data sharing, human, machine, Research,

People who trusted machines were significantly more likely to hand over their credit card numbers to a computerised travel agent than a human travel agent, said S Shyam Sundar, Co-director of the Media Effects Research Laboratory and an affiliate of Penn State's Institute for CyberScience (ICS).

"A bias that those machines are more trustworthy and secure than people -- or the machine heuristic -- may be behind the effect," Sundar added.

The faith in machines may be triggered because people believe that machines do not gossip, or have unlawful designs on their private information.
However, said Sundar, while machines might not have ulterior motives for their information, the people developing and running those computers could prey on this gullibility to extract personal information from unsuspecting users, for example, through phishing scams.

"This study should serve as a warning for people to be aware of how they interact online. People should be aware that they may have a blind belief in machine superiority. They should watch themselves when they engage online with robotic interfaces," Sundar noted.
For the study, the researchers recruited 160 participants from Amazon Mechanical Turk, an online crowdsourcing website frequently used in studies.

The participants were asked to use either a human or a machine chat agent to find and purchase a plane ticket online.
After the agent returned the flight information, it prompted the participants for their credit card information.
The presence of a machine agent on the interface served as a cue for triggering the ingrained belief that machines are superior.

People with a high degree of trust in machines only need subtle design indications that they are interacting with a machine.
"In all of this, one thing I would like to stress is that the designers have to be ethical. They should not unethically try to extract information from unsuspecting consumers," Sundar stressed.

The findings were shared during the "ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems" held in Glasgow from May 4-9.

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Monday, 6 May 2019

No crime in Huawei 5G leak, says British police

The top-secret leak that Britain had conditionally allowed China's Huawei to develop its 5G network, which brought down the defence minister, does not amount to a criminal offence, police concluded Saturday.
Britain, british police, Huawei, Huawei 5G leak, Prime Minister Theresa May, sacking of Gavin Williamson, UK,

Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday sacked Gavin Williamson as defence secretary over the leak last month of the bitterly-disputed decision made at the April 23 meeting of the National Security Council.
NSC discussions are only attended by senior ministers and security officials who first sign the Official Secrets Act that commits them to keep conversations private or risk prosecution.

Some senior opposition figures have called for a police investigation.
But in a statement on Saturday, Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, the head of Specialist Operations at London's Metropolitan Police, said a probe would be inappropriate.

"I am satisfied that what was disclosed did not contain information that would breach the Official Secrets Act," said Basu, whose section is responsible for investigating alleged criminal breaches of the act.
"I am satisfied that the disclosure did not amount to a criminal offence, either under the Official Secrets Act or misconduct in a public office. No crime has been committed and this is not a matter for the police.

"The leak did not cause damage to the public interest at a level at which it would be necessary to engage misconduct in a public office.
"It would be inappropriate to carry out a police investigation in these circumstances."

Williamson has strenuously denied he was the source of the leak, which appeared in The Daily Telegraph newspaper and suggested May had cleared Huawei to be involved in "non-core" elements of the 5G network, such as antennae.
Williamson told Saturday's Daily Mail newspaper: "I have been royally screwed over. It is pretty painful. The only thing I want to do now is clear my name."
Newspapers speculated Saturday that Williamson, a sharp operator, was plotting his revenge on May.
The 42-year-old was a trusted ally of the prime minister.
He was May's parliamentary campaign manager when she successfully ran to become Conservative Party leader in 2016.
Williamson was duly rewarded with the job of the chief whip -- tasked with enforcing discipline for the Conservatives in parliament and wielding power over misbehavers.

The Times quoted one ally as saying: "Gavin knows where the bodies are buried -- because he buried them himself." He was replaced as defence secretary by Penny Mordaunt.
The United States is adamantly opposed to Chinese tech giant Huawei's involvement in developing Britain's 5G network due to the firm's obligation under Chinese law to help its home government gather intelligence or provide other security services when required.
David Lidington, May's effective deputy, said Thursday there were no plans to pass information from an internal leak inquiry to the police, saying the prime minister regarded the matter as closed.
Basu said that unless a crime was alleged there was nothing for the police to investigate and his unit had not been provided with any evidence of an alleged crime.

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What Amazon Alexa knows about you and what you can do about it

Google to let you auto-delete location tracking data

Saturday, 4 May 2019

What Amazon Alexa knows about you and what you can do about it

Alexa, Amazon's virtual assistant, has been enjoying growth on steroids. The Amazon Echo is expected to capture 63.3 percent of smart speaker users in 2019, according to research firm eMarketer. In India too, the product is hugely popular.
alexa,amazon,amazon echo,unwind

But what are the implications of being an Alexa customer? For starters, Alexa knows a lot about you because of all the things you ask it.

Amazon has long said that Alexa only starts recording when the command 'Alexa' is given. Of course, there have been multiple instances where Alexa gets activated accidentally and collects your audio.

Here is what you can do to ensure that Alexa cannot collect your audio.
You can delete your browsing history and turn off the collection of browsing data.

To do this:
First, go to your browsing history.
Then, click remove next to each item you'd like to remove. To remove all items, click remove all items.
According to Amazon, you can also turn off your browsing history in Your Browsing History. Here, click turn off browsing history. Your browser must be cookie-enabled for this to work properly. Clearing your browser cookies will re-enable your browsing history if you've turned it off.

If you'd like to re-enable your browsing history for your browser, return to this page and click turn on browsing history.

You also have the option of muting Alexa and deleting recordings. The Alexa-powered Echo devices have a microphone-off button that can be pressed to ensure no recording takes place. When the microphones are turned off, your device cannot record and stream audio to the cloud, according to Amazon.


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Google to let you auto-delete location tracking data

Dead to outnumber the living on Facebook in 50 years

Friday, 3 May 2019

Google to let you auto-delete location tracking data

In yet another bid to address privacy concerns, Google is rolling out a key feature that will allow people to automatically delete their Location History, Web and App Activity data.
Google, Google Location History, Google Web, Technology

Last year, Google courted controversy when an Associated Press investigation found that many Google services on Android devices and iPhones store users' location data even if the users explicitly used privacy settings to turn it off.
In a blog post, Google said it is introducing auto-delete controls for users' Location History and Web and App Activity data.
"Choose a time limit for how long you want your activity data to be saved a" three or 18 months a" and any data older than that will be automatically deleted from your account on an ongoing basis," announced David Monsees, Product Manager, Google Search.
These controls are coming first to Location History, Web and App Activity and will roll out in the coming weeks.
"You should always be able to manage your data in a way that works best for you," added Marlo McGriff, Product Manager, Google Maps.
The company argued that when users turn on settings like Location History or Web and App Activity, the data can make Google products more useful for them a" like recommending a restaurant or helping pick up where they left off on a previous search.
"We work to keep your data private and secure, and we've heard your feedback that we need to provide simpler ways for you to manage or delete it," said Google.
You can already use your Google Account to access simple on/off controls for Location History and Web and App Activity, and if you choose -- to delete all or part of that data manually.
According to the tech giant, Location History is a Google product that is entirely opt in, and users have the controls to edit, delete or turn it off at any time.

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Huawei pips Apple to be second largest smartphone seller

Dead to outnumber the living on Facebook in 50 years

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Huawei pips Apple to be second largest smartphone seller


With a 17 percent share in the global smartphone market, Chinese technology giant Huawei overtook Apple as the second largest smartphone seller in the first quarter of 2019 after Samsung, according to a new report from Counterpoint Research.
Apple, Huawei, mobilephone, Samsung, Smartphone, smartphone market, Smartphone sales

While Samsung retained the top position with 21 percent market share (from 22 in Q1 2018), Apple's share declined to 12 percent in Q1 2019 from 14 percent in the same quarter last year, the research showed.
While Huawei's shipment volumes increased by nearly 50 percent year-on-year, Apple's shipment volumes declined 20 percent in the same period. Samsung also saw a slump of eight percent.
"Huawei became the second largest smartphone brand by shipment without a significant presence in an important market like the United States," Shobhit Srivastava, Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research, said in a statement.

"At this pace, we expect Huawei to remain ahead of Apple at the end of 2019," Srivastava said, adding that a dual-brand (Honor) strategy has helped the company build a youth connect and gain market share in a sluggish Chinese market.
Overall, global smartphone shipments declined five percent year-on-year in Q1 2019, said the report.

This is now the sixth consecutive quarter of shipments falling in the global smartphone market.

"The global smartphone market showed no sign of recovery in Q1 2019. The rate of decline increased, particularly in February, due to inventory correction by some brands and the production halt during Chinese New Year. Another reason for the decline is lengthening replacement cycles, especially in the premium segment," said Tarun Pathak, Associate Director at Counterpoint Research.
"The replacement rate for iPhones is reaching close to 36 months, while the replacement rate for premium Android devices is closing in at 30 months. This can be attributed to the higher quality of devices, increasing average selling price (ASP), and the lack of innovative technology," Pathak added.

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