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Vodafone plans to use its expertise in customer data to help to fend off competition in Italy from French newcomer Iliad and avoid an India-style price war, its chief executive said on Wednesday.

Iliad, backed by French billionaire Xavier Niel, is aiming to grab a quarter of the Italian mobile market using the same cut-throat prices that helped it to conquer France five years ago, sources familiar with the plans have told Reuters.

In India, new entrant Reliance Jio took more than 6 percent of the Indian market in just a year thanks to free voice and cheap data, forcing rivals – which include Vodafone – to drop prices and merge.

“Do we expect something crazy? Honestly, after India, you can expect everything. We are ready to see everything,” Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao said at Morgan Stanley’s annual TMT conference in Barcelona.

With the French and Indian examples in mind, Colao, a former McKinsey consultant, said Vodafone’s strong data analytics had allowed the group to identify its “most vulnerable” Italian customers and to offer them special conditions adapted to their needs. He said the company had prepared for several possible scenarios but declined to give more details about its strategy.

The 56-year-old Italian said he was “very happy” with the performance of the Italian business, as adjusted core profit rose 8.8 percent in the first half of the year, despite continuing price pressure.

Vodafone, the world’s second largest mobile operator, is the number three mobile player in Italy where it competes against former monopoly Telecom Italia and low-cost operator Wind-Tre.

A senior telecoms banker said that Colao did a great job in India where Vodafone reacted swiftly by merging with Idea Cellular. But the banker said Colao’s options would be more limited in Italy because Vodafone will go head to head with Iliad in mobile services. But in B2B, which covers corporate customers, Vodafone could make some headway as Iliad is not expected to be chasing these clients for now.

Berenberg analyst Nicolas Didio said Vodafone was doing the right thing to prepare for Iliad’s arrival. But he also said the approaching battle was likely to go beyond pricing because Italy is a complex market and a new player like Iliad could be more inventive and audacious than existing players.

“Iliad wants to be the customers’ champion and that’s precisely where they could win,” he said.

Didio said he expected Iliad to launch with a sole price including unlimited voice and texts messages and a generous data package, and offer additional services such as free international calls from Italy or unlimited usage of voicemail.

“These services will unlikely weigh on Iliad’s profits as their marginal cost is limited but they would be very powerful in terms of marketing,” he said.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)

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WhatsApp, one of the most widely used instant messaging apps, rolled out “Delete for Everyone” feature recently. But do deleted messages really disappear from the phone? A new report claims that WhatsApp messages that are deleted are actually still on the device and can be easily accessed.

Spanish Android blog Android Jefe has claimed that deleted messages are present in the notification log of the device. It adds that the recipient can easily access the deleted messages regardless whether it has been deleted from sender’s end. “What we found is that the messages are stored in the notification register of the Android system. So, it’s just a matter of entering that record to see the messages that the other person deleted,” the blog said.

The blog explains that anyone can access deleted WhatsApp messages sent to them via a third-party app named Notification History which can be downloaded via Google Play. After downloading the app, users will have to search the message in the Android notification log. Those users who are using third-party launchers like Nova Launcher it’s even easier. The notification log can be accessed without the need of an additional app. Long press the home screen, then tap on Widgets > Activities > Settings > Notification log. You can then access the system’s notification log. Similarly, on stock Android, a Settings widget can give access to the notification log as well.

Gadgets 360 tried both the Notification History third-party app and the Activities method described above. discovered that the trick worked on an Android device. There are few limitations, however, as the messages that have generated a notification on the device can be retrieved. The notification log only saves the messages on the device until it’s restarted. Once restarted, we noticed that the log was cleared.

The method, however, has a restriction that only the first 100 characters of the deleted message will be visible. The feature is available only for users running Android 7.0 and above. Users can only retrieve text which means any kind of media file cannot be recovered.

This is not the first time that reports of retrieving deleted messages have surfaced. Jonathan Zdziarski, iOS expert, last year has claimed that WhatsApp saved chat logs on the device despite it being archived or deleted.

One of the biggest use cases of the Delete for Everyone feature has been when a user send a message to the wrong chat, or if the message sent contains a mistake. It is the latest feature added to WhatsApp in a long list of features introduced this year, and is biggest change to the chat app since blue ticks aka send receipts.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Tesla said on Wednesday it would fight a class-action lawsuit filed against it earlier this week claiming the electric automaker’s California production plant was a “hotbed for racist behavior.”

The lawsuit, filed on Monday by former Tesla worker Marcus Vaughn on behalf of a group of black workers at the plant, claimed that they were addressed using racial slurs and that the company ignored their complaints.

Tesla contested details of the lawsuit in a blog post on Tuesday and signaled it would fight it.

“At Tesla, we would rather pay ten times the settlement demand in legal fees and fight to the ends of the Earth than give in to extortion and allow this abuse of the legal system,” the blog post said.

Vaughn had said in the lawsuit that he was routinely called the “n-word” by supervisors and coworkers after he began working at the factory in April, and that Tesla never investigated his claims following written complaints.

Tesla said it had investigated “disappointing behavior” several months ago involving a group of individuals who worked on or near Vaughn’s team and fired three employees.

Monday’s lawsuit was at least the third filed this year against Tesla by black workers who say the company ignored their complaints of racial harassment.

Vaughn in the lawsuit also said he was fired in October for “not having a positive attitude.”

Tesla said in its blog post that Vaughn was not fired, he left when his six-month temporary contract had simply ended.

“Tesla is absolutely against any form of discrimination, harassment, or unfair treatment of any kind,” said Tesla. “When we hear complaints, we take them very seriously, investigate thoroughly and, if proven to be true, take immediate action.”

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)


The Trump administration publicly released on Wednesday its rules for deciding whether to disclose cyber-security flaws or keep them secret, in an effort to bring more transparency to a process that has long been cloaked in mystery.

The move is an attempt by the US government to address criticism that it too often jeopardises Internet security by stockpiling the cyber vulnerabilities it detects in order to preserve its ability to launch its own attacks on computer systems.

The revised rules, published on whitehouse.gov, are intended to shed light on the process for how various federal agencies weigh the costs of keeping a flaw secret, said Rob Joyce, the White House cyber-security coordinator.

Speaking at an Aspen Institute event in Washington, Joyce said the rules were the “most sophisticated” in the world and that they set the United States apart from most other nations.

Private companies, he said, “are not getting tips from China, Russia, North Korea, Iran” about flaws in their technology.

Under former President Barack Obama, the US government created an inter-agency review, known as the Vulnerabilities Equities Process, to determine what to do with flaws unearthed primarily by intelligence agencies such as the National Security Agency (NSA).

The process is designed to balance law enforcement and US intelligence desires to hack into devices with the need to warn manufacturers so that they can patch holes before criminals and other hackers take advantage of them.

The new Trump administration charter on the process explains how it functions and names the agencies involved in the vulnerability reviews. They include intelligence agencies in addition to several civilian departments, including the Departments of Commerce, Treasury, Energy and State.

The NSA is listed as the “executive secretariat” of the inter-agency group, tasked with coordinating debate over flaws submitted by the various agencies if there is disagreement about whether to disclose them. If disagreements are not reconciled the group will vote on whether to disclose or retain the flaw.

The rules also require an annual report, portions of which will be made public, that provides metrics about the amount of flaws discovered, retained and disclosed.

Decisions to retain vulnerabilities must be reconsidered every year, according to the charter.

The publication of the charter is “a major improvement,” said Ari Scwhartz, coordinator of the Coalition for Cybersecurity Policy and Law and a former Obama administration cyber official. The Obama administration sought to release a similar document before the end of last year but ran out of time, Schwartz said.

Some security experts have long criticized the process as overly secretive and too often erring against disclosure.

Joyce said on Wednesday more than 90 percent of flaws are ultimately disclosed, though some critics say they are not shared quickly enough and that the most severe flaws are too often stockpiled.

The criticism grew earlier this year when a global ransomware attack known as WannaCry infected computers in at least 150 countries, knocking hospitals offline and disrupting services at factories.

The attack was made possible because of a flaw in Microsoft’s Windows software that the NSA had used to build a hacking tool for its own use.

But in a breach US investigators are still working to understand, that tool and others ended up in the hands of a mysterious group called the Shadow Brokers, which then published them online.

Suspected North Korean hackers spotted the Windows flaw and repurposed it to unleash the WannaCry attack, according to cyber experts. North Korea has routinely denied involvement in cyber attacks against other countries.

Asked about the WannaCry attack, Joyce declined to say whether the Windows flaw detected by the NSA went through the vulnerability review process.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Chinese handset manufacturer Vivo has started sending media invites for a launch event on November 20 where it is set to launch another V-Series smartphone. The company has revealed the Vivo V7 will be launching on Monday in India, and can be expected to be available for sale later this month.

The Vivo V7 is most likely to be another variant of the recently announced Vivo V7+ which was launched at Rs. 21,990 in September. The display is most likely to be the biggest highlight of the Vivo V7. The teaser image hints at edge-to-edge display. At the moment, there are not many details available on the new Vivo V7.

We can expect the Vivo V7 to be a toned-down version of the V7+ as it doesn’t sport the “plus” moniker. However, we will have to wait till Monday to see the difference.

Running through the specifications of the Vivo V7+, the dual-SIM smartphone runs Funtouch OS 3.2 based on Android 7.1 Nougat. It sports a 5.99-inch HD (720×1440 pixels) IPS Incell ‘FullView’ display with an 18:9 aspect ratio with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection and 2.5D curved glass. The smartphone is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 SoC coupled with 4GB of RAM. It sports a 24-megapixel front camera with an f/2.0 aperture, 1/2.78-inch sensor, and a ‘Moonlight Glow’ soft selfie light. It comes with a 16-megapixel rear camera with an f/2.0 aperture and dual-LED flash. The smartphone features 64GB of inbuilt storage that is expandable via microSD card (up to 256GB). It packs a 3225mAh battery and also packs the AK4376A Hi-Fi Audio chipset.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Apple is leading the way in tracing cobalt used in its electronics to ensure the metal has not been mined by children in Democratic Republic of Congo while Microsoft is lagging, Amnesty International said.

Microsoft disagreed with the pressure group’s conclusions published on Wednesday.

Congo is by far the world’s biggest producer of cobalt, accounting for more than half of global supplies of the metal, a key ingredient in lithium-ion batteries.

Amnesty, however, says about a fifth of the country’s cobalt production is mined by hand by informal miners including children, often in dangerous conditions.

Cobalt has shot to prominence in recent months and its price skyrocketed due to expected growth in demand for electric vehicles powered by lithium-ion batteries.

“Companies have a responsibility to prove they are not profiting from the misery of miners working in terrible conditions in the DRC,” Amnesty official Seema Joshi said in a statement.

The group ranked 29 companies on how well they were tracking their sources of cobalt since Amnesty released a report in January 2016 warning about human rights abuses linked to cobalt mining in Congo.

“Apple became the first company to publish the names of its cobalt suppliers … but other electronics brands have made alarmingly little progress,” the statement said.

Most cobalt is produced as a by-product of copper or nickel mining, but artisanal miners in southern Congo exploit deposits near the surface that are rich in cobalt.

The biggest buyer of ore from small-scale miners was Congo Dongfang Mining International, a wholly owned subsidiary of Chinese mineral giant Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Ltd, Amnesty found in its report last year.

Since then, Huayou Cobalt “has taken a number of steps” in line with international standards but “gaps in information remain”, Amnesty said.

In March this year, researchers from Amnesty and Congolese group African Resources Watch returned to informal mines and still found adults and children in unsafe conditions, the report said.

Huayou, in a letter to Amnesty, said child labour was a difficult issue caused by poverty, adding that it was working on several initiatives including building schools and providing micro-credit to boost small businesses.

“Significant progress”
Microsoft was among 26 companies that had failed to disclose details of their suppliers, Amnesty said.

In a letter replying to the Amnesty report, Microsoft said its approach was “holistic” and included work within its supply chain as well as on the ground to address the socioeconomic causes of child labour.

“Despite Amnesty International’s assertions, Microsoft has made significant progress on this important issue,” it said.

Cobalt prices have spiked 85 percent this year on forecasts that demand will double in the next decade due to surging use of the metal in electric car batteries.

Amnesty said among car makers, BMW had made the most improvements, while Renault and Daimler “performed particularly badly”.

Renault said it had set up a working group with its suppliers, which had already shared their systems of controls, their supply-chain policies and details of audits.

The French company had also joined the Responsible Raw Materials Initiative, which expects its first pilot audits by the end of the year, it added in a letter to Amnesty.

Daimler said it was working on identifying the smelters and mines that supplied cobalt to the company.

“Daimler is by no means ignoring its responsibility in terms of human rights due diligence, as your current statement seems to suggest,” it told Amnesty.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)


About 15 percent of US government agencies have detected some trace of Russian company Kaspersky Lab’s software on their systems in a review prompted by concerns the antivirus firm is vulnerable to Kremlin influence, a security official told Congress on Tuesday.

Jeanette Manfra, assistant secretary for cyber security at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), said that 94 percent of agencies had responded to an order to survey their networks to identify any use of Kaspersky Lab products and to remove them.

Manfra told a US House of Representatives panel the DHS did “not currently have conclusive evidence” that any networks had been breached because of their use of Kaspersky software.

The administration of President Donald Trump ordered civilian US agencies in September to remove Kaspersky Lab from their networks. US officials are concerned that the company’s anti-virus software could be used by Russian intelligence agencies to spy on the US government.

The decision represented a sharp response to what US intelligence agencies have described as a national security threat posed by Russia in cyberspace, following an election year marred by allegations that Moscow weaponised the Internet in an attempt to influence its outcome.

Kaspersky Lab has repeatedly denied that it has ties to any government and said it would not help a government with cyber espionage. Moscow has denied that it sought to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election.

The September DHS order required civilian agencies to identify any use of Kaspersky Lab products within 30 days and to discontinue their use within 90 days.

Ninety-six of 102 federal agencies have reported to DHS on whether they have found Kaspersky Lab software on their networks, Manfra told the oversight subcommittee of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.

DHS is working with the remaining six “very small” agencies to assess their networks, Manfra said. She did not name the agencies that detected Kaspersky Lab products or those that were still auditing their systems. The government was generally complying with the directive to remove the software, Manfra said.

She told lawmakers it was possible the action against Kaspersky Lab could prompt litigation, but she did not elaborate. Asked if the company is considering suing the US government, a spokeswoman for Kaspersky Lab said in a statement that the company “continues to consider all possible options.”

Some lawmakers expressed agitation at why the US government, having had suspicions about Kaspersky Lab for years, did not move more quickly to purge its software from networks.

Manfra said she became personally aware of concerns about the firm in 2014, and that while DHS promptly took steps to remove software, other agencies may have lagged in part because they did not have access to classified information.

The company’s products generally appeared to land on US government networks through larger technology purchases that included Kaspersky Lab products as pre-bundled software, making it more difficult to track, according to Manfra and other officials who were testifying on Tuesday.

Kaspersky Lab has said previously that its footprint in the US federal government market was minimal.

To address suspicions, Kaspersky Lab said last month it would submit the source code of its software and future updates for inspection by independent parties.

Manfra said such a step, while welcomed, would “not be sufficient” to address concerns the US government has about Kaspersky Lab.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Redmi Y1 goes on sale in India a second time on Wednesday, two weeks after it was unveiled in the country. The new Redmi Y1, along with the Redmi Y1 Lite, will be available for purchase from both Amazon India and Mi.com; the quantities are likely to be limited, so fans will have to be quick if they want to snag a unit when the sale starts at 12pm IST. In the first sale a week ago, Xiaomi says it sold 150,000 units of Redmi Y1 and Redmi Y1 Lite in under 3 minutes, suggesting the demand for the new budget handsets is in keeping with the Redmi series’ popularity.

Redmi Y1 price in India
Xiaomi Redmi Y1 price in India starts at Rs. 8,999 for the 32GB storage and 3GB RAM variant, going up to Rs. 10,999 for the 4GB RAM and 64GB storage variant. As for the Redmi Y1 Lite, the phone comes in only one configuration with 2GB RAM and 16GB internal storage, and is priced at Rs. 6,999.

Redmi Y1, Redmi Y1 Lite specifications
The Redmi Y1’s biggest highlight is its 16-megapixel front camera. This comes with and LED selfie-light, for better selfies in low light conditions. The company is also touting the Beautify 3.0 feature on it, which helps beautify selfie photos. It bears a fingerprint sensor on the rear panel. The new phone has been launched in Gold and Dark Grey colour variants.

The dual-SIM Xiaomi Redmi Y1 will receive its MIUI 9 update in November, and sports a 5.5-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) display with Corning Gorilla Glass. It is powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 435 SoC, coupled with 3GB of RAM. The smartphone bears a 13-megapixel camera with PDAF and dual-LED flash. There is 32GB of inbuilt storage on the Xiaomi Redmi Y1, which is expandable via microSD card (up to 128GB) with its own dedicated card slot. It has standard connectivity options, including 4G VoLTE. It is powered by a 3080mAh battery. It weighs 153 grams, and measures 153×76.2×7.7mm.

Coming to the Redmi Y1 Lite, the phone has a 5.5-inch HD screen and 1.4GHz quad-core Snapdragon 425 processor. This dual Nano SIM phone has a dedicated microSD card slot and supports storage expansion up to 128GB. The resolution for the rear camera is 13-megapixel, with LED flash and PDAF, while the front camera has a 5-megapixel sensor. Its battery capacity is 3080mAh, and it features an IR blaster as well.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Google Pixel 2 XL is now available in India starting Wednesday. The new smartphone by Google will be made available online exclusively on Flipkart and it will be also available through offline channels. Pixel 2 XL (Review) can be purchased via Reliance Digital, Croma, Poorvika, Sangeetha Mobiles, Vijay Sales, and other offline retail stores across India beginning Wednesday.

Google Pixel 2 XL price in India
The Pixel 2 XL price in India starts at Rs. 73,000 for the 64GB model and 128GB model comes at Rs. 82,000. The company has announced several financing offers on the Pixel 2 XL from HDFC Bank, Bajaj Finance and other companies. Notably, the Google Pixel 2 has been already available in India from early November. Pixel 2 price in India starts at Rs. 61,000 for the 64GB model while 128GB model is priced at Rs. 70,000. During pre-orders, Reliance Jio had announced its offers on the pre-orders of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.

Pixel 2 XL and Pixel 2 specifications
The Pixel 2 features a 5-inch Cinematic 127-mm full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) display, while the Pixel 2 XL features a 6-inch QHD+ (2880 x 1440) P-OLED at 538ppi with 18:9 ratio. Both the displays also come equipped with 3D Corning Gorilla Glass 5. Neither of the handsets have the 3.5mm headphone jack, so there is that you should keep in mind before you place the order. It wasn’t immediately clear how soon customers in India will be able to place an order for either of the smartphones.

The Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC and 4GB of RAM. The handsets come in 64GB and 128GB storage variants. The Pixel 2 has a 2700mAh battery, while the Pixel 2 XL has a 3520mAh battery. On the photography front, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL offer the industry-best camera sensors. Both the phones house a 12.2-megapixel rear camera with f/1.8 aperture and optical and electronic image stabilisation. The front facing 8-megapixel camera has an aperture of f/2.4.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)


The Handmaid’s Tale season 2 will premiere in April 2018, Hulu has announced. It will have a total of 13 episodes, which is three more than the multiple Emmy-winning first season.

Alongside, Hulu has also provided a short description of what viewers can expect:

Based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 dystopian novel of the same name, The Handmaid’s Tale was a massive critical hit when it premiered in April this year. In our review, we called it “a terrific argument against orthodoxy”, and noted the performances of Elisabeth Moss (who plays Offred), the changes introduced by creator Bruce Miller, and the work of director Reed Morano as highlights.

At the Emmys in September, the Hulu drama picked up eight of its thirteen nominations, including wins for Best Drama Series, Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series (Moss), Best Directing for a Drama Series (Morano), and Best Writing for a Drama Series (Miller).

Its success at the Emmys gave Hulu a much-needed flagship of its own, and in turn helped the platform become one to watch alongside the likes of Netflix, HBO, and FX. Most of the second season will be new to book readers as well, since the first season pretty much covered what happens in Atwood’s pages.

In addition to Handmaid’s, Hulu has also set premiere dates for two new limited series – The Looming Tower, and Hard Sun – and a returning drama in The Path. The Looming Tower is an adaptation of Lawrence Wright’s 9/11 exposé, and it arrives February 28, 2018.

Hard Sun, a pre-apocalyptic crime drama from Luther creator Neil Cross, starring Jim Sturgess and Agyness Deyn as London detectives, premieres March 7. Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul-starrer The Path returns January 17, with Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire) in a key role.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)