Tag Archive: Apps



Google on Thursday rolled out its Expeditions app with a new solo mode for all users.

“Using this mode, they can explore over 600 different tours on their own. All that users need to do is download the Expeditions app (available on both Android and iOS), drop their phone into Google Cardboard and get ready for an adventure!” the company said in a statement.

For the past two years, the app was available only for teachers as a tool to extend learning inside the classroom, helping students to gain exposure to new career paths and learn about various social impact initiatives happening around the globe.

With the new update, users can either take these tours as an explorer or a guide.

As an ‘Explorer’, users can experience the tour on their own, where they can view more detailed information on various points of interest within the experience.

The ‘Guide Mode’ lets teachers preview a tour before embarking with their students on a virtual journey.

Expeditions also works on Daydream View VR headset-ready phones for more immersive and engaging experience.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


While we still await the much-delayed Web client of Google Allo, version 14 of the messaging app has now started rolling out for Android and brings message reactions to the platform. Currently, the latest update is not showing up for us but it is expected to be rolled out by the search giant in phases to the users.

Now, just like on Facebook Messenger, users can give emoji reactions to particular messages within the chat and once there are multiple reactions, the count of the reactions starts showing up beside the message. Amit Fulay, head of Google Allo, announced the new feature in his tweet saying, “Latest #GoogleAllo version out today! You can react to messages in chat (tap the heart to like them)”

Notably, unlike Facebook Messenger, Allo users can only react to messages with a heart-shaped emoji as of now. Fulay has suggested that there are more “under-the-hood enhancements” that come with the update but we will have to wait to figure out other notable additions. For now, there’s now word on when the updated app will hit iOS.

To recall, Google said in May that the Web client of the Allo app will be released in a month or two but recently clarified that it will take “few more weeks” to be made available. Nick Fox, VP, Communications Products at Google, said in a tweet in May: “I’m using Web client every day and loving it. Team is working hard to get it out ASAP [As Soon As Possible], but we’re still a month or two from public release.”

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


It seems as though Google’s Android platform is facing its worst time yet as far as malware infestations go. After two malware-related reports in the past week – CopyCat and SpyDealer – there are now reports of another malware, called LeakerLocker, that has the potential to send your personal pictures, messages and browser history to your friends. What’s more, this malware is also reportedly a ransomware that does not encrypt files.

Popular security technology company, McAfee has discovered that the LeakerLocker ransomware can be accidentally downloaded from the Google Play. As of now, It has noted two apps in particular, Wallpapers Blur HD and Booster & Cleaner Pro, that seem to carry the malware. Notably, the ransomware steals the information, creates an unauthorised backup, but does not encrypt them. Instead, it demands “a modest ransom,” failing which the attacker would leak the victim’s private data to their contacts.

McAfee has reported the ransomware to Google. One of the apps, Wallpapers Blur HD, has been downloaded between 5,000 and 10,000 times, and one user has pointed out that the wallpaper app strangely requests permissions such as calls, reading and sending SMS, access to contacts, among other things. The second malicious app, Booster & Cleaner Pro is an easier target as this is the sort of app that requires access to almost everything in your phone to function properly, which users may unwittingly give permission to.

LeakerLocker is the third in a series of malware-related reports this past week. On Monday, it was reported that an Android malware, named SpyDealer, had the ability to steal a user’s personal data from over 40 popular apps that include Facebook, WhatsApp, Skype, Telegram and more. This comes following another report last week of a CopyCat malware that had reportedly affected over 14 million Android devices last year. These cases have started to paint a pretty gloomy picture about the safety of Android OS, but at least we know that Google is taking some active anti-malware measures to help out its users.

For Android users who feel recent malware-related reports are getting too much for Google’s own good, there may a bit of relief in knowing that the tech giant has been reported to be working on an Android ‘panic button’ that would help users exit a potentially malicious app and back to the home screen. There’s no word on when Google will release this feature, but when last reported, it was being tested on Android 7.1 Nougat. It may not be much, but at least we know Google is taking some active measures to fight off compromised apps.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Paying income tax, applying for PAN and seeking redressal of grievances have become easier as the tax department Monday launched an app allowing taxpayers perform basic functions through their smartphone.

The mobile app will also help people link their 12-digit biometric identifier Aadhaar with Permanent Account Number (PAN) card as well as track the TDS deduction details.

The mobile app ‘Aaykar Setu’, launched by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, literally means bridge for taxpayers and will be available in Android phones.

“This is a very important step forward by the CBDT and the principle reason being technology as a very powerful tool becomes an enabler. (With the app) most of the work the assessee can discharge without any external help sitting at home,” the minister said.

This is the first mobile app by the CBDT and can be downloaded by giving missed calls to 7306525252.

The app will have a live chat facility named ‘Chatbot’ from 10 am to 6 pm which will provide solution to queries of taxpayers relating to PAN, TAN, TDS, return filing, refund status and tax payments.

Besides, people can also have a live chat with tax experts and provides address of nearby tax return preparer.

It provides ease of use of all the services related to tax payment including tax payment, tax calculation. Also if a taxpayer has a problem, this app will help in lodging his grievance in the e-Nivaran module of the CBDT.

The taxpayers will also be able to receive regular updates regarding important tax dates, forms and notifications on mobile numbers registered with the ITD.

All taxpayers who wish to receive such SMS alerts are advised to register their mobile numbers in the Aaykar Setu module.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) will also activate the option of filing tax returns using the mobile app in the coming months.

“The app reduces the physical interface between assessing officer (AO) and assessees. Physical interface has many unintended consequences – it is time consuming and can lead to improprieties,” Jaitley said.

The tax department, he said, has endeavoured to reduce interface and a lot of it has already happened. The app will make it “far more convenient” and make compliance easy.

“It also helps us in improving the image of the department. For the reason that one of the not so acceptable alibis given by those who don’t comply is we don’t comply because the harassment that compliance involves. Not that this reason has much reason in it, but today this reason gets eliminated more the interface is reduced,” he said.

Jaitley said an external audit must be done to see how much of the interface has been reduced and which are the other areas where it can be done.

The app will also have a section as ‘tax gyaan’ which will be a multiple choice question web-based game to provide knowledge to the youth accessible from mobile as well as desktop.

The mobile app is in the series of actions taken by the CBDT to provide better taxpayer services and reduce grievances.

The new initiative is a step by the I-T department to directly communicate with the taxpayers on a range of multiple informative and useful tax services aimed at providing tax information at their fingertips.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


SoundCloud is cutting about 40 percent of its staff in a cost-cutting move the digital music service says will give it a better financial footing to compete against larger rivals Spotify and Apple.

SoundCloud, which in January said it was at risk of running out of money, informed staff on Thursday that 173 jobs would be eliminated. It had 420 employees. The company’s operations will be consolidated at its headquarters in Berlin and another office in New York. Offices in San Francisco and London will be shut.

“We need to ensure our path to long-term, independent success,” Alex Ljung, the company’s co-founder and chief executive officer, said in a blog post published on SoundCloud’s website. He said the company has doubled its revenue over the past 12 months – without providing specifics – and that the cuts put it on a path to profitability.

SoundCloud has about 175 million listeners who are drawn to its expansive library of songs, dance mixes, podcasts and other user-generated content uploaded by artists ranging from established stars to bedroom DJs. Popular among passionate young music fans, artists such as Chance the Rapper post material to site before it’s released elsewhere, while record labels use it to scout new talent.

But the cultural cachet has never translated into a successful business model. Most of the content on SoundCloud is free, and a subscription tier introduced last year that put some music behind a paywall hasn’t been as successful as executives hoped. In recent years, the company has explored a sale to Twitter and to Spotify, but a deal never reached the finish line.

Rival music services, including Apple Music, are among those again looking to acquire SoundCloud, according a report in the New York Post earlier this month. Spotify and Apple Music are the two largest players in the on-demand streaming music business. Spotify said in June it has more than 140 million users and more than 50 million subscribers, while Apple said its music service has 27 million customers.

Ljung said the goal of the cuts is to remain a standalone business. “By reducing our costs and continuing our revenue growth, we’re on our path to profitability and in control of SoundCloud’s independent future,” he said.

SoundCloud’s inability to create a stable business model on top of its large audience reflects broader challenges in the music industry. While consumer adoption of streaming services has led the world’s largest record labels to see sustained sales growth for the first time since the glory days of the CD, the companies delivering the music online have struggled to make money.

Pandora has never had an annual profit, and just sold a minority stake to online radio company SiriusXM. Spotify’s losses have grown despite rapid consumer adoption. Meanwhile, companies such as Apple and Amazon use music to draw users for their broader businesses.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


When it comes to tackling growing cyber-security attacks including ransomware threats, the world needs public-private partnerships more than ever to nab those behind such attacks, Russian cyber-security giant Kaspersky Lab has stressed.

“Private and public cyber-security experts should work together to collect malware artefacts, map and analyse cyber-attacks and find the trail of the hackers responsible for the most cyber campaigns around the world,” said Eugene Kaspersky, Kaspersky Lab CEO.

He was addressing the ‘Palaeontology of Cyber-Security Conference’ here on Thursday as part of the ‘INTERPOL World Congress 2017’, the second addition of the global exhibition and congress platform hosted by the world’s largest police organisation in Singapore’s Suntec City.

In its bid to intensify fight against cyber criminals, Kaspersky Lab teamed up with the Interpol in 2014.

Kaspersky’s remarks came in the wake of the recent ‘Petya’ attack – a new form of malware attack that permanently destroys data – that shut computers in several countries.

Stephan Neumeier, Managing Director of Kaspersky Lab Asia Pacific, also vouched for the public-private cooperation in fighting cyber crimes.

“We have always believed that public-private cooperation is crucial in fighting cyber crime worldwide. As a private company, we are proud to collaborate with the authorities of many countries and international law enforcement agencies,” Neumeier said.

“Our participation in the Interpol’s World Congress 2017 demonstrates our principle of cooperation with the IT security industry,” Neumeier added.

According to Vitaly Kamluk, Director of Global Research and Analysis Team, Asia Pacific (APAC) at Kaspersky, as palaeontologists dig the remains of dinosaurs and relics from ancient civilisations and then determine which pieces are connected and which are not, Kaspersky Lab experts investigate attacks by gathering several samples of malware.

“The samples then analysed, compared and shared with other cyber palaeontologists to further uncover and understand a massive cyber-attacks,” Kamluk said.

Kaspersky Lab also celebrated it’s 20th anniversary and also relocated its Singapore office.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Symantec is acquiring Israeli cyber-security startup Fireglass, the company said on Thursday, in a small deal designed to boost its products that protect corporate email and Web browsing from threats.

Symantec is paying an undisclosed sum for the Tel Aviv-based company of about 40 employees. Fireglass specialises in an area of security called “browser isolation,” a technology that creates virtual websites allowing users to browse any content without having viruses touch their network.

“Browser isolation” is an area that Symantec had been looking to enter for some time, Chief Executive Greg Brown said in an interview. He cited a Gartner report that projected that 50 percent of enterprises would adopt browser isolation by 2021.

Healthcare companies, financial institutions, government and telecommunications firms have been early adopters of the technology, he said.

“While it’s what I would call a ‘tuck-in’ acquisition, it will be very valuable to us as we bring it to our customers,” Brown said.

Symantec has been one of the most serial acquirers in security companies in recent years, gobbling up Lifelock for $2.3 billion earlier this year and Blue Coat for $4.65 billion in 2016.

The deal will also increase the company’s footprint in Israel, a hotbed for cyber-security, where Brown said Symantec has been looking to expand. Israel, which has more than 400 cyber-security startups, attracts about 20 percent of private global cyber investment, Reuters has reported.

Large US technology companies often go “shopping” in Israel when they are looking for acquisitions and engineering talent. Last month, Microsoft agreed to acquire Hexadite, a US-Israeli provider of technology to automate responses to cyber-attacks for an undisclosed sum.

The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of the calendar year.

Fireglass, founded in 2014 by a former Check Point Software Technologies executive, was backed by investors such as Lightspeed Venture Partners and Norwest Venture Partners. It had raised $20 million in early 2016 and competes with Menlo Security.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Laying out norms for limiting customer liability in online banking frauds, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday directed banks to credit the amount involved in the unauthorised electronic transaction within 10 working days to the account holder.

“With the increased thrust on financial inclusion and customer protection and considering the recent surge in customer grievances relating to unauthorised transactions resulting in debits to their accounts/cards, the criteria for determining the customer liability in these circumstances have been reviewed,” RBI said in a notification in Mumbai.

In cases of zero and limited liability of the customer “on being notified by the customer, the bank shall credit the amount involved in the unauthorised electronic transaction to the customer’s account within 10 working days from the date of such notification by the customer (without waiting for settlement of insurance claim, if any)”, it said.

Banks may also at their discretion decide to waive off any customer liability in case of unauthorised electronic banking transactions even in cases of customer negligence, the notification said.

RBI also said that banks need to ask their customers to mandatorily register for SMS alerts and email alerts for electronic banking transactions.

“The SMS alerts shall mandatorily be sent to the customers, while email alerts may be sent, wherever registered. The customers must be advised to notify their bank of any unauthorised electronic banking transaction at the earliest after the occurrence of such transaction, and informed that the longer the time taken to notify the bank, the higher will be the risk of loss to the bank/customer,” it said.

Further, banks shall ensure that the resolution of a customer complaint does not exceed 90 days from the date of receipt of the complaint, and the customer is compensated as per provisions.

“In case of debit card/bank account, the customer does not suffer loss of interest, and in case of credit card, the customer does not bear any additional burden of interest,” it said.

RBI also noted that the customer should not delay in reporting of the fraud beyond seven days. “If the delay in reporting is beyond seven working days, the customer liability shall be determined as per the bank’s Board approved policy.”

Zero liability of a customer:
A customer’s entitlement to zero liability shall arise where the unauthorised transaction occurs due to negligence/deficiency on the part of the bank (irrespective of whether or not the transaction is reported by the customer).

Third party breach where the deficiency lies neither with the bank nor with the customer but lies elsewhere in the system, and the customer notifies the bank within three working days of receiving the communication from the bank regarding the unauthorised transaction.

Limited liability of a customer:
A customer shall be liable for the loss occurring due to unauthorised transactions in cases where the loss is due to negligence by a customer, such as where he has shared the payment credentials, the customer will bear the entire loss until he reports the unauthorised transaction to the bank.

“Any loss occurring after the reporting of the unauthorised transaction shall be borne by the bank.

“In cases where the responsibility for the unauthorised electronic banking transaction lies neither with the bank nor with the customer, but lies elsewhere in the system and when there is a delay (of four to seven working days after receiving the communication from the bank) on the part of the customer in notifying the bank of such a transaction, the per transaction liability of the customer shall be limited to the transaction value or the amount mentioned, whichever is lower,” it said.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


EU member states can ban ride-hailing pioneer Uber without informing the European Commission because at heart it is an ordinary transport company under their jurisdiction, a top EU lawyer said Tuesday.

San Francisco-based Uber insists it is a service, not a transport provider, connecting riders with freelance drivers directly and much more cheaply than traditional cab companies.

But critics and competitors say this allows it to dodge costly regulation and several countries, led by France, have banned its low-cost UberPOP service as a result.

Uber France challenged the ban, saying it amounted to regulation of an information company which Paris should have first lodged with the Commission, the European Union’s administrative arm.

However, Maciej Szpunar, an advocate general with the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice, said Uber was in fact an ordinary transport company and so member states could go ahead and regulate its activities without notifying the Commission in advance.

He recalled that in a May 11 opinion on a related case concerning Uber Spain, he had concluded that UberPOP “does not constitute an information society service.”

Szpunar also argued that even if the ECJ, the EU’s highest court, should at some stage determine UberPOP was indeed an information service provider, a ban in response to “the illegal exercise of a transport activity does not constitute a technical regulation within the meaning of the directive.”

 

“Notification of the draft law to the Commission would not be necessary in that situation either,” he said.

He argued that member states only had a duty to notify the Commission if they took a specific, targeted action against information service providers.

“Rules which affect those services only in an implicit or incidental manner are excluded from the notification obligation,” he said.

The ECJ’s advocate generals – its top lawyers – are regularly called on to provide initial guidance to the court which in most instances follows their advice in its final rulings.

The French authorities banned Uber after violent protests by traditional taxi drivers.

Uber in turn filed complaint with the EU against France and other states, arguing that national policies hostile to its operations violate European law.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Microsoft Corp. is planning a global sales reorganisation to better focus on selling cloud software, according to people familiar with the matter.

The restructuring is scheduled to be announced as soon as next week and will impact the Worldwide Commercial Business under Judson Althoff and Jean-Philippe Courtois’ global sales and marketing group, the people said.

Job cuts are likely to result from the changes, said the people, who asked not to be identified speaking about unannounced plans. The shifts will be some of the most significant in the sales force in years and will also impact local marketing efforts in various countries, said one of the people. There may be other smaller personnel changes in other parts of the company too, one of other people said. A Microsoft spokesman declined to comment.

The company’s sales force has been trained for years to sell software for use on desktops and servers. Now it’s more important to convince customers to sign up for cloud services hosted in Microsoft’s datacenters. The Redmond, Washington-based company wants to accelerate this switch to add more revenue and catch cloud market leader Amazon.com.

Friday is the end of Microsoft’s fiscal year, the first in which Althoff and Courtois have run the sales and marketing organisations, taking over from Kevin Turner who left in 2016.

The Puget Sound Business Journal reported earlier than the company planned a companywide reorganisation around the cloud.

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)