WhatsApp Scams: Instructions to Detect Them in Time

In recent times, you must have heard about WhatsApp Scams in the media.

WhatsApp has more than 1 Billion users all over the world. It is the second most popular social network, between Facebook (the first) and YouTube (the third). That is why it is an objective to deceive us.

WhatsApp Scams

It is nothing new. It’s been a while since WhatsApp has been used to scam its users. Recently another scam related to WhatsApp became popular and sooner than later we will know a new one.

As with email and phishing, friends of the outside employ WhatsApp to pose as companies or popular brands. Their goal is that we give them our money, directly or indirectly, either by making a payment for something that we will never see or by contracting paid telephone subscriptions without knowing it.

WhatsApp Scams

How to detect WhatsApp scams if they fall on your phone?

Unsolicited advertising:

One of the most popular types of WhatsApp scams have to do with offers, discounts and other advantages you can get thanks to you, and only you, have received a certain message with a link.

WhatsApp Scams

Think twice. Did you request advertising for that brand or service? Why are they going to contact you to offer you an offer or discount via WhatsApp?

Make sure that the number that sends the message corresponds to the company or brand in question. And most importantly, especially on Android, do not open the link, it will surely take you to an unsafe address that installs malware on your smartphone.

Test new features:

A common complaint in WhatsApp scams is to offer you to be among the first to try new features of this messaging app.

Who would not want to be the first to try something? Unfortunately, WhatsApp does not work like that. New features appear via official updates, in the App Store or on Google Play. And the Beta versions are limited to a small group of testers, they will not invite you to try it with a random message from an unknown phone number.

WhatsApp Scams

So forget about opening a link to go to know what web address that promises new functions only available to a few. And, in Android, distrust of installing an APK without signing or not coming from Google Play or a well-known and legit alternative store.

Impossible tricks:

Read what someone writes before sending it, listen to a foreign conversation, know if someone is really connected, deactivate a new WhatsApp feature that you do not like.

WhatsApp updates are not always liked by everyone, and WhatsApp scams try to take advantage of this discontent promising to deactivate the changes or activate hidden functions.

Message chains:

The chains of messages are a classic that comes from the mail on paper and spread by email. Currently, it is still popular in emails and now also in social networks (Facebook especially) and in messaging apps like WhatsApp.

WhatsApp Scams

You have to differentiate between two types of messages. There are those whose purpose is to spread a lie. While they will not damage your phone, they will waste your time and the only thing you will do is take part in spreading a hoax. Collections for sick children, kidnappings, food in poor condition and the list is endless.

In summary, these are the characteristics of WhatsApp scams:

  • They come from an unknown source or phone number.
  • They pose as well-known contacts, friends or relatives.
  • They offer something you will not find on the page or official channels.
  • To “benefit” you have to register or sign up for an external page.
  • In the case of chain messages, their spelling leaves much to be desired.

The basic recommendations to avoid falling into WhatsApp scams:

  • Download WhatsApp from the app stores or from the official page.
  • Check the accuracy of any message on the official page of the brand in question.
  • Do not trust, by default, any unknown number, especially if they are special, shorter than usual.
  • Do not open links. If you have to go to an address, look for it or go to the official source.
  • Break the chains. Before sharing a message with your contacts, verify that it is true with official pages or reliable sources.

You will like to read next article: WhatsApp Tests “Suspicious Link Detection” to Control Fake News.

PREVIEW OF MICROSOFT WINDOWS 10 IOT CORE OPERATING SYSTEM SERVICES

Microsoft would be previewing a new paid service – it is a windows 10 IoT core operating service that would allow the user to manage updates across all their devices and assess the health of their devices. This new service would have a 10 year support lifespan far every version of the OS that would be released.

The windows 10 IoT core operating system would be available for free via a Semi-Annual Channel (SAC) and would receive updates – this would include new features (at least twice a year). The Windows 10 IoT would ensure that all your devices have all the security updates, fix all your bugs via the Windows long-Term Servicing channel (LTSC).

A lot of new features would not be added to the OS base so that it can be very stable and therefore minimize the risk of the service disrupting. Every two to three years, Microsoft usually release a new feature or service on the LTSC channel according to Microsoft program manager Rushmi Malaviarachchi – services that would be supported for 10 years.

FEATURES OF THE MICROSOFT WINDOWS 10 IOT CORE OPERATING SYSTEM SERVICES

The devices that would be updated using the new Device Update Center (DUC) would be in your control. The devices that would get updated, whether it is the OS, device drivers, files, OEM-specific application would be all up to you.

You can also control specific updates for each device model. You can create three distinct channels so that you can control the update roll-out process and confirm the updates on a smaller subset of devices before going live. The channels would serve as preview for the test devices, early adopter for self-host devices, and general availability for production devices.

A very cool feature of the windows 10 IoT core operating system service is the ability to evaluate the trustworthiness of a device before it boots. This interesting feature is made possible via Device Health Attestation (DHA), which would validate the number of device logs and produce a DHA report. It would come along with an Azure IoT Device Management system which enables you to o yreboot, make a factory reset, or reset an unhealthy device, deny others network access to your devices and even create a service ticket.

The Windows 10 IoT Core operating system  would be free for Microsoft users, while the Windows 10 IoT Core Services would be available through a paid subscription. During the preview period, the subscription price would be $0.15 per device per month. After the preview period, the subscription price would become $0.30 per device per month afterwards. Anyone can use the Windows Update services on IoT devices but for a small fee.

MICROSOFT WINDOWS 10 IOT CORE OPERATING SYSTEM

Internet of Things has being a revelation in the tech world and would count for over a 100 billion device getting connected over the next decade. Microsoft is getting ahead of their competitors and cashing in on this opportunity via a subscription based access to their customers with a guarantee of updates and support.

READ ALSO: LATEST NEWS FROM JEFF BEZOS NEW SHEPARD ROCKET LAUNCHEDu BY BLUE ORIGIN

Grand Theft Auto V Rumored Extensions

The world famous action-adventure game series has withstood the test of time and still manages to pull off a few pleasant surprises once in a while. The GTA is a true game veteran which first hit the game industry in 2008 and since then has remained formidable, topping ratings for as long as we can remember.

The GTA V, like its predecessors, was published by the intelligently insane Rockstar North developers. GTA V was released September 2013 for major game platforms such as Xbox and PlayStation 3 but later hit PlayStation 4 in 2014. Since then, computer game fans and enthusiasts have wondered when the windows version would be feasible; with the right amount of pressures, Microsoft Windows launched its own version in April 2015. This was, of course, a game changer and gave more props to the Rockstar north as sales blossomed and the game popularity from that point was simply off the charts.

The grand theft auto series is an open world design, which has a peculiarity that can only be imitated by very few gaming companies. Everyone has, at some point imagined living in a place like the virtual San Andreas depicted in the Grand Theft Auto V. a classic crime city that is slowly going into oblivion with a high level of crime and potential perpetrators at every corner.

The GTA V Storyline

The grand theft auto V narrative features a modern day San Andreas which is based on South California. It “storifies” the adventure of three criminal minds and their carefully plotted or perhaps spontaneous and disorganized (depending on who holds the joystick) plan for a mega-heist which is expected to pay off really big. Your character has to deal with the dynamics of living a life of crime and negotiating with shady cartels to gain favors while under pressure from a secret government service that targets criminal cartels.

The Open world of GTA V

Imagine the look of shock and glee on the face of fans when they realize that everything is possible in the virtual open world of San Andreas. This fictional city enables players to do absolutely anything while roaming the city. Break into houses, steal cars, make purchases, and harass pedestrians, basically anything!

You can play from a first-person or a third-person perspective; also navigate the city on foot or in a vehicle, following maps to track whatever you need. As you meet with people and interact, the storyline begins to unfold and you are responsible for the outcomes.

The story is uniquely based on missions and premeditated heists with high action intensity, guns blazing, and a regulated government system that tags individuals as “wanted” in response to the level of crimes committed.

 

GTA V Extension possibilities

 Even though the idea of extensions is yet unconfirmed the GTA is a game that has seen a lot of upgrades from storylines to music upgrades. The rumor of Nightclub for GTA V which apparently would allow players to own a virtual nightclub to reel in extra cash is yet unsubstantiated, but there are major plans for Grand Theft Auto V in the near future.

MICROSOFT INTELLIMOUSE LAUNCHES ERGONOMIC DESIGN

Microsoft has taken a major initiative to reconstruct the Microsoft Intellimouse 3.0. Designing the all-new corded Intellimouse was an idea that was triggered by the simplicity and sophistication of the 3.0; having all of its strengths and none of its weaknesses.

The Intellimouse features its original customizable buttons, improved ergonomic hand-hold and the traditional USB wired connection which plugs into your computer device; adding an extra spice to computer gaming and the ease of creating and rendering high-end graphics.

Huge improvements have been made on the buttons in term of angular shifts to give it a comfier and glitch-free feel while the tail lights are a peculiar white color.

The Glitch in the Wireless

 The convenience of the Bluetooth wireless mouse cannot be undermined as it provides convenience and flexibility. Distance from your computer system is “no biggy” and the tail light gives fluidity to track. The wireless mouse has major advantages and is quite efficient; it only has one little glitch, that is the variable connectivity which makes all the difference.

Often times you may need to wait some seconds for Bluetooth connectivity to complete pairing before your wireless mouse is ready for usage. The brief time-loss can be a bit of a bother in times of urgency. Microsoft Corporation took this into consideration, along with a few other mechanics while engineering the classic “computer rodent”.

The Responsiveness

Through the early years, computer technology has greatly improved and diversified; Starting from the age of the roller-ball mouse, which made quite a buzz until expert hardware developers decided that the responsiveness could be improved with laser tail-lights. The tail light is adequately sensitive and highly responsive; delivering significant disparity between the Intellimouse and previous models.

Quick Connectivity

The Computer mouse is a navigational hardware that requires a connectivity mechanism; except on laptops where there are inbuilt mouse-pads.

The computer mouse can either be a wireless connectivity or come with a USB wire, which is plugged into the system side-port.

The ease of connectivity improved from the first generation roller-ball mouse to the wireless laser mouse era. However, the connectivity can be a little technical, especially when the Bluetooth connectivity between both systems take a while to establish. This can affect work momentum when you need to get some work done. On the average, connectivity often takes a couple of seconds or more, depending on both devices.

The Microsoft Intellimouse eliminates the need for the search-connect dynamics, it simply activates immediately it is plugged into the system port.

Comfort in Usage

The exterior design of the mouse can also affect work done; think shape, size, and texture. If the mouse has a solid rough surface, a hard click or an awkward palm fitment, it may be a bit of a turn-off to use; which inadvertently will impede on work progress, as you may not be able to do long hours of work using this “discomforting pebble.”

The Intellimouse leverages on these points with its elegant ergonomic design which delivers comfort and fluidity in every click and maneuver. It has great stability and stands out as an all-time fan favorite.

The Intellimouse can be used on all windows systems with exceptions to Mac OS X, Android, and IOS. Starting price for the classic Microsoft Intellimouse is set at $39.99 but can be purchased for more in the open market.

A GUIDE ON HOW TO FIX A FROZEN WINDOWS 10 DURING UPDATE

Maintaining and updating your windows 10 to have the latest security patches, offers and updates is highly important. These essential updates fix the bugs in the security outlay and also add additional features too. For users, regularly updates of your Windows operating system is required for smooth functionality.

frozen windows 10

The only downside to the automatic updates is the habit of Microsoft pushing their updates onto their users at very inconvenient times, and you can even get stuck during the update process. Apart from disrupting you mid-work, the frozen windows 10 updates is one of the annoying part of the operating system.

Before you follow this article on how to fix a frozen window 10, you have to be sure that it is really stuck and not just taking its time – just to be safe. If you rush the process, you may end up creating more problems than the one you started with. A good indicator of it being stuck is when there has been no on-screen activity for a number of hours – let’s say five.

How to fix a frozen windows 10 update

Step 1 – Ctrl-Alt-Del:

This is the quick fix method for an update that is frozen at any particular point. This method has been tried-and-trusted and will function to allow the user to get into the login screen and sign in as you would normally. If this doesn’t work, then you would need to act further.

Step 2 – Restart your PC:

Manufacturers warn expressly that resetting your PC mid-installation is a no no, but if your windows is genuinely frozen then you won’t have a lot of options left. Just use your power or reset button, you just have to hold it down till the system reboots.

Step 3 – Boot into Safe Mode:

For you to get into  Safe Mode, you go to the Startup Settings menu. In the Safe Mode, everything is disabled but the main essentials Windows would run, ensuring that any software problems that is interfering with the update are removed. After you finish installing the update, you can then restart your windows to exit Safe Mode.

Step 4 – System Restore:

A good way to safeguard your operating system from getting stuck is to perform a system restore. Windows would create a restore backup just before the update is applied so you can go back to the backup point if there are any problems. To access the System Restore function, you get it from the Safe Mode option and if that doesn’t work you can go the Advanced Startup Options.

Step 5 – Startup Repair:

This a step further than doing a basic System Restore. You have a Startup Repair tool for this function or you can access it from the Advanced Startup Options screen. It helps in fixing issues that you didn’t even realize that could be hurting the update process.

Step 6 – Perform a clean Windows installation:

This is the last thing you can do if everything else fails. This might involve you erasing your previous copy of windows and start the whole installation from scratch. Note that doing this might end up erasing your entire hard drive, so make sure you have backed up every important data in your PC before you perform a clean windows installation.

Also Read: Huawei Matebook X Pro – the best laptop money can buy. 

How to find the name of a song

Image result for Song

We’ve all had that feeling, be it at a club, chilling at home or outside. There’s a song playing, maybe it’s on the street, even a live performance, but you don’t know the title. You ask a friend and they don’t know either. Maybe you’re remembering something from your childhood and you’re reminded the lyrics of a song. Or maybe you just remember the beat.

These are all familiar issues to every one of us, and as music is so prevalent in our lives these days, it is a true problem. That is why we’ve assembled a detailed list of ways and tools to deal with this issue. So without further ado, this is how to find the title of a song:

When you do know the lyrics:

1. Google it

Well, this seems kind of obvious, but when you know part of the lyrics to a song, google is the easiest way to get to it. Google also now owns YouTube, which lets it use content from there in helping your search for the song. It’ll usually put out a YouTube video of the song.

However that’s not all google offers, it also has an extensive “what’s this song” feature on mobile devices or the web, where you play the song, and it automatically detects what it is, similar to Shazam. It good old Google doesn’t cut it, maybe you’ll be able to find that song through one of these:

2. Lyricsworld

Lyricsworld is quite a simple website. It’s a search engine that lists multiple music-hosting websites, as well as lyrics hosting sites and indexes them. This means you can search for songs be it via artist, lyrics, song title or anything else. Its sleek design is quite a large plus.

However despite its simple design, it should not be underestimated, as it has one of the biggest song databases on the internet to pull from. As well as using Google’s own for its purposes.

3.Genius Lyrics

Genius started as a way of showing rap lyrics, being named Rap Genius. Over the years, they’ve expanded to include more than hip-hop. Going over rock,metal,classic,opera etc. Through their success they’ve moved even past lyrics. They believe every song has a story, and some of the biggest name in music have written, or been interviewed by Genius.They’re the most extensive lyrics database on the internet with over 25 million indexed songs.

The creative team at Genius spotlights stories behind new and important music. They work with music makers, as well as the community to form insider knowledge videos, content about events, in depth features and breaking news coverage.

If you don’t know the lyrics:

Search engines like Google or Bing won’t be of much help unless you know a couple of words from the song lyrics or have some clue about the name of the artist or the band. How do you then identify the name of that lovely song?

1.  Shazam

Shazam is a mobile-exclusive app, you can use it to find song names from your mobile device, it even works on Windows mobile and Nokia phones. Hell, even the ipod touch supports Shazam. If you’re in the UK, you can even dial 2580 and just hold your phone to the music! It is by far the most popular music recognition app, and for good reason, Shazam offers a wonderful design, simple functionality and in general it just works.

The way its used is, after installation, you just hold your phone to the source of the music and press the tag button. Shazam will automatically identify the music playing, although this sounds great, it has some downsides. For one, Shazam only works with recordings, and not live performances. It is also not purely free, the free version will only allow you to identify 5 tracks a month.

The premium version, called Encore, offers unlimited song detection for 4.99$. If the music cannot be identified, you will not be charged.

2.MusicID

An iPhone nigh exclusive. It’s quite similar to Shazam, in that it also only works with pre-recorded music. It’s a 3$ app available worldwide on the iphone, though if you’re an AT&T user, a Blackberry, Windows Mobile, or any Java phone works just fine with it. They’ve also got a US-Exclusive service wherein you write an SMS to a number, dial a code and hold up your phone to the music. The MusicID team will then send you a text with the outcome of the identification process.

Another interesting feature of it, is that it saves your history, so you can see the songs that have been playing around you for a while. It also works without directly pointing it in the direction of the speaker, so it’s quite good for a club or concert setting.

You can also use it to search music via artist or name of the song. So it incorporates some other features into its design as well. It’ll also give you access to the artist’s biography and download links!

3.Midomi

If you have a song that’s stuck in your head, just grab a mic, hum that tune yourself and Midomi will be able tell you what that song is. If that’s not your deal, you can play a short recording of it and have Midomi realize its name.

Unlike the just mentioned two, Midomi in addition to being an app, offers a web interface where you’re able to hum for about 10 seconds and it’ll show you a list of songs that match your beat. For the best identification progress, try to keep the volume bar in the green and avoid any and all background noise.

Another pro of Midomi on the other two so far is that it is completely free, although it does sport advertisements. It’s an app for pretty much every platform of mobile device, in addition to being available on PC or mac.

4. AudioTag 

If you’ve got a recording of a song on your PC or mobile decice, you could use the online music recognition capabilities of AutioTag to identify the exact name of the song. It’s similar to Midomi’s recording system, although a bit more complex.

You can upload a short audio snippet or even a recording of the whole song, using that, AudioTag will identify the title of the track by comparing it to the music in its own database. If you want the best possible results, you should either upload from the middle of the song, or its entirety so AudioTag can slice it at a random place by itself. This is especially useful when you can record a portion of the song on your mobile device when you’re offline, and then search for it when back online. This would have to be our pick for finding what music is playing at a nearby concert venue, club etc. because it doesn’t require an internet connection for you to find the song’s title later, and it works no matter at which point in the song you realize you’re into it.

5. Musipedia 

Musipedia is more for those with an in-born musician’s ear. Or possibly for musicians themselves. You can search for a song by playing it on a digital piano, or even by whistling to the tune using your microphone.

Musipedia takes its inspiration from Wikipedia, and excels at finding classical pieces of music. Unlike eg. Shazam, which will only find songs that match the exact recording, Musipedia will find all songs containing a particular melody recorded through hummind or keyboard.

6. MelodyCatcher 

If you’re able to use a virtual keyboard, MelodyCatcher might be the perfect thing for you. Its got a simple, Java based interface, you just need to use your mouse to enter the melody, press search and MelodyCatcher will present you a list of matching songs from across the internet. like Musipedia, you don’t need to enter the whole thing, just the first 10 or so notes will usually be enough to find a melody.

7. SoundHound

SoundHound is by far Shazam’s biggest competitor and rival. The way they work is essentially the same, although the interfaces differ. SoundHound also has the humming a song feature, and offers speedy delivery of your chosen song. It’s sleek and quick design in our opinion edges out on Shazam’s. All in all, while they are quite similar, we’d say that either of them has their own niche. For example, another benefit of SoundHound is for example, listening to radio in the car, while you need to physically hold your phone for Shazam to work properly, SoundHound works by simply saying “Hound, what song is this” and leaving the phone where ever.

8. WhoSampled

This one is for the true music nerds among us. WhoSampled, as opposed to competing with the likes of Shazam or SoundHound, decided to carve out its own niche. While the rest excel at identifying particular songs, WhoSampled is made for a much more underground audience. It’s got an extensive database of indie songs, remixes, summer jams and similar. The feature which enables the community to quickly add songs persists, and this makes it one of the best ways to find a song which is not by a world-famous artist.

If you need the help of another person:

Sometimes, no matter how many automated services you try, they just don’t cut it. Maybe the audio is too cluttered for a service to recognize, or maybe there’s too much background noise. Maybe it’s too underground to be indexed? Or maybe the song isn’t even available online? For those situations, you’ll need the help of other people, and that’s exactly what these platforms are for!

1. WatZatSong 

WatZatSong, despite it’s admittedly illiterate name. Is a social network where you can upload a short MP3 recording of the song, or even record yourself humming or whistling and other site members will help you guess the exact song. Oftentimes these will be the best sources when it comes to songs in other languages. Obviously this isn’t as quick as using an automated platform, however it does provide quite a few interesting features. For example, you don’t even need to know the song, you could provide the topic, the way it’s sung, or even the music style.

2.Name My Tune

First, you can sing or hum a short clip, then you enter the recording genre or the era that you think the song is from. Then they’ll forward this to other people on the site and e-mail you if people are able to recognize it.

Best platforms do discover new songs:

Sometimes you don’t want to find a certain song. Sometimes you just want to find a banger tune to listen to. And for that purpose, these are by far the best websites:

1. Spotify

Spotify is continuing its reign on music streaming, and is implementing music discovery as one of its leading features. Going above its classical streaming services and weekly Discover playlist. They’ve added a personalized Release Radar that keeps you up to date with bands you follow, as well as the New Music Friday which comes with all the new hits from that week.

2. SoundCloud

SoundCloud’s another streaming service for finding new music, though it can also help with finding song titles of songs you’ve already listened to. There’s so many different playlists on SoundCloud, and it’s a galore for indie artists, as anyone can post an MP3 on the site. This allows SoundCloud an otherwise impossible amount of indie content. In case you’re looking for a really, really underground song title. Soundcloud is the way to go, and as one of the leaders in the music streaming industry, it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.

So in the end, there are so many services to find a particular song, that it’s less about can technology help you identify it, and much more about using the correct platform. We hope this list has helped you realize some of those, and that it’ll come in handy whenever you need to find the name of a particular song and you just can’t think of it!

 

6 steps to protect photos of your mobile phone from ending up on the internet

Increasingly, private and personal photos, images, and other information are ending up in public view on the web today. You may not have uploaded it yourself on the internet, you just have stored it on the cloud or some other safe place, yet some ill-intentioned individual can access those images and publish it. If you are seeking to protect photos, you are here are the right place.

Protect Photos

The mobile phones of millions of people keep hundreds of photos inside. Images that have come through different sources such as WhatsApp, social networks, contact applications, in many cases, these are photographs that we would not like to be disseminated as they are private.

Here we give you steps to protect photos of your phone from ending up on the internet:

How to Protect Photos?

# 1 – Review application permissions:

Applications such as Facebook, Twitter, and etc. include measures to configure more and better security measures.

Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, among others, each time there are more applications that have a presence on the mobile. To avoid panic, it is best to access the settings of the applications and remove the permissions so that these programs do not have access to the images. In this way, the web servers of the applications will not be able to share the photographs and thus you can protect photos.

# 2 – Turn off automatic synchronization:

Cloud services, such as iCloud and Dropbox, automatically store photos and videos if you do not disable automatic synchronization. To protect photos from loading automatically and manually control the storage of those documents, you must review the permissions and settings of the phone in Google and Android or iCloud (iPhone).

# 3 – Use two-step verification:

Adding a second password is very useful. Sometimes single password may not be enough, so if you are considering improving the security protocols of your phone, the most useful thing is to activate two-step verification on the device. Both the Android and iPhone operating systems, as well as applications such as Facebook and Twitter,  allow this option. The most advisable, as always, is to use passwords with alternation of uppercase and lowercase, as well as numbers.

Protect Photos

# 4 – Hide photos in invisible folders:

Utilities like Picture Safe and Private Photo Vault, in iOS devices, and Hide Something or Keep Safe. In Android, it allows you to activate a PIN code to unblock photos and videos. This way, it will be protected in a safe way.

# 5 – Lock the phone screen:

The fingerprint is one of the new protection systems in latest smartphones. The latest developments in recognition systems, such as the facial method or blocking patterns, serve to better protect photos and videos. And, finally, another basic advice that is not always followed, never leave the mobile phone within the reach of strangers.

Protect Photos

# 6 – Delete metadata from photos:

The photos we make and receive have a lot of internal information. These are the so-called metadata, which reveals, for example, the telephone model with which those images have been taken, the time and even the location. If you do not want these data to be known, there are applications such as Image Privacy (Android) or GeoGone (iOS) to erase them.

If you will take care of these steps, you will surely be able to protect photos from ending up on the internet.

You will also like to read next article: Samsung Launches Its First Wind-Free Air Conditioning:

 

Net neutrality-Why is it important anyways?

Image result for net neutrality

What is net neutrality?

Net neutrality is the principle that internet providers treat all web traffic equally. Now what this means is that for example, a provider company couldn’t restrict traffic to certain websites(Eg. the websites of their competition) or make it better on others(Eg. by entering a partnership with another business)

What it has done so far:

Now in 2015, the FCC passed the law that providers wouldn’t be able to do this. A provider eg. Comcast wouldn’t be able to charge say Amazon for a faster path to its customers, or block it or slow it down.
Besides blocking this explicitly, this also enabled the government to stop AT&T’s “zero rating” practices. Which is when they made their own app exempt from their data cap, and said video providers could pay for the same privilege.

What providers want, and why:

Internet providers, like AT&T or Comcast want to repeal net neutrality for the most classic reason of all. Money. In essence, allowing companies to pay for faster traffic would bring a massive influx of money into them. Some of the biggest companies these days are tech companies, though if they didn’t pay providers, even they could sink. Imagine a world where it takes 20 minutes to open Google? However if they did pay, that would mean taking that company’s resources away from their product and even marketing, they would have to pay to exist.

What would the consequences of this be?

This would, in effect, kill small businesses. Or at the very least, it definitely could, because small business’ don’t have the money to pay providers for faster traffic. This would also take away power from the customer and put it towards the internet provider, as they’d be able to effectively route traffic away from companies that don’t pay, or their competition.

This also enables the current giants of internet providing an essential monopoly on the field, because most news these days is gained from the internet. As this trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down, internet providers could effectively block traffic to their competition. Or they could enter exclusive partnerships with companies. All this means the field of internet communication would get a lot more stale.

What do big companies want?

Companies like Google are greatly against repealing net neutrality. In general, most companies doing business online are, seeing as it brings needless risk to them. Despite this, some giants have been a lot more lukewarm(Like Netflix that claims it’s “too big” to be affected). The repeal would also enable to, in partnership with internet providers, limit traffic to their competitors in the market. This means that companies like Apple, Netflix or Amazon could have, in effect, an “internet monopoly” over their area. Reducing competition in the market like this can only have an adverse effect on the economy and internet freedom.

But isn’t it like, already over?

No, the fight for net neutrality is still ongoing, the law has passed yes. But the possibility to boycott, or to raise protest is still there. If the people show dissatisfaction, the government will have no choice but to follow.

The new EU copyright, 5 things you need to know

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Recently, there’s been a bit of a stir online about the new copyright laws, what with jokes flying left and right about memes being censored. While this is a gross exaggeration, there’s some truth to this. So, let’s look at the changes actually happening:

Article 11

Anyone using snippets of journalistic online content must first get a license from the publisher. This new right for publishers would apply for 20 years after publication.

Now, what does this actually mean you ask? Well, it means that for example, if you wanted to fact-check an article, you wouldn’t be able to use the actual article for this, unless you were willing to pay a fee. This also means that there would be far less news aggregates, which in turn makes getting accurate information would be harder. This is also a violation of the Berne convention, which is meant to make sure this is allowed to happen.

The bright side is that this is likely to fail, as in Germany where such a law was already tried, it’s currently being pronounced invalid in court.

Article 13

Internet platforms hosting “large amounts” of user-uploaded content must monitor user behavior and filter their contributions to identify and prevent copyright infringement.

This is essentially the current copyright filter on YouTube, just on a much, much larger scale. As while YouTube has a copyright filter, this new law would make such a filter mandatory for all large-scale media providers. Unfortunately, the thing with these automated machines, is that they cannot make a distinction between fair use and copyright infringement. This means that otherwise legal usages of copyrighted material will be banned.

This mostly hurts small providers, and absolutely kills media-sharing startups, as they cannot afford to just eat the fees like giants such as Hulu or YouTube can. This would also affect open source software and even platforms like wikipedia.

Article 3

Establishes a new EU-wide copyright exception for the modern research method Text and Data Mining, but only for “research institutions” and “for the purposes of scientific research”.

Now, while this seems fine in theory, this also penalizes ALL independent researchers. And if you’re going to make people exempt from copyright laws, why not just do it for everyone? This basically shoves a middle finger to all data-mining startups. As some data mining is used for purposes other than research and that would be punished. And given the prevalence of AI and machine learning these days, the importance of not letting this article get passed is huge.

Do you believe the new copyright laws to be a good or a bad thing? Drop a comment to let us know.

Microsoft Enters the Game: LinkedIn Targeted ads for Businesses

linkedin targeted ads

The tech world wondered about how Microsoft would monetize its 2016 takeover of Linkedin, worth more than $26bn. The possibilities of the largest professional social network are endless, but the price might be too big for something people mainly use to seek jobs and check labor market trends. The social hiring network certainly makes a lot of money to the developers of Windows, but $26 billion investment needs much more effort to pay off. The most recent idea is mimicking the successful strategy of Google and Facebook – the LinkedIn targeted ads that will “hunt” the right user-base.

How will Microsoft do that?

The reason to use Bing Ads as a platform is clear – Microsoft wants to diversify its service on the only fully online service where it is a leader. Google basically took over the Internet with few other companies taking segment leadership, such as Facebook and Amazon. LinkedIn is the only Microsoft’s asset that has a global dominance in a segment of the Internet as it has recently surpassed 500 million users. Now, they want to harness its possibilities to power up their other businesses and offer more value-adding services for the B2B market. This is where they can distinguish a lot. B2B target advertising is far behind B2C and now they want to create a new market.

Strategic considerations of LinkedIn targeted ads

Microsoft is clearly being pushed to a company that mainly serves professionals and emphasizes business use. It’s a story about how the Internet changes the world, even the tech one. It emerged as a company that made computers fun, affordable and useful in millions of homes. Today, other than Windows, most of its major products are for business: Azure, Office365, Server products, and Skype. The latter is a proof of it making Microsoft a B2B service. When Microsoft purchased Skype, it was mostly for long distance family and friend calls. Today, it is a powerful video conferencing platform that most businesses use for all kinds of communication. Now, it’s time for Microsoft to integrate all its B2B product assets to a powerful customer base, and LinkedIn will be atop of it

LinkedIn might be the only Microsoft product without a real competitor. You can use Linux or Apple’s OS, along with LibreOffice or Google Suite. You can also have free calls on Viber, or video conference on numerous Web-based services. Same goes for Bing, XBox, and others. But one can not find any substitution for LinkedIn, which is by far the largest talent database in the world.

What is the Risk?

LinkedIn Targeted ads will be more cost-effective for both Microsoft and the advertisers. But the question is, “Will it change the way how users perceive this network?” Most people go there to look for good work opportunities, while company representatives – usually HR managers go to seek talent. The potential risks of targeted ads will be:

  • The fact most users are people who do not make the decision on B2B purchases, nor it’s their role in their company. Or they’re just self-employed, jobless, or in education.
  • Human Resources department employees are the most common visitors on behalf of companies. And they do not make any other decision than who to hire and why. For them, offers for various business-use products and services are irrelevant.

These two facts sharply narrow down the actual audience for Linkedin targeted ads.