Weekly Tech News Headlines – Jan 13 2021

WhatsApp’s clarification on privacy updates

After the new privacy updates, things seem to be getting out of control from Facebook owned WhatsApp. With the lack of clarification, users have already started switching to alternatives like Signal and Telegram messaging apps. Through their social accounts, Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk and Paytm CEO Vijay Sharma have already given their nods to start using Signal app. 

 

Use Signal

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 7, 2021

They say, market has power. We are the largest market.
Here in India WhatsApp / Facebook are abusing their monopoly & taking away millions of users’ privacy for granted.
We should move on to @signalapp NOW.
It is upto us to become victim or reject such moves. https://t.co/iCmKoyLc5x

— Vijay Shekhar Sharma (@vijayshekhar) January 11, 2021

Facing this issue of loss in trust, WhatsApp on Tuesday has released a new blog which is trying to reassure users that it does not share any personal chats, messages or call history with Facebook. In the blog post, WhatsApp re-iterated that your chats whether one-to-one or in a WhatsApp group are still secure, private and are protected by end-to-end encryption. The team also added that neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can see user shared location or share your contacts lists with the other apps Facebook offers. The blog also pointed out that for additional privacy, a user can choose to set their messages to disappear from chats after sending them. So overall, WhatsApp has said that the policy update does not affect users’ privacy with friends or family.

So why all the fuss? This is because the recent policy updates includes changes related to messaging a business on WhatsApp, which is optional, and provides further transparency about how WhatsApp and Facebook collect and use data. So it’s like the more you show transparency of a company’s privacy policy to the public, the more we get scared.

WhatsApp said that “Messaging with business is different than messaging with your family or friends”.

So in short, if you are dealing with a business who chooses to use a third party vendor to operate the WhatsApp Business API on their behalf, WhatsApp do not consider that to be end-to-end encrypted since the business you are messaging has chosen to give a third-party vendor access to those messages. This will also be the case if that third-party vendor is Facebook. 

These messages will be visible to a lot more people in the business, and could rely on a different company to store, read or reply to messages.

If you ask me, this policy is nothing new or scary. We all are already sharing a lot of information over the internet after which Google, Facebook, Amazon or any other websites personalize ads based on our earlier preferences. This is an industry standard practice among many companies.

And if you don’t want to share your information to business from WhatsApp, few tips can help you here like:

  1. Don’t interact with ads on Facebook with a button to message a business using WhatsApp.
  2. You have the option to block the business account directly from the app.
  3. or Don’t allow websites to send notifications or updates over to your WhatsApp account.

Otherwise all your chats with family or friends, whether in groups or individual, are still safe, secure and private, at least as per WhatsApp. 

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OnePlus Band Launched in India

 

Chinese brand OnePlus has finally launched the company’s first smart wearable in India. OnePlus Band comes with a 1.1 inch AMOLED color display which promises good visibility even under direct sunlight. This new fitness tracker will come with 13 different workout modes, sensors to record and monitor heart rate and blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) levels. Apart from this, the OnePlus Band offers 5ATM and IP-68 rating for dust,water and sweat resistance.
The most highlighted feature can be its battery which claims to provide a 14 days worth of battery life on a single charge. The fitness tracker comes with a detachable main unit which can be placed on dual-color strap combos.
OnePlus Band can be purchased immediately from the company’s official website for a price of Rs 2,499.
 

Poco’s becomes third biggest online phone maker in India

 

Poco, which became an independent brand in 2020 has now become the third biggest smartphone maker in India. Poco India on Monday tweeted this announcement on Monday. The market analysis firm Counterpoint claims that Poco is now a bigger brand than OnePlus and Realme in the country and is only lagging behind its parent company Xiaomi and Samsung.
Poco, who mostly focus on budget and mid-range smartphones in India, has achieved the 3rd place because of its Poco C3 and Poco M2 phone launches in 2020 . Both devices dominated the affordable smartphone segment and the company managed to sell over one million phone units within the first week of its sale. The company performance was also boosted by the sale performance of the Poco X3 phone which offered powerful specs but at an affordable price tag.
 

 

Sony delays PS5 Digital Edition launch in India 

OFFICIAL UPDATE FROM SONY: “PS5 Digital Edition & select peripherals (Dual Sense charging station, HD camera & PS headset) will not be available in the launch window. Please monitor our official channels for updates on release dates.”

— Is PS5 Out For Delivery in India Yet? (@PS5India) January 8, 2021

 

The pre-ordering of Sony’s next gen PlayStation 5 gaming consoles has started in India but it also brought bad news as well. 
 
Sony confirmed that the digital edition of PS5, the one without a disc drive, and selected peripherals will NOT be available in the launch window. Well this can be a sales strategy from the company. Since the PS5 launch is already delayed in India, most of the gamers are eagerly waiting for its launch. Those who were willing to purchase the PS5 digital edition have now left with the option to buy the costlier one with the disc drive. And looking at the stock issues I am sure most of the buyers are going to instantly buy whatever PS5 versions they can get their hands on.
At the time of recording this video, the Amazon India page shows that they are temporarily out of stock on PS5. The PS5 Standard Edition will cost Rs 50,000 in India and sales will start from February 2nd while the PS5 Digital Edition will cost Rs 39,990 in India, now with NO confirmed date of launch.
 

 

CES 2021 First Day highlights

The Consumer Electronic Show or CES has started now and the first day of the show was quite a busy one. The annual tech trade show provides perhaps one of the biggest platforms to companies to showcase their latest products and innovations.On the very first day tech giants like LG, Samsung, Sony and Intel have announced some exciting upcoming techs. So here are the highlights:
 

LG Rollable smartphone:

LG announced that they will be making a rollable phone which will be a competitor to Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold lineup. The information about the launch details has not been presented yet but we can expect the LG rollable phone to make an entry later this year.

Intel teases next-gen Alder Lake chip

Next we have Intel who has been facing a great competition from both Apple and AMD is now ready with their next-gen processors. According to Intel, the new Alder Lake chip will be more powerful and power-efficient and will be built on Intel’s new 10nm SuperFin process. The new chip is announced to arrive in the second half of 2021.

Samsung shows off JetBot 90 AI+ robot vacuum

Now we have Samsung who revealed a new smart “robot vacuum cleaner” with a built in security camera. The new JetBot 90 AI+ will come with LiDAR sensors and advance AI capabilities. It is expected to launch in the US in the first half of 2021. The price and other details about the products is expected to follow soon.

Sony’s Airpeak drone

Next one will be Sony with its new drone targeted for filmmakers and content creators. The official video shows the new Airpeak Drone carrying a Sony Alpha 7S III camera model. Despite being small in size, Airpeak drones can carry a professional camera with ease. Company has also invited professional drone users and video professionals in the US and Japan to participate and provide feedback on the Airpeak project.

TCL tease Rollable and Scrollable screens

TCL presented a concept phone with a rollable screen at CES 2021. During the presentation the concept video showed a device with a 6.7 inch rollable screen can transform into a 7.8 inch tablet with ‘a simple tap of the finger’. Company also showed a new 17-inch printed OLED scrolling display that opens like a scroll. The scrollable display will be only 0.18mm thick and will feel like a paper in hand.

Lenovo unveils new ThinkPad X1 lineup

Lenovo launched its refreshed lineup of ThinkPad X1 laptops in the event. The premium ThinkPad lineups will welcome ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga, ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9, ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6 and a new ThinkPad X12 Detable 12.3 inch convertible tablet.

Qualcomm’s 2nd gen Ultrasonic fingerprint sensor

 

At last we have the smartphone chipmaker company Qualcomm who presented their next generation of ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor. The new 3D Gen 2 sensor will be 77 percent larger and is also 50% faster than its predecessor. The new bio metric sensors are also capable of detecting fingerprints from wet fingers and contaminants.
 

By LTR Admin

One thought on “Weekly Tech News Headlines – Jan 13 2021

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