WhatsApp Denies Reports, Says Will Comply With Delhi High Court Order Against Sharing User Data

WhatsApp Denies Reports, Says Will Comply With Delhi High Court Order Against Sharing User DataDenying earlier media reports, popular mobile messaging service WhatsApp on Thursday said it will comply with the Delhi High Court order against sharing with its parent company Facebook user data collected up to September 25.

In a statement, a WhatsApp spokesperson said: “WhatsApp will comply with the order from the Delhi High Court. We plan to proceed with the privacy policy and terms update in accordance with the Court’s order. The Court’s emphasis on the importance of user choice and consent is encouraging.”

Earlier, global, multi-platform media and entertainment company Mashable said WhatsApp planned to defy the Delhi High Court order and go ahead with sharing information with Facebook as planned.

 

According to Mashable, the Delhi High Court’s order “hasn’t impacted its planned changes in WhatsApp’s terms and privacy policy”.

“The ruling has no impact on the planned policy and terms of service updates,” WhatsApp spokesperson Anne Yeh was quoted as saying in a statement on Thursday.

Earlier, a division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal said on September 23 that WhatsApp will not share users’ data collected under its old privacy policy over the years up to September 25 2016, with Facebook or any other related company.

WhatsApp has to completely delete all data of users who chooses to opt out of the instant messaging app after the coming into force of its new privacy policy, said the court.
The court also said that WhatsApp will delete users’ data up to September 25, even of those who choose not to opt out of the instant messaging app and agree with new privacy policy.

 

“We have taken note of the fact that under the privacy policy of WhatsApp, the users are given an option to delete their WhatsApp account at any time, in which event, the information of the users would be deleted from the the servers of WhatsApp,” the bench said.

“We are, therefore, of the view that it is always open to the existing users of WhatsApp, who do not want their information to be shared with Facebook, to opt for deletion of their account,” it had observed.

The court also directed the government to consider the issue of functioning of instant messaging apps such as WhatsApp and take an appropriate decision as to whether it is feasible to bring them under the statutory regulatory framework.

On August 25, WhatsApp made extensive changes to its privacy policy. Under the new norm, it announced it would and could share users’ personal information, including their phone numbers, with its parent company Facebook.

WhatsApp had given its users 30 days’ time – which expired on September 25 – to opt out of the new privacy policy.

BlackBerry to Resell App From Firm That Found Stagefright Android Bug

BlackBerry to Resell App From Firm That Found Stagefright Android Bug

BlackBerry has agreed to offer anti-hacking software from a startup that last year discovered a major Android bug, it said on Wednesday, as the once-dominant smartphone company seeks to leverage ties to corporate and government clients to boost its software revenue.

BlackBerry’s enterprise sales force will resell Zimperium’s zIPS mobile threat protection application to customers of its mobile device management services, the two companies said in a statement.

Zimperium said the product costs $10 a month per device, with bulk discounts available, and thatBlackBerry will take an undisclosed cut of sales.

Zimperium, founded in 2010 by a former security researcher for the Israeli military, uses complex algorithms to churn through reams of data to defend against hacking of devices running on Apple’s iOS and Alphabet’s Android operating systems.

The service will not be available to users of BlackBerry’s own operating system. BlackBerry’s two newest handsets run on Android, and more such devices are expected from the company.

Alphabet’s Google and Samsung started issuing monthly security fixes for Android phones soon after a Zimperium employee last year discovered the Stagefright vulnerability which allows attackers to access sensitive content.

 

WhatsApp Beta for Android Update Brings New iOS 10-Like Emojis

WhatsApp Beta for Android Update Brings New iOS 10-Like Emojis

  • New emojis have female counterparts of male emojis
  • Update brings famous water gun emoji to the app
  • New emojis have been introduced to the beta for Android

It has been a long time since emojis came into mainstream usage and now, people actually look forward to the various changes that different companies try with the new emojis. In order to catch up with the design changes in emojis of iOS 10, WhatsApp has now introduced new emojis to the beta version of its Android app, specifically, v2.16.274.

The new emojis are very similar to those present in iOS 10, and have a redesigned look that provides them with a distinguished 3D appearance. Several of these new emojis will find their way to Unicode’s Emoji 4.0 update in November, and many are already present in Android 7.0 Nougat, apart from iOS 10. To get the latest beta version, you can either sideload the apk, or, sign up on Google Play to become a beta tester for Android.

 

It seems like companies have started acknowledging the presence of diversity in the society as after introduction of various skin tones earlier, new emojis include various gender options as well. The new emojis include a policewoman, a girl who is running, and parents of same gender as well.

The new emojis include a female weightlifter, and women professionals in different sports like basketball, swimming, running, skateboarding, weightlifting, and cycling.

Interestingly, the new emojis also include the famous ‘water gun’ emoji introduced by Apple with iOS 10 to depict gun as a toy rather than a pistol. The move was followed by the decision taken by the Unicode Consortium, the tech industry group that approves emoji, to not include glyphs of a rifle and a man shooting a pistol in its next release.

Regarding the gender neutral emojis in iOS 10, Apple said, “This exciting update brings more gender options to existing characters, including new female athletes and professionals, adds beautiful redesigns of popular emoji, a new rainbow flag and more family options.”

 

SwiftKey Keyboard Update Brings Support for Android 7.0 Nougat Emoji

SwiftKey Keyboard Update Brings Support for Android 7.0 Nougat Emoji
SwiftKey for Android has released an update that brings support for all the new emojis introduced in the Android 7.0 Nougat operating system. The update, which is available on Google Play, mentions that you can now “long press select emoji to modify their skin tone”.

Those who are using Android 7.0 Nougat can now head over to Google Play to update their SwiftKey app. Android N added diversity to their emojis by adding varying skin tones for the humanoid emoji. Emojis that have multiple skin tones will have a drop down arrow. Long press them to choose among the options available.

In April, Google released the second Android N Developer Preview for developers which brought new features including Launcher shortcuts, Emoji Unicode 9 support, and more. The Unicode 9 support means the OS gets some new human and activity emojis including face palm and selfie emojis. Google began rolling out the final build of Android 7.0 Nougat with select Nexus devices in August.

The SwiftKey update also mentions a sync fix which actually refers to a previous update that came out late in August addressing complaints regarding a privacy breach, with users seeing email and phone number predictions associated with other users. After suspending its sync services, the company re-enabled it but with limited access to the email and phone number synchronisation. The company then rolled out a more stable version with correct email and phone number predictions appearing while typing.

Pokemon Go Hunters Snare Real Thief in New Zealand

Pokemon Go Hunters Snare Real Thief in New ZealandPokemon Go Hunters Snare Real Thief in New Zealand
Some New Zealand fans of the smartphone game Pokemon Go caught more than they bargained for when they grabbed a thief who broke into a car and held him until police arrived.

The young people were out hunting virtual cartoon characters in the North Island town of Napier on Wednesday night, when they heard a car alarm and saw a masked man run past, New Zealand Police said.

“They didn’t use Pokeballs to catch him, they just held him till police arrived,” police said in a statement, referring to an online tool used to capture the Pokemons that appear in places such as temples and landmarks where people gather.

A 28-year-old man was arrested and will face theft charges in court on September 7, police said.

Nintendo’s Pokemon Go has become an unexpected smash hit, using augmented reality and Google mapping to make animated characters appear in the real world, overlaid on the nearby landscape viewed through players’ mobile phone cameras.

The game has also been blamed for injuries and robberies of distracted users in some countries, prompting authorities to warn gamers to play responsibly.

In Napier, police reminded players their own safety was paramount.

“Capturing little Pokemon monsters isn’t just good for the players because in this case it’s good for the police too, but we don’t want any good Samaritans to get hurt,” said Senior Sergeant David Sutherland

Uber Hires Senior Target Executive to Lead Global Operations

Uber Hires Senior Target Executive to Lead Global Operations

  • Uber hired Jeff Jones to oversee the bulk of its global operations
  • The hire underscores efforts by Uber to bolster its reputation and brand
  • Global operations span dozens of countries and about 1.5 million drivers

Uber Technologies Inc has plucked a top executive from US retailer Target to help lead the growing ride-services company and reshape its image.

Uber said on Tuesday it hired Jeff Jones, chief marketing officer for Target, to oversee the bulk of its global operations. Jones will be president of ride-sharing at Uber, running local Uber services in every city, as well as marketing efforts and customer support.

The hire underscores efforts by Uber, which has become the dominant on-demand ride service, to bolster its reputation and brand. Since 2009, the company has aggressively expanded to more than 450 cities, at times steamrolling regulators and launching campaigns against local lawmakers.

 

Jones joined Target in 2012 to rejuvenate its brand and is credited with modernizing the retailer’s marketing efforts. He led campaigns including #MoreMusic, under which Target partnered with singer Gwen Stefani for a live video that aired during the Grammy Awards and released exclusive tracks from artists such as Adele, part of an effort to burnish Target’s cool image.

Prior to that, Jones led marketing for Gap and worked for Coca-Cola and advertising firm McKinney.

“Jones has a strong track record of driving the narrative around Target’s brand, and will now try to do the same for Uber,” said Mike Mannor, associate professor at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business.

“You can surely expect to see stakeholders responding positively to Uber CEO Travis Kalanick taking steps to upgrade his middling in-house talent with proven professional chops.”

Kalanick said in a blog post that he and Jones met in February and “within minutes we were debating how Uber could improve its reputation.”

Kalanick said he wants to align Uber’s marketing functions more closely with individual city operations and put more focus on customer service.

Uber’s global operations span dozens of countries and about 1.5 million drivers.

Jones’ hiring marks a change for Ryan Graves, who has been at Uber since 2010 and ran the company’s operations and global expansion. Graves will give up some of those responsibilities but continue to work on Uber’s delivery businesses, including UberEats and UberRush, as well as other projects, Kalanick said.

Jones’ exit is the latest in a string of executive departures from Target, which has made a series of management changes since last year.

Among other moves, the big-box retailer appointed Chief Financial Officer John Mulligan to the newly created role of chief operating officer. It has also added new hires as it focuses on higher-margin categories such as baby and wellness products and revamps online sales.

 

Delhi High Court Seeks Centre’s Response on WhatsApp-Facebook Data Sharing

Delhi High Court Seeks Centre's Response on WhatsApp-Facebook Data Sharing

  • WhatsApp updated its privacy policy earlier this month
  • It has, thus, stirred a controversy among the users
  • Delhi HC has asked govt. to submit replies by September 14

WhatsApp’s recent decision to share user data with parent company Facebook has reached the doorstep of the Delhi High Court, which sought the government’s response on the modification of the new privacy policy.

In a controversial move, the popular messaging platform has said it will begin “coordinating” accounts with Facebook by sharing users’ mobile phone numbers and device information with Facebook. It is, however, giving users a 30-day window to opt out of sharing their details.

 

The plans of WhatsApp – which has long promised to safeguard the privacy of more than 1 billion users — had rung alarm bells among privacy advocates.

Following a petition by two users, a High Court bench issued notice to the Centre, asking the concerned authorities to file their reply by September 14.

The petition had alleged that WhatsApp, Facebook Inc and Facebook India Online Private Limited’s new private policy “compromises the rights of its users”.

The current privacy policy is in “stark contrast” to the one from July 7, 2012, the petition read. The revised policy of August 25, 2016, “severely compromises the rights of its users and makes the privacy rights of users completely vulnerable,” the plea alleged.

The new policy, which is likely to come into force from September 25, has sought to change the “most valuable, basic and essential feature” of WhatsApp, the petition read.

It “unilaterally” threatened to “take away the protection to privacy of details and data of its users and sharing the same with Facebook and all its group companies including for the purpose of commercial advertising and marketing”.

Appearing for the petitioners, senior advocates Sandeep Sethi and Pratibha M Singh, called it a “very serious breach of policy”.

The manner of taking consent was “highly deceptive in as much as almost the entire community of users of WhatsApp in India are not equipped to even read, much less comprehend” the terms and conditions, they said.

 

Uber Said to Lose at Least $1.2 Billion in First Half of 2016

Uber Said to Lose at Least $1.2 Billion in First Half of 2016

The ride-hailing giant Uber Technologies is not a public company, but every three months, dozens of shareholders get on a conference call to hear the latest details on its business performance from its head of finance, Gautam Gupta.

On Friday, Gupta told investors that Uber’s losses mounted in the second quarter. Even in the U.S., where Uber had turned a profit during its first quarter, the company was once again losing money.

In the first quarter of this year, Uber lost about $520 million before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation, according to people familiar with the matter. In the second quarter the losses significantly exceeded $750 million, including a roughly $100 million shortfall in the U.S., those people said. That means Uber’s losses in the first half of 2016 totalled at least $1.27 billion.

Subsidies for Uber’s drivers are responsible for the majority of the company’s losses globally, Gupta told investors, according to people familiar with the matter. An Uber spokesman declined to comment.

“You won’t find too many technology companies that could lose this much money, this quickly,” said Aswath Damodaran, a business professor at New York University who has written sceptically of Uber’s astronomical valuation on his blog. “For a private business to raise as much capital as Uber has been able to is unprecedented.”

 Bookings grew tremendously from the first quarter of this year to the second, from above $3.8 billion to more than $5 billion. Net revenue, under generally accepted accounting principles, grew about 18 percent, from about $960 million in the first quarter to about $1.1 billion in the second.

Uber also told investors during the call that it was changing how it calculates UberPool’s contribution to revenue in the second quarter, which had the effect of increasing revenue.

Uber’s losses and revenue have generally grown in lockstep as the company’s global ambitions have expanded. Uber has lost money quarter after quarter. In 2015, Uber lost at least $2 billion before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. Uber, which is seven years old, has lost at least $4 billion in the history of the company.

It’s hard to find much of a precedent for Uber’s losses. Webvan and Kozmo.com-two now-defunct phantoms of the original dot-com boom-lost just over $1 billion combined in their short lifetimes. Amazon.com Inc. is famous for losing money while increasing its market value, but its biggest loss ever totaled $1.4 billion in 2000. Uber exceeded that number in 2015 and is on pace to do it again this year.

“It’s hardly rare for companies to lose large sums of money as they try to build significant markets and battle for market share,” said Joe Grundfest, professor of law and business at Stanford. “The interesting challenge is for them to turn the corner to become profitable, cash-flow-positive entities.”

The second quarter of 2016, which ended in June, could represent a nadir for Uber. The company’s losses will likely fall. In July, it cut a deal with its largest global competitor, Chinese ride-hailing behemoth Didi Chuxing, washing its hands of its massive losses in that country. Didi gave Uber a 17.5 percent stake in its business and a $1 billion investment in exchange for Uber’s retreat. Uber lost at least $2 billion in two years in China, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg in July. Uber won’t see any losses from China on its balance sheet after August, the company said on Friday’s investor call.

Uber’s backers range from venture capital firms like Benchmark Capital to the investment bank Goldman Sachs. Altogether, Uber has raised more than $16 billion in cash and debt. Its latest valuation is a whopping $69 billion. The company has effectively redistributed at least $1 billion to the Chinese working class in the form of heavy subsidies to drivers there. “Uber and Didi Chuxing are investing billions of dollars in China and both companies have yet to turn a profit there,” Uber Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick wrote in a letter announcing the company’s departure from China.

Uber has been engaged in a fierce price war with Lyft this year, and that has also contributed to the enormous losses. Uber told investors on Friday’s call that it’s willing to spend to maintain its market share in the U.S. The company told investors that it believes Uber has between 84 percent and 87 percent of the market in the U.S., according to a person familiar with the matter.

Lyft said its market share in major U.S. cities is more than 20 percent and has grown substantially since last year. “Uber’s alleged market share is a misleading and skewed statistic given that they offer service in more markets than Lyft,” a spokeswoman for Lyft wrote in an e-mail.

One Uber investor said that he was expecting the company to continue losing money in the U.S. for the next quarter or two. But Lyft, a much smaller company by trip volume, looks to be losing more money than Uber in the U.S. Lyft has told investors that it will keep its losses under $50 million a month, Bloomberg reported in April. That would be about $150 million in a quarter. Uber’s U.S. losses totaled about $100 million in the second quarter of this year. In July, Uber delivered 62 million rides to Lyft’s 13.9 million. Uber’s subsidies were spread over more rides.

Uber has about $8 billion in the bank and will soon receive $1 billion in cash from Didi, according to a person familiar with the matter. Uber also has access to a $2 billion credit line and a $1.2 billion loan.

“I think what Uber is trying to do is, ‘Hey, look, we’re going to take the losses up front in order to get to disproportionate scale,'” said Robert Siegel, lecturer in management at Stanford’s business school. “The question is when they can get to profitability.” This fall, Bloomberg’s global technology team is launching a newsletter. Click here to be the first to get it.

 

Movavi Video Editor: Features and Benefits

It can be difficult to try and edit a video for the first time. Not only will you be a little bit lost and find it tough to figure out where to start, but the software will probably feel like it isn’t quite cooperating and is actually making things more complicated instead. Rather than get caught in a situation where it all just seems like too much trouble – there is an alternative in the form of Movavi Video Editor.

Designed to Simplify Video Editing

From the get go it will be apparent that Movavi Video Editor is designed in a very different fashion from most other video editors. Its user interface is straightforward and easy to navigate, and locating the features that you need will take a click or two at most.

On top of that all of its controls are equally simple in nature and involve very basic actions such as dragging sliders to the left or right, resizing windows, or dragging and dropping elements in place. In short, there’s really nothing complicated about it.

The fact that it is so easy to use is really what makes Movavi Video Editor stand out. However underneath the surface it still comes with several powerful video editing features that will give you full control over how your video turns out. Some of the features include the ability to:

  • Trim and join video segments to remove unnecessary parts from your videos or merge clips together as required.
  • Enhance the video quality by manually adjusting the color settings or using the automatic ‘Magic Enhance’ feature.
  • Choose from numerous special effects and filters that can be used to transform the visual style and appearance of your video.
  • Add customizable text to create unique captions, watermarks or titles.
  • Include additional audio tracks to add background music, voiceovers other audio.
  • Fix and correct common issue such as blurry, shaky, pixelated or interlaced segments of video.

With all these features, the choice of how your video eventually looks is going to be in your hands. Because Movavi Video Editor will make it easy to utilize these features, you should have no problem taking full advantage of them and applying them as and how you see fit. All in all it will probably only take a few minutes for you to feel confident enough to start editing your videos according to the ideas that you have in mind for them.

How Bookkeeping Software is Essential for Business Owners

Getting your account books done can be very fulfilling, particularly if you are using bookkeeping software to update your books. Observing your rationalized cash flow position helps you take decisions about your business that you cannot make in self-assurance if you are not armed with decisive and updated information. Here are some significant bookkeeping tips for business owners to help you stay updated with your books and records.

  1. If you are more comfortable with a Bookkeeper managing your books, then hire a person to do the job. A high quality accounting software should give free permission on the basis of access to your Bookkeeper or Accountant. If you are at a point to practice your books yourself that’s also fine! Managing your accounts through a bookkeeper or Accountant puts you in a very powerful position. And, I think that accounting software should go together with the relationship you have with your Accountant, not restrain it.
  2. You should give it time because bookkeeping is all about good habits. Revise your systems weekly and expend the correct amount of time on it. You very well know when you have to settle down.3. Make use of good tools. Use the best bookkeeping software. This software should take soreness away from the job, and make time and opportunity for you.
  3. Keep good documentation. Good accounting or bookkeeping is about staying acquiescent. Keep all your material purchases receipts in a single place with your sales invoices. Obviously, you can put your sales invoices in your account software. Keep all documents related to transactions in your business bank account.
  4. Settle your bank account each month. If you export your bank statement, then your bookkeeping software should provide you with the ability to import the details (Spreadsheet) straight into the settlement module. Settling the bank statement makes it much simpler to keep record of expenses.

However, when it comes to bookkeeping of your business accounts, there is still an intellect that this significant part of running a business is the best bet for someone else, like an accountant or bookkeeper. And, at the same time as an accountant is must for a successful business, this relationship would be better fulfilled if business owners have more control over their financial data.