Blackberry, VoxSmart partner to enable banks to monitor WhatsApp chats


To enable financial institutions to monitor data on WhatsApp and other encrypted messaging platforms in line with the upcoming European Union (EU) directive, BlackBerry has partnered with the leading mobile surveillance and compliance firm VoxSmart.

Together with BlackBerry UEM (Unified Endpoint Management), which connects and manages endpoints, VoxSmart’s ‘VSmart’ will provide financial services firms with the ability to capture, record, store and analyse mobile voice, text and third-party instant messaging applications such as WhatsApp and WeChat.

“Together with VoxSmart, we can enable businesses around the world to effortlessly capture conversations on endpoints including smartphones, wearables, tablets and laptops,” said Florian Bienvenu, Senior Vice President of EMEA Sales, BlackBerry.

“This joint solution is an excellent example of how BlackBerry is leveraging its software portfolio and developing strong partnerships to secure the Enterprise of Things,” Bienvenu added in a statement.

The companies have partnered to help financial services firms comply on time with the European Union’s “Markets in Financial Instruments Directive” (‘MiFID II’).

MiFID II, which comes into effect on January 3, 2018, demands that all financial services firms in Europe must keep records of all services, activities and transactions for at least five years.Image result for WhatsApp extends Nokia S40, BlackBerry support till end of 2017, drops Symbian support

Records include all electronic and instant messaging communications, telephone conversations and text messages related to or intended to conclude in a transaction, even if one does not occur.

The directive seeks to make financial markets in Europe more resilient, transparent and investor-friendly.

“VoxSmart is the only global mobile compliance solution that can capture, record, store and analyse both voice and third party instant message applications such as WhatsApp and WeChat,” said Oliver Blower, CEO, VoxSmart.

“Our partnership with BlackBerry has already led to additional proofs of concept exercises from other global investment banks and financial services firms, who are seeing the MiFID II Directive as a chance to refine their approach to mobile security and compliance,” Blower added.

Already successfully deployed to several global investment banks and trading houses, VSmart provides a perfect balance between user experience and compliance, securing and enabling regulated users, all while adhering to stringent global regulations.


Google Maps Local Guides Program Adds New Levels, Perks, Badges and More



  • Earlier, the program only consisted of five rank levels
  • Google has added new badges for levels 4-10
  • Certain contributions carry more weightage than the others

Keeping Google Maps updated is not an easy task and in order to ensure it has the latest data, Google has its Local Guides program in place. Now the search giant has added new levels, a revamped point system, and new badges to keep advanced level guides motivated for updating its Maps service regularly.

For those who are unaware, Local Guides is a community that provides regular updates to Google Maps. For their contributions, the members of this community are awarded with benefits like early access to new Google Maps features, exclusive contests, and events, among other things. Anybody can sign up to be a part of Local Guides and start contributing.

Moving on to the latest update to Local Guides, Google is now rolling out a new point system, new levels that unlock different kinds of perks, and new ways to earn points within this community. Google says that certain contributions will have more impact than others for users. For example, users will get more points if they are first to add a place to the map or leave a review.Google Maps Local Guides Program Adds New Levels, Perks, Badges and More

Now, users who are part of Local Guides community will earn points for rating the places and checking the facts that have been provided by other community members. Google has now added 5 additional levels. This means that users can now reach their maximum rank at level 10. The search giant has now introduced new badges for users with 4-10 level rank to make sure their contributions are recognised within the community. The new badges will be visible right beside their profile picture, Google says.
“Just like before, Local Guides Level 2 and above can enjoy early access to new product features, and get occasional perks from Google and local perks from partners,” Google said in its blog post. Further, members with Level 4-10 can redeem a free three-month Google Play Music subscription and get 75 percent off a rental in the Google Play Movie store, as per company.

Last month, Swiggy announced its partnership with the Local Guides program to offer special perks to the community members in India.

If you are not a part of this community already, now would be a good time to share your experiences, post pictures, and rate places to get some serious benefits from Google.


Amazon, Flipkart Host Back to College Laptop Sales: Here Are the Top Offers


Amazon India and Flipkart are both hosting Back to College laptop sales on their respective sites. Both the e-commerce verticals are offering different deals, exchange offers, and No Cost EMI options on laptops from varied brands for students going back to college after the long summer vacation.

Amazon India has listed Intel-powered laptops from Lenovo, HP, Dell, and more with exchange offers and No Cost EMI options. The e-commerce site has also segregated laptops into curriculum sections like – Humanities and Commerce, Engineering, Medical Studies, MBA, Design and Architecture, and even Gaming.

With respect to price, the cheapest laptop listed in the sale is the Lenovo Ideapad 15.6-inch laptop available in Black, and priced at Rs. 18,990. Amazon is offering up to Rs. 10,000 off on exchange with an old laptop, and the option to get additional two-year warranty worth Rs. 4,990 for Rs. 1,499.Amazon, Flipkart Host Back to College Laptop Sales: Here Are the Top Offers

Flipkart, on the other hand, is hosting its Back to College Sale from Tuesday, July 18 to Thursday, July 20. The e-commerce site is offering the HP Imprint Core i3 6th Gen Windows 10 Home running laptop for Rs. 35,964. There’s an exchange offer of up to Rs. 7,000 listed, along with a No Cost EMI option that begins from as low as Rs. 999 per month from banks like ICICI and Citibank for a period of 36 months.

Flipkart has segregated its sections based on price, and budget laptops start from as low as Rs. 9,999. This includes Acer, iBall, and Lava laptops, some of which also offer No Cost EMI options. The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 laptop is also listed with a price cut, up to Rs. 15,000 off on exchange, and No Cost EMI options. Exchange offers on gaming laptops from HP, Dell, and Lenovo go up to Rs. 20,000. You can view all the Flipkart laptop deals here.


Twitter for Android Gets Automatic Night Mode


Twitter for Android bumps to version 7.2
It introduces the new automatic night mode feature
This comes a week after Twitter’s overhauled interface
Twitter has updated its Android app to introduce automatic night mode for all its users. First, the app featured a manual toggle that allowed it to switch to night mode, but with version 7.2, it can now be turned on and off automatically as well. This feature went into beta last week, and has now been rolled out to all users on Android.

With version 7.2, Twitter for Android introduces automatic night mode feature that switches to night mode at sunset, and comes back to normal mode at sunrise – on its own. This version also disables the dark theme for good. After updating the Android app, the first time you toggle the night mode switch in the navigation drawer, the app will prompt you with “want night mode to work automatically?”Twitter for Android Gets Automatic Night Mode
Tapping on ‘yes’ will replace the toggle with the words ‘Automatic’. However, you can disable it whenever you want by pressing the night mode option again. It will prompt you with the option to disable it and return to manual controls. You can also access this through Settings and Privacy > Display and Sound. A new dropdown appears giving you several options for night mode.

This comes just a week after Twitter overhauled its interface for Web, Apps, TweetDeck, and Twitter Lite. Twitter claims that the new design emphasises simplicity, making it faster and easier to use, with bolder headlines and more intuitive icons. It also changed users’ profile images from square-shaped to round. On its apps and TweetDeck, tweets “now update instantly with reply, Retweet, and like counts so you can see conversations as they’re happening.”


Facebook Beats Privacy Lawsuit in US Over User Tracking


  • US court dismissed litigation accusing Facebook of tracking its users
  • Facebook’s been said to track user activities even after they log out
  • Judge said the plaintiff failed to show its reasonable impacts

A US judge has dismissed nationwide litigation accusing Facebook Inc of tracking users’ Internet activity even after they logged out of the social media website.

In a decision late on Friday, US District Judge Edward Davila in San Jose, California said the plaintiffs failed to show they had a reasonable expectation of privacy, or that they suffered any “realistic” economic harm or loss.

The plaintiffs claimed that Facebook violated federal and California privacy and wiretapping laws by storing cookies on their browsers that tracked when they visited outside websites containing Facebook “like” buttons.

But the judge said the plaintiffs could have taken steps to keep their browsing histories private, and failed to show that Menlo Park, California-based Facebook illegally “intercepted” or eavesdropped on their communications.

Facebook Beats Privacy Lawsuit in US Over User Tracking

“The fact that a user’s web browser automatically sends the same information to both parties,” meaning Facebook and an outside website, “does not establish that one party intercepted the user’s communication with the other,” Davila wrote.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs did not immediately respond on Monday to requests for comment. Facebook did not immediately respond to a similar request.

Davila said the plaintiffs cannot bring their privacy and wiretapping claims again, but can try to pursue a breach of contract claim again. He had dismissed an earlier version of the 5-1/2-year-old case in October 2015.

The case is In re: Facebook Internet Tracking Litigation, US District Court, Northern District of California, No. 12-md-02314.


Nokia 6 Silver Colour Variant With 4GB RAM, 32GB Storage Spotted Online


The Nokia 6 was first unveiled in China in a Black colour variant offering 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage for the price of CNY 1,699 (roughly Rs. 16,750). Now, a Silver variant has been spotted on the Yahoo Taiwan online store with a price tag of TWD 7,790 (roughly Rs. 16,500), and the shipping date alongside it reads May 10.

The listing also suggests that the Silver variant is available in 4GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage option. This is new as the China variant sports 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, while the global variant was confirmed to pack 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage offering. This new listed variant brings another bundle option of the Nokia 6 into the mix. Some markets will also get the Arte Black special edition, with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage.Nokia 6 Silver Colour Variant With 4GB RAM, 32GB Storage Spotted Online

All the other specifications remain the same as HMD Global first announced in January. Of course, the Black variant is still available in Taiwan, and you can opt for that if this 3GB RAM/ 32GB storage Silver variant does not appease you. Nokia 6 is also offered in Arte Black, Matte Black, Tempered Blue, and Copper in other regions.
Nokia 6 sports a 5.5-inch full-HD display with a 2.5D Gorilla Glass on top. It is powered by a Snapdragon 430 SoC, and the dual-SIM Nokia 6 smartphone comes with a 3000mAh non-removable battery with fast-charging support.

On the camera front, Nokia 6 comes with a 16-megapixel rear camera with f/2.0 aperture, phase detection autofocus, and dual-tone flash, as well as an 8-megapixel front camera with f/2.0 aperture. The Android 7.0 Nougat smartphone has USB 2.0 port for connectivity, fingerprint sensor in the front, stereo speakers and Dolby Atmos audio enhancement.

HMD Global has also confirmed that it is entering the Indian market on May 8. The Nokia 3310 (2017), Nokia 3, Nokia 5, Nokia 6 reveal date is expected, but official details will be unveiled this Monday.


Facebook must delete hate postings, Austria court rules


A court in Austria has ordered that Facebook must remove postings seen as hate speech, in a ruling that is set to have international implications.

The case was brought by the country’s Green Party after its leader was targeted by a false account.

The court said postings not just in Austria but worldwide must be deleted. Facebook has not yet commented.

The ruling is seen as a victory for campaigners who want to make social media platforms combat online trolling.Facebook icon

  • What should social networks do about hate speech?
  • Children see ‘worrying’ amount of hate speech online

The appeals court in Vienna ruled that postings against Greens’ leader Eva Glawischnig as any verbatim repostings should be removed.

It added that merely blocking the messages in Austria without removing them for users abroad was not sufficient.

The court said it was easy for Facebook to automate this process.

The head of the Austrian Green party, Eva Glawischnig, casts her ballot at a polling station in Vienna, Austria on 29 September, 2013.Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionEva Glawischnig was targeted by fake Facebook accounts

A Green lawmaker, Dieter Brosz, said Facebook could no longer claim it was just a platform and needed to take responsibility for tackling hate postings.

Internet giants including Facebook, Twitter and Google have all come under fire in many countries for failing to remove hate speech from their platforms promptly.

Last month, German ministers approved plans to fine social media firms up to 50m euros ($53.3m; £42.7m) if they fail to remove hate speech and fake news quickly.

The companies have recently announced measures to address the issue:

  • Facebook said it would hire 3,000 people to help stop hate speech, child abuse and self-harm being broadcast on the website
  • Google said changes on how its core search engine works would help stop the spread of fake news and hate speech


Google expands its African initiatives

Alphabet is committing to training another 1 million students under its Digital Skills for Africa program in the next 12 months, the company said at events in Lagos, Nairobi, and Johannesburg.

The commitment follows the company’s 1 million mark milestone reached today and follows the opening of Google’s Launchpad Accelerator for African startups earlier this month — tracking a growing presence by the global internet services firm on the continent.

Debuted in April 2016 with a goal of training 1 million within a year, Digital Skills for Africa offers online and face to face instruction to individuals and small businesses through 14 partners across 27 African countries. Anyone can register for free and set an individualized plan across three primary categories: business development, career advancement, or basic internet use. Users can choose from 89 courses across 23 topic areas and earn badges and certificates for successful completion.

“Across Africa…one of the things that hold people back from taking advantage of the web is a lack of understanding on how to use digital tools,” said Bunmi Banjo, Google’s Growth Engine and Brand Lead for Sub-Saharan Africa. “We are providing training to young people and business owners to succeed however, they define success for themselves―finding a job, growing a business, starting on email,” she told TechCrunch.

To meet the goal of another million trained, Google will add countries and regions to Digital Skills for Africa in 2017. It will include more offline versions of online training materials for low net access areas. Google will also offer instruction in new languages, such as Swahili, IsiZulu, and Hausa. Digital Skills for Africa will also increase its partner network for in-person instruction. Current partners include organizations like the eMobilus technical institute in Kenya and vocational training company Centrum Learning in Nigeria.

 As for Google’s overall Africa presence, it now has country heads in core economy nations such as South Africa (Luke Mckend), Nigeria (Juliet Ehimuan), and Kenya (Charles Murito). The Launchpad Accelerator―which offers 6 months of equity free Google startup support with two weeks in Silicon Valley―is now accepting Africa applications.

Google provides financial and capacity support to five African tech hubs in Kenya (iHub), South Africa, Ghana, and Uganda, and Nigeria (CCHub). The company has also begun programs and partnerships to overcome Africa’s internet access and connectivity challenges. Despite progress on mobile phone ownership and ICT infrastructure over the last decade, the continent remains one of the world’s most digitally disconnected. Though some countries, such as Kenya and South Africa, have attained high usage, Africa’s internet penetration lingers at less than one- third of the continent’s estimated 1.2 billion people.

In 2016, Google entered a licensing pact with South African startup Onyx, which plans to manufacture Android smartphones on the continent. In several African countries, the company also offers its “Add to Offline” option for YouTube video playback with little to no connectivity.

Though Google could not provide overall traffic data, African search activity has increased significantly in recent years, a spokesperson confirmed. Statistics are available for popular search terms across Africa’s largest economies, providing insight on the interest palette of the continent’s growing online community.

In 2016, Nigeria’s top Google person search was for Donald Trump. South Africa’s most searched term was Pokémon Go. Kenyans were most keen on football, googling “Euro 2016” more than any other topic last year.

Twitter announces partnership with FilmFare, Jio

Micro-blogging website Twitter announced a partnership with Jio Filmfare Awards through Twitter Amplify, a content sponsorship package that will enable the brands to extend their presence to targeted social media audiences in India.

The first Twitter Amplify deal in the entertainment industry in India, @Filmfare will broadcast exclusive curated content live from the Twitter Blueroom on February 18, an hour before Jio Filmfare Awards’ television telecast.

“Our collaboration with Filmfare will give fans a sneak peek into exclusive content that they can engage with on Twitter while viewing the content on television,” Viral Jani, Head of Entertainment, Twitter India, said in a statement.

The broadcast will include a special show live on the website from the #BlueRoom with filmmaker Karan Johar and Filmfare editor Jitesh Pillaai. It will be hosted by digital creator and comedian Abish Mathew.

“The idea is to enhance the digital footprint of the Filmfare brand with this first of a kind partnership for any awards property in India,” added Deepak Lamba, CEO, Worldwide Media that owns Filmfare.

Cloud Computing for Businesses: 4 Solutions to Try Today

Cloud computing has a number of appealing benefits, which is why Intuit predicts that 80 percent of businesses will have adopted the tech by 2020. It has been shown to lower costs by decreasing power usage, IT requirements, rack space, and more. It also allows employees to collaborate more effectively and from anywhere, which is just the flexibility businesses need in today’s device driven workforce.

To stay ahead of the curve, you need to start thinking about how you can harness the benefits of the cloud. The following cloud solutions are some of the most popular for businesses. Employ one or more of these solutions and your business can start benefiting from increased mobility, flexibility, and savings.

Image result for Cloud Computing for Businesses: 4 Solutions to Try Today

Dropbox for Business

Arguably the most popular cloud solution, Dropbox is widely used by individuals and businesses looking for convenient (and free) storage. Dropbox for Business isn’t free, but it has more business features than the standard Dropbox download. It comes with a full terabyte of storage and a host of business features, such as advanced collaboration tools, user management, and unlimited file recovery.

One of the most challenging aspects of cloud computing is what to do if your data is lost. Cloud computing isn’t more dangerous to your data than hard drive storage; in fact, it may be safer if you consider it’s not vulnerable to disasters, such as a fire or hurricane. You’ll still want to back up any and all data you save, and if a hard drive does become damaged you can recover the lost or damaged files with hard drive recovery, which is a service designed to recover data from SSDs, external hard drives, and broken laptops or desktops.

Here’s more of what you can do with Dropbox:

  • Share media with clients, partners, and customers
  • Use it like a shared server
  • Share travel documents
  • Collect information
  • Collaborate with remote employees
  • Test new applicant’s skills

Intuit QuickBooks Online Plus

Cloud-based accounting has some serious benefits, and is widely touted as an intelligent financial move for growing small businesses. Your financial information can be accessed anywhere, but is kept secure on Intuit’s servers. There’s a number of convenient features, including hands-free data entry, synced transactions (PayPal, American Express, etc.), and there’s less paperwork to contend with. Everything is neatly organized in the app, and even your clients can use it to stay on top of their book.

VoIP: Cloud-Based Phone Solutions

Cloud-based phones are yet another example of how cloud tech can save you money. These systems only require that you pay for the services you’re actually using, and there’s less expense for hardware and software. Plus, “the vender takes responsibility for delivery, maintenance, and support of the system,” says Wired warns that there are drawbacks including connectivity dependency; if your Internet goes down, your phone system won’t work so it’s smart to have a backup in place.

OpenDrive for Storage and Management

OpenDrive combines your need for storage with your need for advanced management solutions. The business plan includes data storage, sync and backup features, data management, user management, and projects and workflow management. It supports Microsoft Office, so if you use PowerPoint, Word, or Excel to conduct business, there is synchronicity here which provides your business with greater efficiency, collaboration, and organization.

Most of the above-mentioned solutions offer some version of a free trial. Take advantage of these offers to ensure your business subscribes to the best cloud solution available. Not all are created equal and not all will be perfectly suited to your business. Do some research, test out the capabilities, and then subscribe to the solution that best suits your organization.