January 17, 2021

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  • Facebook mounted a fierce attack on Apple’s new app privacy labels, accusing the company that it’s putting small businesses and the free internet in danger.
  • The new privacy feature informs users about the kind of personal data apps collect, but doesn’t stop developers like Facebook from collecting data and tracking users.
  • A single image shows the huge amount of personal data that Facebook Messenger collects compared to iMessage, Signal, and WhatsApp.

When Apple unveiled iOS 14 at WWDC 2020, the company announced a new privacy tool. The new app privacy labels would inform iPhone and iPad users about the personal data an app collects. Unsurprisingly, this infuriated companies that make a living off your data when the feature was finally released towards the end of last year. Facebook came up with a hypocritical attack against Apple, taking full-page ads in print newspapers. It accused Apple of endangering small businesses … Read the rest

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The news: Police will be able to access data collected by Singapore’s covid-19 contact tracing system for use in criminal investigations, a senior official said on Monday. The announcement contradicts the privacy policy originally outlined when the government launched its TraceTogether app in March 2020, and is being criticized as a backpedal just after participation in contact tracing was made mandatory. 

Officials said that while policy had stated that data would “only be used solely for the purpose of contact tracing of persons possibly exposed to covid-19”, the legal reality in Singapore is that police can access any data for criminal investigations—and that contact tracing data was no different. Its privacy policy was changed on January 4, 2021 to clarify “how the Criminal Procedure Code applies to all data under Singapore’s jurisdiction.” 

Early mover: TraceTogether is accessed via a smartphone app or a small wearable device, and is used … Read the rest

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More than 200 workers announced they have formed a union at Google. | Michael Short/Getty Images

The new Alphabet Workers Union is an important step forward, but it has a long road ahead.

On Monday morning, more than 220 Google tech employees announced they have formed a union. It’s a sign that worker activism is still kicking at Google, as the company faces political scrutiny over its size and power over the economy. But in a company of more than 100,000 employees, the new union is trying to grow membership significantly to exert meaningful force on Google’s management.

The new group, the Alphabet Workers Union, is open to all workers at Google and its parent company, Alphabet. A team of seven internally elected Google workers is leading the effort, with the support of the Communication Workers of America (CWA), a national union that has previously organized workers in the … Read the rest

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The adverts linked to crypto scams (Credits: Getty Images)

Bitcoin has topped $30,000 for the first time in its history, extending a rally that has seen the digital currency climb by 300% in 2020.

On Saturday, January 2nd, Bitcoin rose to $31,824 as more and more traders began to invest in it.

Many believe that Bitcoin could now emerge as a mainstream payment method following the global pandemic.

Some used it has a safe haven during the volitility of the pandemic last year – causing it to surge in value. By mid-December it had risen in value to $20,000.

The origins of Bitcoin mean there’s a finite supply so, similar to gold, it can’t be changed by inflationary measures like quantitative easing. What’s more, because bitcoin is decentralised, it doesn’t come under the control of any one government or entity.

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With the proliferation of streaming services, each studio is starting to take back the rights to its own content and lock it away behind a paywall. That makes the idea of building up your own media collection even more appealing. Instead of paying $5 to $10 per service per month for the rest of your life (ok, maybe not, but you get the idea), why not spend a little upfront to buy your favorite shows in digital HD?

One such show that just had its streaming rights reclaimed by its owner is The Office. Fortunately, it is down to just $29.99 at iTunes right now giving you the chance to score one of the best prices ever on it there. It usually goes for $70 and rarely drops from that price, so you’re saving over half.

Your purchase of The Office in digital HD includes all nine seasons of

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  • LG announced it would showcase at CES 2021 the world’s first 48-inch OLED screen that can bend whenever the users require it.
  • Aside from bending on command, the display features under-display sound technology, or LG’s Cinematic Sound OLED (CSO).
  • The 48-inch display doesn’t have a price or release date.

In any other year, early January would bring us the busiest trade show of the year, the annual Consumer Electronics Show event where various new technologies and gadgets are unveiled. But the novel coronavirus ruined all that. In-person events are still very risky, so CES will happen online. That’s to say, most tech companies that would be present in person in Las Vegas during regular CES shows will have their own announcements scattered throughout mid-January. The All-Digital CES 2021 event will take place between January 11th and January 14th. But some of them might make several announcements ahead of the period … Read the rest

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Spaceflight in 2020 did not go as planned. Like nearly everything else in the world, space activity was hit hard by the pandemic. Last year we listed the seven space missions that we were most excited to see take flight throughout 2020. Some of those went brilliantly: SpaceX sent astronauts into space! China brought moon rocks back to Earth! But unfortunately, a lot of other stuff didn’t happen: Europe and Russia’s Rosalind Franklin rover got delayed to 2022. SpaceX’s Starship did not go into space (thought it did go high). Artemis 1, the first mission in NASA’s new lunar exploration program that’s supposed to return people to the moon later this decade, didn’t happen. 

And yet, 2021 looks to be a pretty exciting time for space. Arguably, more is in store, especially as NASA’s ambitions to go back to the moon ramp up and the … Read the rest

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Adobe Flash is no more (Getty Images)

As of December 31, 2020, Adobe officially stopped support for Flash – the browser plugin that helped define the early internet.

The company announced it would be killing off Flash in 2017, but the time has finally come.

Adobe won’t provide any new security updates and is actively encouraging people to uninstall it.

It will also stop videos and animations running in Flash Player from January 12, 2021.

The plug-in was first created way back in 1996 and became a pillar of the internet by allowing people to stream videos and animations within the browser.

Animator David Firth told the BBC: ‘You could make a full three-minute animation with multiple characters, backgrounds, sounds and music less than 2 megabytes (MB) and viewable from within the browser.’

What is Flash?

The Flash Player logo
At its height, Flash was installed on 99% of internet-connected PCs (Adobe)
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You know the drill — you’re playing your game, and then suddenly, it seems like everything just stops, and you find yourself having to fix a frozen Nintendo Switch. You hope maybe it’s just an excruciating long loading screen, but sometimes the reality is your Switch is frozen. If you’re ever in that predicament, then here’s what you need to do, and don’t let it ruin your gaming session!

Products used in this guide

Put your Switch back in its dock

The act of docking and undocking your Switch will briefly interrupt just about everything happening on the console. You barely notice it because it happens so fast, but there’s a brief stutter where the console makes that switch (I regret nothing) from one state to another.

If your Switch is frozen, dock

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  • The Galaxy S21 will be the first model in the series to support a feature seen so far only on the Galaxy Note and certain tablets, the S Pen stylus.
  • The stylus will work only on the S21 Ultra, but the S21 series will also steal another feature from the Note 20 series.
  • According to a new leak, the Galaxy S21 phones will not support microSD cards.

It’s January 1st, 2021, and while we’ve escaped the horrific 2020, the fact remains that the novel coronavirus pandemic will still dominate everything we do for the foreseeable future. Life, as we knew it before COVID-19, will not come back right away, and the pandemic will continue to impact the seasonality of tech events. Samsung seems to be the first company ready to make a big change to adapt to the new normal. The Galaxy S21 will be unveiled in less than two Read the rest

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