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Apple Time Flies Event September 2020: Highlights and the meme aftermath

This Time Flies Apple Event was unlike a regular Apple Event, and the difference was noted right from the beginning as CEO Tim Cook started the event not from the stage at the Steve Jobs theater but from downhill at the Apple Park HQ talking from glass curved panel. He took off with the new Apple Watch with no mention of the previous year's performance or the health factors. Suffice it to say, the 2020 Apple Event was different. 


Highlights

The event starts with the release of Apple Watch Series 6 - capable of measuring your blood oxygen levels in a mere fifteen seconds with a cool red variant. More features include- always-on display, numerous exciting watch faces, a family set, and ten sports mode. Price: $399  Indian Price : 49,900₹ (GPS Cellular) and 40,000₹ (GPS) 

Another Watch SE was announced with all the quirks and features to stay healthy, connected, and fit. This also includes a family set and functions with similar software as the new Watch Series 6. Launched at Price: $199   Indian Price 33,900₹ (GPS Cellular) and 29,900₹ (GPS) 

Apple Fitness Plus is a new fitness app that can track your workout, Yoga and includes various workout modes. You can also pair and save your Apple Music track on Fitness plus. Apple Watch users will get 3 months of free subscription. Priced at  $9.99 for a month and $79.99 for a year. 

Apple One service - with this you can keep all your plans under one umbrella of Apple One plan. In India, the Apple One plan is quite affordable at 365₹ for the family plan. Prices: For an individual- $14.95/month  For family $19.95/month Premier at $29.95/month 

And finally, iPad 8th gen and iPad Air - The iPad 8 generation is promised to be 3 times faster with a faster processor A12 chipset. Priced at: $329 and for students : $299   India: 41,900₹ ( Wifi Cellular) and 29,900 (Wifi) 

The new iPad Air may look like the iPad Pro but is power-packed with the new A14 Bionic chipset increasing performance by 40%. It comes with a larger liquid retina display and in five different colors. The iPad Air is integrated with USB-C, 12MP rear camera and 7MP front camera, touch power button, and a magic keyboard. Price : $599   India : 69,900₹ ( Wifi cellular) and 54,900₹ (Wifi) 

But, alas, to the disappointment of many there was no announcement of the new iPhone 12 and subsequently, social media was in a roar and many fans took to twitter sharing memes and poking fun with the tag, "where is my iphone12?":
 



 






Android 11 is here: check out the new features and your phone's compatibility with the new Android

 

Google has been teasing the Android 11 release for quite some time now and it's finally here. The new OS was released on September 8 but will reach India in the upcoming weeks.




The new OS will be available for Indian users in the next few weeks given your phone is compatible, various smartphone makers like Xiaomi, Oppo, Realme, One Plus, Nokia are backing their new models with Android 11. Google Pixel smartphones of course already have as Android 11 was released on the new Pixel phone.

New Features

Android 11 has rolled out with several interesting new features encompassing conversations, privacy and security, accessibility, device control, content capture, and predictive tools. Some of these are- 

Bubbles (Chat while multitasking)

This feature will pin your conversations to the screen and you can converse without leaving the application your working in. 
 "Bubbles keep the conversation going—while you stay focused on whatever else you’re doing. Access the chat anytime or anywhere. Then carry on doing you.", Android.inc released on their blog.

Get all your messages in one peace

Now you can better manage your conversations in one place. You'll get message notifications from multiple message apps at one place from your priority people. 

Content Capture

Android has finally integrated a built-in screen recording feature. Another quirk with the new OS is that it allows you to copy text as well as pictures and move them wherever you want. 

Smart Reply

The Google Keyboard comes with default smart replay, which gives suggestive replies life 'sound good'. "Replies are intelligently suggested based on what’s been said in the conversation—so the words you need and the perfect emoji are always at your fingertips." 

Privacy 

This Android update comes with more privacy to the user- the user can select data and permissions to be granted to the app and only once not the traditional permissions that apps ask for every time you open the app.

Device and Voice Control

Android 11 welcomes better ease of access that is voice control even offline voice command and connected device control like managing house appliances.

There are other security and privacy updates that are aptly needed and provide a better experience compared to the Android 10 version. Various smartphones are compatible with the new update, namely- 
  •  Google Pixel Phones: Pixel 3, 3A, 4, 4A
  •  Oppo phones: Oppo is testing the feature on their Find X2 series and Reno 3 Series (4G).
  •  One Plus: One plus is also testing open Beta of its Oxygen OS 11 update for OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro. 
  •  Realme Phones: Realme X50 Pro
  •  Xiaomi phones: They posted on Twitter that their Mi10 and Mi 10 Pro will be the first to have the 11 updates.

Microsoft Office 365 users will now be able to view their quarantined phishing messages

 

Microsoft Office 365 will now let users view their phishing messages that are automatically screened by Exchange Online Protection (EOP) filter. 



Through this new venture, users will now be able to reclaim that had been unwittingly marked as spam or phishing by EOP. (EOP- a cloud-based filtering service that scans messages and restricts malicious emails like spams, phishing emails, malware attachments from reaching to the end-user) 

"We understand that managing false positives is important to ensuring an email is delivered appropriately, and in the past, end-users weren't granted access to the quarantine to view messages," Microsoft debriefs on the new feature.

However, the new feature will be available as "read-only" access but the user can request a particular message to be dropped in the inbox that might have been accidentally quarantined. This new Office 365 ATP Request Release feature will be available to all users with the Advanced Threat Protection plan this month. 

Office also released a similar feature not too long ago - Application Guard which opens all files from unsafe locations in a secluded sandbox. This isolated sandbox doesn't allow malicious files to corrupt the device and software by not letting the file download any data, file, or extension from the attacker's server. 

Upcoming ATP security features and tools- 

Office 365 is alluding to enhance their security in the third quarter of the year with various new security features in the charts- 

  •  Improving Office 365 ATP Threat Explorer 
To elevate it's distinguishing ability to sort between malicious, spam, or phishing emails.

  •  Disable default email forwarding to external recipients
In order to prevent data theft and "automated malicious content blocking" to all users despite their custom settings.

  •  More transparency through email pathways-
Office ATP users would get more information on the route incoming emails take through Office's EOP (Exchange Online Protection) filtering system and they would know more about the "effectiveness of any security configuration changes" according to bleepingcomputer.com.

  •  New Configuration Analyzer 
This new feature is suspected to release in Q3 and would make it easier to compare your security policies settings efficacy to Office's recommended settings.

A New Security Vulnerability Discovered in Bluetooth technology


Two teams of security researchers have discovered a new vulnerability in Bluetooth technology that has been confirmed by The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), the bloc responsible for Bluetooth interests. The flaw could potentially allow a hacker to take complete control of a user’s Bluetooth enabled device without authorization.

Bluetooth is a short-range, low powered, high-speed open wireless technology that uses the Internet of Things (IoT) for transmitting fixed and mobile electronic device data. Bluetooth replaces the cables that people conventionally used to connect devices, with an added purpose of keeping the communications secure. However, with convenience and productivity, Bluetooth also presents major security threats.

Devices using the Bluetooth standard 4.0 through 5.0 are vulnerable to a flaw called ‘BLURtooth’ in Cross-Transport Key Derivation (CTKD) - it allows an attacker to manipulate the CTKD component and overwrite authentication keys on the victim’s device. The Bluetooth 5.1 standard released by the Bluetooth SIG in January 2019 contains features that provide security against BLURtooth attacks.

Earlier this year, in May, academics from Italy and Germany identified yet another new type of attack ‘Spectra’, it was reported to break the separation between Wi-Fi and Bluetooth running on the same device. While relying upon the fact that transmissions happen in the same spectrum, the attack works against "combo chips".

In a blog post published on their website, the company told that for CTKD attack to be successful “an attacking device would need to be within wireless range of a vulnerable Bluetooth device supporting both BR/EDR and LE transports that supports CTKD between the transports and permits pairing on either the BR/EDR or LE transport either with no authentication (e.g. JustWorks) or no user-controlled access restrictions on the availability of pairing. If a device spoofing another device’s identity becomes paired or bonded on a transport and CTKD is used to derive a key which then overwrites a pre-existing key of greater strength or that was created using authentication, then access to authenticated services may occur. This may permit a Man In The Middle (MITM) attack between devices previously bonded using authenticated pairing when those peer devices are both vulnerable.”

“The Bluetooth SIG is also broadly communicating details on this vulnerability and its remedies to our member companies and is encouraging them to rapidly integrate any necessary patches. As always, Bluetooth users should ensure they have installed the latest recommended updates from device and operating system manufacturers,” the blog further read.

The Antidrone system and a new platform for online voting were created in Russia

The Antidrone system will allow detecting drones that fly up to any object, said Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of the Kaspersky Lab. Depending on the model of the drones, the program can either land it, send it back, or stun it.

"This is necessary at sporting events, at airports, and for private businesses. Do I want someone's drones flying around our office? I don't want. This is the case when simultaneous sales will probably go both in Russia and in Europe," said Eugene Kaspersky.

Another startup of the Kaspersky Lab is an online voting system based on blockchain. According to Eugene Kaspersky, it can only be hacked by infecting a specific device. However, it will be difficult to infect a lot of devices.

"If you infect a thousand devices, it will not affect big elections in any way, but if you infect a million devices, it will be immediately noticeable. Of course, the elections will be disrupted, but we will see it," said Eugene Kaspersky.

The development also includes a process for monitoring online voting.

"If you want to observe the elections, put the server in the blockchain. So we simultaneously increase the blockchain, that is, the number of machines that calculate all this, and give access to observers. That is, if you want to be an observer, come with your computer,” explained the expert.

Also, during the pandemic, the company created its own travel accelerator "Kaspersky Exploring Russia". The program is designed to help tourism startups overcome the crisis and create the basis for further implementation of their projects. During the selection stage, the Kaspersky Lab received more than 500 applications from 47 countries.

Mister Kaspersky also said that Russia trains the world's best programmers, but this sometimes leads to the fact that the world's best hackers also speak Russian.

Flying V: the futuristic and sustainable drone aircraft makes it's first maiden flight


The Flying V took to air for the first time in July at a German Airbase with a successful flight albeit a slightly bumpy landing.

The image is a representation of the Flying V and not the actual aircraft.


Funded by KLM and Airbus, researchers and engineers from Dutch-based Technical University of Delft (TU Delft) successfully tested the scaled model of Flying V, named after it's 'V' shape. The drone is fuel efficient to quite a sizable degree and is designed to carry passengers in its wings.

TU Delft says, “computer calculations have predicted that the aircraft’s improved aerodynamic shape and reduced weight will reduce fuel consumption by 20% compared to today’s most advanced aircraft.” 

The aircraft has a unique 'V' design with passengers, cargo hold, and fuel tanks incorporated in the wings rather than the fuselage. The researchers estimate that it will save 20% fuel compared to present-day aircraft because of its shape and weight. The aircraft was first presented at the 100th anniversary of KLM, a Dutch airline, and has been one of the supporting partners along with Airbus. 

 Flight and Landing 

The researchers had some qualms with takeoff due to issues with rotation but it was smooth sailing during the actual test. Project Leader Dr. Roelof Vos said, “One of our worries was that the aircraft might have some difficulty lifting-off since previous calculations had shown that ‘rotation’ could be an issue. The team optimized the scaled flight model to prevent the issue but the proof of the pudding is in the eating. You need to fly to know for sure.” 

But both the flight and take off was smooth with a good thirst. The landing though was a bit jerky attributing (according to the researchers) to the design of the aircraft- which the team termed as too much 'Dutchroll'. The next step for the team would be to analyze the test flight and make further improvements to the design and aerodynamics.

Russian engineer raised $5 million for Tamagotchi for hackers

Russian techno enthusiast Pavel Zhovner raised almost $5 million for the production of Tamagotchi for hackers Flipper Zero.  The project attracted 37,987 users of the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform.

Zhovner launched the campaign in early August and expected to be able to raise at least $60,000 within a month — the minimum amount needed to start production in China. However, the enthusiast received this money within 8 minutes after the start of the collection. A day later, the project raised $500,000, and by the end of the weekend - more than $1 million. The campaign ended on 29 August with an impressive result of $4 882 784.

“I’m even a little glad that this will finally end, I can breathe out. We are called to continue the campaign on all sorts of IndieGoGo, but we decided to take a break and go into development more tightly, without being distracted by marketing,” wrote Zhovner in his Telegram channel.

Flipper Zero is an electronic multitool equipped with a built-in radio module for receiving and transmitting signals at frequencies of 300-928 MHz, as well as an infrared transmitter for controlling household appliances.

The creator describes the device as a universal tool that can turn into anything in the hands of experts — from remote control for a TV to a device for hacking a Wi-Fi router.

The developers said that Flipper Zero does not fall under the description of a special tool or device for the secret collection of information. The device does not have the ability to capture audio-visual information and is not disguised as household items. The factory firmware will not contain jamming, brute force, or other potentially malicious features.

Also, inside Flipper Zero there is a cyberdolphin that needs to be fed. This mascot is a reference to Johnny Mnemonic, the cult cyberpunk film.

Kickstarter's sponsors are expected to be able to receive their devices as early as February 2021. Later, the creator plans to release Flipper Zero for free sale through online stores and resellers at a price of $169.

Amazons gets FAA's approval for Drone Delivery Trails



Retail giant Amazon got the approval to deliver their products from the sky (like your package dropped straight from the skies, well the thought is good but not really); that is to say, the online retail behemoth got USA's Federal Aviation Administration approval to start trials for drone airlines for delivery.

The Federal Aviation Administration approved Amazon Prime as an "air carrier" allowing it to begin deliveries by air with their drone tech, probably with the MK27 drone released last year. These will be under a trial program. Other companies that already had this approval are Wing, the Alphabet.Inc (Google) and United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS).

In recent years, companies in retail have been evolving and developing Drone Delivery to quite an extent and have achieved major leaps. Wing and UPS both fly their products to a limited distance via drones and Amazon has stated they would start their own trials through the exact data that was not mentioned. 

During the pandemic, Amazon made extensive profits and grew exponentially and their autonomous air delivery if applied globally with success could change the way for ecommerce forever. 

"This certification is an important step forward for Prime Air and indicates the FAA's confidence in Amazon's operating and safety procedures for an autonomous drone delivery service that will one day deliver packages to our customers around the world," said David Carbon, vice president of Prime Air, in a statement. "We will continue to develop and refine our technology to fully integrate delivery drones into the airspace, and work closely with the FAA and other regulators around the world to realize our vision of 30-minute delivery." 

The FAA said it has granted the approval to support innovation and development in Drone flights. But the approval was difficult and still has some issues as FAA's regulations are for humans aboard and not sans humans. Thus the agency is planning on making a new set of regulations for Drone flights. 

But routine Drone Deliveries still have a long way to go like something like this would require some standards for flight, machine, and mechanism along with proper air traffic control and route settings without a pilot - all of which would take years to set up.

The new iOS 14 to drop Facebook's Audience Network Advertising to 50%


Facebook on Wednesday posted a response to the new iOS 14 on their official blog stating that the new iOS could lead to a 50% drop in their Audience Network advertising business.



Though the company had previously raised issues with iOS 14 and that it could impact their advertising, this Wednesday blog detailed exactly how. 

Facebook Audience Network collects data from the user ( Facebook's data) and provides targeted in-app advertisements. Advertisers use a unique device ID number known as the IDFA in order to make advertisements personalized. 

In iOS 14, these tracking IDFA would be made optional and the user can opt if they want their app to track or not. Facebook said they won't collect IDFA information in iOS 14 at all even though it will make a significant dent in their audience network advertising. 

"We know this may severely impact publishers' ability to monetize through Audience Network on iOS 14, and, despite our best efforts, may render Audience Network so ineffective on iOS 14 that it may not make sense to offer it on iOS14 in the future," Facebook said in the blog.

"While it's difficult to quantify the impact to publishers and developers at this point with so many unknowns, in testing we've seen more than a 50% drop in Audience Network publisher revenue when personalization was removed from mobile ad install campaigns," Facebook said. "In reality, the impact to Audience Network on iOS 14 may be much more, so we are working on short-and long-term strategies to support publishers through these changes." 

Facebook said that their advertising policies will be in compliance with iOS 14's and Apple's preconditions but the social network's whole revenue is derived from advertising and around a billion people view at least one Audience Network ad in a month, so the decision is bound to affect Facebook grandly. 

The blog further cleared some changes Facebook would do for iOS 14 and operations for their partners. The new iOS is expected to launch this year.

Bangaluru based startup Pixxel raises $5 Million to be India's first Earth-Imaging Satellite to launch


A Bengaluru based startup, Pixxel is soaring towards the moon as they recently raised a sweeping fund of 5 million dollars for their new technology for earth imaging. The funding was provided by Blume Ventures, Lightspeed India Partners, and grows ventures and other investors.

The two young founders Awais Ahmed and Kshitij Khandelwal with their innovative tech will change the way for earth imaging forever. The company's goal is to surround the earth with a constellation of 30 small imaging satellites that will provide constant global coverage. Their satellites are quite small in size but provide high-quality imaging data that existing satellites fail to do. This 24-hour global coverage, they (Pixxel) hope will help to analyze the weather, predict and track natural phenomena in real time, and more.

Their first satellite is set to be launched later this year on a Soyuz Rocket and further, they plan to complete their constellation of 30 satellites by 2022. The founders were working on AI and satellite imaging when they enquired about a lack of high-quality imaging and up-to-date data and thus they shifted from the project and set on to develop a high-resolution earth imaging technology during their last year of graduation. Then Pixxel was launched in May 2018 and got it's earlier findings from Techstars and grows Ventures. 

This significant amount will boost the startup exponentially and the team will use the funding to fuel the technology, grow the task force, and for the deployment of the satellites. With high resolution and constant imaging combined with Pixxel's machine learning and analysis will help tackle world problems and global phenomenon. 

Awais Ahmed, CEO, and Founder of Pixxel in talks with Yourstory.com says, “Our satellites will bring down the benefits of space down to earth and help us see the unseen through a unique dataset that offers an unprecedented level of detail. We’re glad that some very high-quality investors have decided to partner with us on this long journey."

Twitter Rolled-out its Latest Feature that Lets Users Limit Reply



In an attempt to make conversations more effective and meaningful, Twitter has rolled out a new feature that will allow users to have a little more control over who is showing up in their mentions, the feature will enable users to get rid of spam in their conversations by limiting who can reply to their Tweets.

Before being launched globally on 11th August for both the Android and iOS users, the feature underwent a brief run in beta. It is now available for the Twitter App on both the platforms and also for the users accessing the platform via the official website twitter.com.

How the feature works?


While posting a tweet, you will come across a small globe icon at the bottom, upon tapping on that, three options will appear to choose who can reply to your tweet. If you choose nothing, the setting will remain default – meaning anyone can reply to the tweet or you can limit replies just to those who are tagged in the tweet; or only to your followers.

After selecting the preferred option, you are all set to compose your tweet and click on the 'Tweet' tab to publish it. One important thing to note here is that once the tweet is posted, you won't be able to change the reply settings for that particular tweet.

However, users must also note that people who are restricted from replying will get a greyed-out icon, but they will still be able to view and share your tweets – they can Retweet, Retweet with Comment, and like the tweet.

The feedback received by the users has been positive so far, indicating that users have felt more comfortable and guarded against abuse, trolls, and spam.

As per a blog post by Director of Product Management, Suzanne Xie, the new feature is successfully preventing about three potentially abusive replies while adding one potentially abusive retweet with comment.

Referencing from Xie's observations, “Sometimes people are more comfortable talking about what’s happening when they can choose who can reply,”
“We’ve seen people use these settings to have conversations that weren’t really possible before. Starting today, everyone will be able to use these settings so unwanted replies don’t get in the way of meaningful conversations," the blog post read.

"Since your Tweet = your space, we've been testing new settings to give people more control over the conversations they start. Sometimes people are more comfortable talking about what's happening when they can choose who can reply. We've seen people use these settings to have conversations that weren't really possible before. Starting today, everyone will be able to use these settings so unwanted replies don't get in the way of meaningful conversations," Xie further said in a statement.

WhatsApp to Allow Users to Sync Chat Between iOS and Android


When switching devices from Android to iOS or the other way round, users were not able to retain the chat histories despite the backup option as WhatsApp didn’t provide a means to synchronize chat histories between the two platforms. Although, for the iOS users the chat histories are backed up on the iCloud and similarly, for Android, Google’s cloud gets the work done as long as the platform remains unchanged, having a method to drag the backup to a new platform would add a lot more convenience to both the universes.

Facebook-owned WhatsApp has been working on a new feature aiming to resolve the issue pertaining to the syncing of chats across platforms; the company is planning to come up with a functionality that will allow users to use a single phone number, i.e., one account on multiple devices, as per the sources.

Reports suggest that WhatsApp could allow users to use a single account on four different devices simultaneously. However, as per the idea revolving around this new feature, a Wi-Fi facility will become a must for users as a lot of data will be required for the uploading and downloading of all the multimedia along with the messages, while syncing the chat histories between devices.

Notably, the development came in the wake of users' complaints and demand regarding being able to use one account on multiple devices. Once WhatsApp will securely copy the chat history to the other device, users will finally be able to use their account from it. During the process, the encryption keys will be changed and all active chats will be notified about the same.

Referencing from the report by WABetainfo, “When the user wants to use WhatsApp on a second device, there is the need to copy the chat history. In this case, WhatsApp always requires a Wi-Fi connection, because it may use a large amount of your data plan,”

“Note that any message will be delivered to all your family devices, so your chat history will be always synced across platforms, and when you use or remove a device, your encryption key changes,”

“In this case, WhatsApp Desktop was used for the test, but it will work on a second mobile device too, but it’s really possible that WhatsApp will allow mobile devices to be connected to your main device later than WhatsApp Desktop. Note that, using this feature, an Internet connection on your device will no longer be needed to use WhatsApp Desktop,” read the report. 

Here's All you Need to Know About Instagram Reels; Launched Globally in Over 50 Countries


As TikTok fell prey to extensive criticism and was labeled as a 'threat to security' by governments, resulting in the banning of the popular video-sharing platform, the creators have long ago started weighing what's next!

In the wake of TikTok's future succumbing to uncertainties, Instagram has rolled out a new feature 'Reels', that appear to be in direct competition with what TikTok had to offer.

Starting today, Instagram is launching "Reels" feature for its users in more than 50 countries, it is seen as a remarkable and well-timed attempt by Instagram to capitalize upon the global turmoil in the creative sphere of social media. It's also a potential opportunity for Instagram to expand its identity from a photo app to a video entertainment platform.

With the expansion, now the feature will be available in major international markets including India, the U.S., the U.K., France, Brazil, Germany, Australia, Mexico, Spain, Argentina, Japan, and many others.

In a similar manner like TikTok, Instagram Reels will allow people to create mini-clips with music that they can share with their followers, these short-form videos will be discoverable while users browse the "Explore" tab on Instagram.

Reels let users record 15 seconds long video clips and add filters, effects, and popular music onto them, the feature is entirely embedded inside Instagram's original app and is not to be mistaken for being an add-on or a separate app. It is not a different world altogether like TikTok or Vine, but just 'yet another thing' one can do on Instagram.

While announcing the release of "Reels", the company said in a blog, "It's a new way to create and discover short, entertaining videos on Instagram."

"Reels invites you to create fun videos to share with your friends or anyone on Instagram. Record and edit 15-second multi-clip videos with audio, effects, and new creative tools. You can share reels with your followers on Feed, and, if you have a public account, make them available to the wider Instagram community through a new space in Explore. Reels in Explore offers anyone the chance to become a creator on Instagram and reach new audiences on a global stage."

How to Create Reels?


"Select Reels at the bottom of the Instagram camera. You'll see a variety of creative editing tools on the left side of your screen to help create your reel, including:"

"Audio: Search for a song from the Instagram music library. You can also use your own original audio by simply recording a reel with it. When you share a reel with original audio, your audio will be attributed to you, and if you have a public account, people can create reels with your audio by selecting “Use Audio” from your reel.

AR Effects: Select one of the many effects in our effect gallery, created both by Instagram and creators all over the world, to record multiple clips with different effects.

Timer and Countdown: Set the timer to record any of your clips hands-free. Once you press record, you’ll see a 3-2-1 countdown, before recording begins for the amount of time you selected.

Align: Line up objects from your previous clip before recording your next to help create seamless transitions for moments like outfit changes or adding new friends into your reel.

Speed: Choose to speed up or slow down part of the video or audio you selected. This can help you stay on a beat or make slow-motion videos." Instagram explained in the blog.

IBM announces 1000 STEM internship opportunities for students


Petrarch once said, "Sameness is the mother of disgust, variety the cure". And we as a society believe quite strongly in diversity, it is the core of our harmonious existence; even research proves that diverse companies produce 19% more revenue. Most companies today give considerable weightage to being diverse and inclusive, one of them being IBM.

IBM, a highly innovative and research-focused company has always been inclusive in its approach with its ingenious programs like "creating new pathways to science, technology, engineering and math careers with Pathways in Technology Early College High School also known as P-TECH".

 "The fight against racism and racial inequality is as urgent as ever. Despite much progress since the Civil Rights movement, Black people are still significantly affected by poverty, unemployment, segregated housing, and other injustices in the United States.", they wrote on their website.

And with the same thought, IBM has announced to provide 1000 internships for the United States P-TECH students instead of the 150 they used to earlier.

"At IBM, one way we are taking action in advocating for social justice and racial equality is by advancing education, skills, and jobs. Today, as part of our ongoing efforts, we are pleased to announce the creation of 1,000 paid internships for P-TECH students in the United States from now until December 31, 2021. This commitment is a 10x incremental increase from our most recent internship goals." announced the company.

P-TECH is a unique program by IBM, where students from grade 9-11 are prepared with STEM training, mentorship, and work experience. The students earn a high school diploma, a two-year associate degree and work experience, and ample opportunities to enter the tech field. STEM, a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics field has lead the global innovation bar but it is also a field where still minorities are much unrepresented and IBM steps to endeavor this issue with their 1000 free internships program.

 "We aspire to create more open and equitable pathways to employment for all regardless of background. It’s about generating the skills and training that lead to good jobs. We will continue the fight to bring new faces to the tech industry that truly reflect the demographics of our communities.", IBM writes on P-TECH programs announcing the new internship opportunities.

Litigation Firm Discovers a New Phishing Scam Falsely Purporting To Be From Leading UK Supermarket


A litigation firm discovered a new phishing scam falsely indicating to be from a leading UK supermarket Tesco. 

The scam had utilized SMS and email communication planned to fool customers into handling over their subtleties, and steal classified and payment data. 

The fraud started through an official-looking but fake Facebook page entitled 'Tesco UK' which shared images implying to be from a Tesco warehouse, showing stuffed boxes of HD television sets. 

As per Griffin Law, the litigation firm, the message stated: “We have around 500 TVs in our warehouse that are about to be binned as they have slight damage and can’t be sold. However, all of them are in fully working condition, we thought instead of binning them we’d give them away free to 500 people who have shared and commented on this post by July 18.” 

The firm stated that at least some 100 customers had responded to the Facebook page or received an email.

The original fake Tesco Facebook page is currently listed as 'content unavailable.' It was the clueless users who had due to immense excitement shared the post helped it to spread before receiving an email offering them the opportunity to 'claim their prize.' 

A button in the message connected victims to a landing page to enter their name, place of residence, phone number, and the bank account details. 

Tim Sadler, Chief, Tessian, stated: As the lines between people in our ‘known’ network and our ‘unknown’ networks blur on social media feeds and in our inboxes, it becomes incredibly difficult to know who you can and can’t trust. Hackers prey on this, impersonating a trusted brand or person to convince you into complying with their malicious request and they will also prey on people’s vulnerabilities." 

Although Sadler empathized with the people who are struggling financially in the wake of the [COVID-19] pandemic and henceforth the proposal of a free television could be appealing to them.

However, he advises the users to consistently scrutinize the authenticity of these certain messages and consistently confirm the requestor's offer before tapping on the link and refrain from asking for trouble.

VPN Services Reportedly Leaked Around 1.2TB User Data Containing Sensitive Information


A recent discovery by a tech service company has taken the world by storm. The VPN services may not be as protected and secure as they guarantee to be, the company reveals that around 894GB of client information and data from UFO VPN has been exposed on the web.

This was proved true for eight quite well-known VPN services that have purportedly released a mammoth 1.2TB of client information. These VPN applications are as yet accessible on the Google Play Store with just one removed until now.

The leaked info contains subtleties like accounts passwords, VPN session secrets/tokens, IP addresses of both client devices and servers, and even the operating system of the devices.

As per by Comparitech, the tech service company responsible for the discovery,  more than 20 million client entries are included in the logs every day.

The VPN specialist co-op was likewise informed regarding the information spill yet denied any such claims. UFO VPN said that the client logs are saved for traffic monitoring and that every last bit of it is 'anonymized'.

It was later found that there are seven more Hong Kong-based VPN administrations that have around 1.2TB of client information out in the open online.

The list incorporates FAST VPN, Free VPN, Super VPN, Flash VPN, Secure VPN, Rabbit VPN, and UFO VPN as well. Found by VPNmentor, it was discovered that all these VPN services share a typical Elasticsearch server and also the same recipient for payments, Dreamfii HK Limited.

The information uncovered from these VPN administrations contain sensitive data like home addresses, Bitcoin and PayPal payment details, email addresses and passwords, user names, and more. Dreamfii HK is expected to be the parent company for all these VPN services.

As of now, these VPN applications are as yet accessible on the Play Store, and only Rabbit VPN has been removed.

Pavel Durov called on Apple to oblige to install different application stores


Apple should allow users to install apps not only from its own App Store. This opinion was expressed by the founder of Telegram messenger Pavel Durov. According to him, Tim Cook (CEO of Apple) should be obligated to this at the legislative level.

The day before, high-ranking Telegram Manager, Vice President of the company founded by Pavel Durov, Ilya Perekopsky, spoke at a panel discussion with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and representatives of the IT industry in Innopolis. He said that Apple and Google are holding back the development of startups by charging a tax of a 30 percent Commission from app developers. Almost simultaneously with Perekopsky's speech, Durov published an article in which he called for Apple to be legally obliged to install an alternative App Store on the iPhone.

Durov is sure that if this is not done, then app developers, in particular, from Russia, will be forced to sell their startups for little money. At the same time, Apple's capitalization will only grow.
“Preventing two supranational corporations from collecting taxes from all of humanity is not an easy task. Corporations employ thousands of lobbyists, lawyers, and PR agents, and their budgets are unlimited. At the same time, app developers are scattered and scared, as the fate of their projects depends entirely on the favor of Apple and Google," wrote Pavel Durov.

The head of the TelecomDaily information and analytical agency Denis Kuskov noted that changing the market is quite difficult because these two companies are leading it. Therefore, Durov needs to accept this fact.

Durov recalled that in 2016, Apple banned the Telegram team from launching its own game platform: "We had to remove the telegram games catalog that we had already created and almost the entire platform interface, otherwise Apple threatened to remove Telegram from the AppStore." According to Durov, in a similar way the iPhone manufacturer does with many other developers.

Telegraph service was unblocked in Russia


Russia stopped blocking the popular Telegram messenger almost a month ago. However, the related Telegraph service continued to be blocked. Now Russia has also unblocked the Telegraph platform for publishing and creating articles. 

The Telegraph platform was launched by the Telegram team in November 2016. It is designed to quickly create and publish articles, notes, and other similar content, a link to which can then be easily shared. Registration is not required for publication.

The blocking of the Telegra[.]ph service in Russia began at the end of 2018, a little later than the Telegram messenger.

According to the Roskomsvoboda resource, which closely monitors the registry of blocked sites, all pages with the Telegra.ph domain, which were blocked in Russia by the decision of a particular authority, are now excluded from the blocking registry. The last two similar pages were removed from the blacklist only on July 11.

It is interesting to note, according to Press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov, the cancellation of restrictions on access to the Telegram messenger in Russia is perceived positively in the Kremlin, as it is in line with the course of President Vladimir Putin on the development of the high-tech industry.

The Press Secretary of the Head of State also noted as a positive fact the participation of heads of the company that owns the messenger in government events on the development of the IT industry.
Recall that in Russia since April 2018, Telegram was blocked for non-compliance with the requirements for providing encryption keys, but during the coronavirus pandemic, the government began to use the messenger to distribute official information. In this regard, the State Duma even introduced a bill to unblock Telegram.  On June 18, Roskomnadzor decided to remove restrictions on access to the messenger, the creator of which, Pavel Durov, congratulated the Russians on this event.

The Need for Smart Cities in the Post-Pandemic World


Due to coronavirus pandemic, there has been a lockdown worldwide, and it seems, the streets and the normal life has been put on hold. While many people have complained about not getting to go out and enjoy, some people have also cherished their times at home and say it is a good thing, as it has caused the betterment of the environment and planet earth. Going through this current phase, the common question is, 'What happens after all this ends?' And more importantly, 'The concept of smart cities making these improvements permanent.'


This lockdown showed the importance of technology during times of crisis and has raised the question about the future of smart cities. In Singapore, drones were used to ensure people followed the social distancing protocol. Whereas in North Carolina, drones had delivered emergency health supplies to hospitals and people at home. Daniel Rus, a scientist at MIT, and her lab designed a robot used to disinfect food banks in Boston.

In an interview with BBC News, Daniel said that robots are playing a vital role in the fight against the pandemic. According to her, robots might play an essential role in the future when smart cities are built. In the present times, the cities gather data from sensors all over the city, such as traffic lights, lamp posts, or cameras. The data obtained helps determine the AQI (Air Quality Index) and the traffic situation in an area, all of which allows the human life. The lockdown made people realize the importance of such data. For instance, for the first time, people want to know the transport that has come in and went out of the city. They want to know whether the people around them are healthy or not.

Therefore, the post coronavirus world should consider whether they need such technology or not; that is, should the electric vehicles mandated in cities as they offer a better environment? Companies are starting to think about the "Work from Home" concept, as they have realized the additional resources and money that is spent on offices.

Microsoft Office 365 Users Targeted By a New Phishing Campaign Using Fake Zoom Notifications



As people across the world struggle to survive the onslaught of the corona pandemic by switching to the work-from-home criteria, the usage and demand of cloud-based communication platform providing users with audio and videoconferencing services have seen a sudden upsurge.

Zoom is one such platform that has from the beginning of 2020 has seen an extremely high increase of new monthly active users after a huge number of employees have adopted remote working.

However recently Microsoft Office 365 users are being targeted by a brand new phishing campaign that utilizes fake Zoom notifications to caution the users who work in corporate environments that their Zoom accounts have been suspended, with the ultimate goal of stealing Office 365 logins.

Reports are as such that those targeted by this campaign are all the more ready to believe in such emails during this time since the number of remote workers participating in daily online meetings through video conferencing platforms, as Zoom has definitely increased because of stay-at-home orders or lockdowns brought about by the pandemic.

 As of now the phishing campaign mimicking automated Zoom account suspension alerts has received by more than 50,000 mailboxes based on details given by researchers as email security company Abnormal Security who recognized these continuous attacks.

The phishing messages spoof an official Zoom email address and are intended to imitate a real automated Zoom notification.

Utilizing a spoofed email address and an email body practically free from any grammar blunders or typos (other than a self-evident 'zoom' rather than 'Zoom account') makes these phishing messages all the more persuading and conceivably more viable.

The utilization of a lively "Happy Zooming!" toward the end of the email could raise a few cautions however, as it doesn't exactly fit with the rest of the message's tone.




As soon as the users click the "Activate Account" button, they are redirected to a fake Microsoft login page through 'an intermediary hijacked site'.

On the phishing landing page, they are asked to include their Outlook credentials in a form intended to exfiltrate their account subtleties to attacked controlled servers.

On the off chance that they succumb to the attackers' tricks, the victims' Microsoft credentials will be utilized to assume full control for their accounts and all their data will be ready for the picking, later to be utilized as a part of identity theft and fraud schemes like the Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks.

Despite the fact that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had warned of BEC abusing popular cloud email services, like Microsoft Office 365 and Google G Suite through Private Industry Notifications issued in March and in April.

Even after this, Office 365 users are continuously targeted by phishing campaigns with the ultimate objective of reaping their credentials.

Regardless Microsoft has warned of phishers' ongoing movement to new types of phishing strategies, like consent phishing, other than conventional email phishing and credential theft attacks.

Microsoft Partner Group PM Manager Agnieszka Girling says, "While application use has accelerated and enabled employees to be productive remotely, attackers are looking at leveraging application-based attacks to gain unwarranted access to valuable data in cloud services,"

The company additionally has made a legal move to destroy some portion of the attack infrastructure used to host malignant 365 OAuth apps utilized in consent phishing to seize victims' Office 365 accounts.