Users first have to update the latest WhatsApp Web version in order to create a room shortcut. However, the feature is not available on the mobile app yet.
According to Parmar, who was an executive director with UC Web in India, the company fired him after he objected against the alleged censoring of content that did not show China in a positive light.
- Last Updated: July 26, 2020, 2:23 PM IST
- Edited by: Shouvik Das
An Indian court has summoned Alibaba and its founder Jack Ma in a case in which a former employee in India says he was wrongfully fired after objecting to what he saw as censorship and fake news on company apps, documents seen by Reuters showed. The case comes weeks after India cited security concerns in banning Alibaba’s UC News, UC Browser and 57 other Chinese apps after a clash between the two countries’ forces on their border.
Following the ban, which China has criticised, India sought written answers from all affected companies, including whether they censored content or acted for any foreign government. In court filings dated July 20 and previously not reported, the former employee of Alibaba’s UC Web, Pushpandra Singh Parmar, alleges the company used to censor content seen as unfavourable to China and its apps UC Browser and UC News showcased false news “to cause social and political turmoil”.
Civil Judge Sonia Sheokand of a district court in Gurugram, a satellite city of India’s capital, New Delhi, has issued summons for Alibaba, Jack Ma and about a dozen individuals or company units, asking them to appear in court or through a lawyer on July 29, court documents showed. The judge has also sought written responses from the company and its executives within 30 days, according to the summons.
UC India said in a statement it had been “unwavering in its commitment to the India market and the welfare of its local employees, and its policies are in compliance with local laws. We are unable to comment on ongoing litigation”. Alibaba representatives did not respond to requests for comment from the Chinese company or on behalf of Jack Ma.
Parmar, who worked as an associate director at the UC Web office in Gurugram until October 2017 and is seeking $268,000 in damages, referred Reuters queries to his lawyer, Atul Ahlawat, who declined to comment saying the matter was sub-judice. The court case is the latest hurdle for Alibaba in India after the Indian government’s app ban, following which UC Web has started laying off some staff in India.
Before the apps were banned, the UC Browser had been downloaded at least 689 million times in India, while UC News had 79.8 million downloads, most during 2017 and 2018, data from analytics firm Sensor Tower showed.
ALLEGATIONS IN COURT
India has said it banned the 59 apps after it received “credible inputs” that such apps posed a threat to India’s sovereignty. Its IT minister said the decision was taken to safeguard citizens’ data and public order. In more than 200 pages of court filings, reviewed by Reuters, former employee Parmar included clippings of some posts showcased on the UC News app that he alleged were false.
One post from 2017 was headlined in Hindi: “2,000-rupee notes to be banned from midnight today”. Another headline of a 2018 post said: “Just now: War broke out between India and Pakistan” and contained description of firing across the disputed border between the countries. Reuters could not independently verify the veracity of the claims in the court filing. India did not ban its 2,000-rupee currency note and no war occurred between India and Pakistan in 2018.
The lawsuit also contains a “sensitive words list” with key words in Hindi and English like “India-China border” and “Sino-India war” that the court filing alleges were used by UC Web to censor content on its platforms in India.
“In order to control any news related content to be published against China was automatically/manually rejected by an audit system evolved for this purpose,” the filing said. The Chinese Embassy in New Delhi and China’s foreign ministry in Beijing, as well as India’s IT ministry in New Delhi, did not respond to requests for comment.
The new feature has been rolled out to all Microsoft 365 users with a work account.
It is being reported that Google clocked as much as 2 hours of additional battery time on a laptop with the new features enabled, on a Chrome browser with 36 background tabs and one foreground tab. The good folks over at TheWindowsClub report this development, but also caution that the battery usage advantages may not be as apparent if you are using Chrome to view YouTube videos. While this is still an experimental feature in Chrome 86—the version available for all right now is Chrome 83—we still do not know if it will make it to the final release anytime soon.
It has been an interesting time for web browsers this year, ever since Microsoft released the Chromium based Edge browser update for Windows 10, macOS, Android and iOS with significant power saving capabilities built in. Apple has also got a significant advantage with the Safari web browser on Mac computing devices, and the next update rolling out with iOS 14, iPadOS 14 and macOS Big Sur will add further improvements too. Safe to say, even though it is the most used browser in the world right now, Chrome has fallen behind in terms of frugality and power management.
The leaked data seems to have originated from a third party and not from the government system, the report by cyber intelligence firm Cyble said.
- Last Updated: June 3, 2020, 4:10 PM IST
Over 1 lakh scanned copies of Indians’ national IDs, including Aadhaar, PAN card and passport, have been put on dark web for sale, cyber intelligence firm Cyble said on Wednesday. The leaked data seems to have originated from a third party and not from the government system, according to a report by Cyble.
“We came across a non-reputed actor who is currently selling over 1 lakh Indian National IDs on the dark net. With such a low reputation, ideally, we would have skipped this; however, the samples shared by the actor intrigued our interest — and also the volume. The actor is alleged to have access to over 1 lakh IDs from different places in India,” Cyble said. The personal data leaked by cybercriminals leads to various nefarious activities such as identity thefts, scams, and corporate espionage. Many criminals use the personal details in the IDs to win trust of the people over a phone call for fraudulent activities.
The Cyble researchers acquired around 1,000 IDs from the seller and confirmed that the scanned IDs belong to Indians. “Preliminary analysis suggests that the data originated from a third party, and no indication or artefact is indicating that it came from a government system. At this point, Cyble researchers are still investigating this further — we are hoping to share an update soon,” Cyble said.
The scanned ID documents indicate that the data may have been leaked from a company’s data base in the segment where they have to comply with ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) norms. “Cyble researchers have also learned about a surge in KYC and banking scams — leaks such as this are often used by scammers to target individuals, especially elderlies,” Cyble said.
The cyber intelligence firm has recommended people to refrain from sharing personal information especially financial information over phone, e-mail or SMS. “Regularly monitor your financial transaction, if you notice any suspicious transaction, contact your bank immediately,” the company said.
In May, Cyble showed two instances where personal data of 7.65 crore Indians have been put on sale in the dark web. In one instance, the seller claimed to have sourced data of 4.75 crore Indians from online directory Truecaller and in other, the seller claimed to have sourced from job websites. Truecaller, however, had denied the claim of breach in its database.
Apple acknowledged the issue on its system status website, as well on its Apple Support Twitter account.
- Last Updated: June 3, 2020, 3:49 PM IST
Apple on Wednesday resolved an unknown issue in iCloud that prevented users from accessing the cloud storage and syncing service, as well as other products like Mail and certain web apps. Apple acknowledged the issue on its system status website, as well on its Apple Support Twitter account.
The support site said that some users may have been unable to sign in to their iCloud accounts and may also be unable to access iCloud web apps and iCloud Mail. According to users. iCloud experienced an outage when synchronizing data, or even not working at all.
The issue was not only with iCloud but also with other Apple services — including Sign In with Apple, iCloud Mail, App Store, and Apple Pay. Some users also reported verification failures that trigger a pop-up reading, “The application you have selected does not exist.”
Earlier, users had to rely on Tweetdeck or other third-party apps that supported the feature if they wanted to schedule tweets.
- Last Updated: May 29, 2020, 2:24 PM IST
Twitter has started rolling out the ability to schedule tweets natively from its web app. While composing a tweet, one would see a little calendar icon on the bottom row of icons at the bottom of the compose window. Click that and one can specify when the user wants his tweet to be sent.
Twitter had been experimenting with the feature back in November. Now it seems the company is rolling the scheduling feature to all users. Before users had to rely on Tweetdeck or other third-party apps that supported the feature if they wanted to schedule tweets.
“Not quite ready to send that Tweet? Now on twitter.com you can save it as a draft or schedule it to send at a specific time –– all from the Tweet composer,” the company tweeted. Twitter has also added a new way to save draft tweets.
To do so, just tap on the ‘X’ button in the top left corner of the tweet composer and then select the Save button. To access saved tweets, open the compose box and select the Drafts option at the top.
WhatsApp Web dark mode is not an officially integrated feature, but you can get it easily without disrupting other pages or installing browser plugins.
- Last Updated: May 19, 2020, 9:18 AM IST
- Edited by: Shouvik Das
WhatsApp dark mode can now be implemented in the WhatsApp Web browser client as well, without disrupting other browser pages or installing any plugin on to your browser. The dark mode implementation gives users the darkened theme without taking anything away from the performance of other open tabs on your browser, and it is only a simple little trick that gets the job done.
To get dark mode on WhatsApp Web, here are the steps to follow:
- Once the WhatsApp Web client is open, right click on the empty area outside of the chats, and click on the ‘inspect page’ tab. If you cannot see an empty area around your WhatsApp browser client, use Ctrl + ‘-‘ (minus) to zoom out.
- Once you click on ‘inspect’, a splitscreen view will open up to show you the coding elements of the WhatsApp Web page. On this section, towards the very top of the chart, find the line that reads body class=“web”.
- Double-click on this line to switch on the cursor, and change ‘web’ to ‘web dark’. Now, the line of code here should look like body class=“web dark”.
While the background of the chat windows are set to a super dark shade of olive green, the chat tabs are set to a slightly lighter shade. Received messages show up on a grey text snippet, while sent messages are encased in lighter green bubbles. Despite not being officially baked into the WhatsApp Web client’s settings, the overall dark theme looks quite appealing and professionally put together.
WhatsApp Dark Mode on Android and iOS phones were rolled out with much hype and fanfare. Through 2019, it made for the most wanted WhatsApp feature among its 2 billion-odd active users, and going forward, WhatsApp’s implementation of a system-tied dark theme has been received quite well among its audience.
Companies such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat will have 24 hours to remove other “manifestly illicit” content.
- Last Updated: May 14, 2020, 1:42 PM IST
Social networks and other online content providers will have to remove paedophile and terrorism-related content from their platforms within the hour or face a fine of up to 4% of their global revenue under a French law voted in on Wednesday. For other “manifestly illicit” content, companies such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat will have 24 hours to remove it, according to the law, which sets up a specialised digital prosecutor at the courts and a government unit to observe hate speech online.
Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet told parliament the law will help reduce online hate speech. “People will think twice before crossing the red line if they know that there is a high likelihood that they will be held to account,” she said. Free-speech advocates criticised the new law. Online civil liberties defence group La Quadrature du Net(LQDN) said in a statement the legislator should have instead targeted the Internet giants’ business models. It said it was unrealistic to think the content could be withdrawn within the hour and the law was unnecessary.
“If the site does not censure the content (for instance because the complaint was sent during the weekend or at night), then the police can force Internet service providers to block the site everywhere in France,” it said.
Twitter France public affairs chief Audrey Herblin-Stoop said the company would continue to work closely with the government to build a safer Internet and fight against illegal hate speech while protecting an open internet, freedom of expression and fair competition. She said it was a top priority to ensure public debate was civil, adding Twitter’s investments in technologies that signal hate speech will reduce the burden on users of having to call out illicit content.
For one in two tweets on which the company has taken action, it had already been alerted by software, compared to 1 in 5 in 2018, she said. Far-right National Rally party president Marine Le Pen said the law was “a serious violation of the freedom of expression”. Facebook did not return calls and emails seeking comment, Google and Snapchat were not immediately available for comment.
The new dark mode is expected to help users enjoy Facebook by lowering brightness along with contrast and vibrancy while reducing strain in the eyes.
- Last Updated: May 11, 2020, 12:54 PM IST
Facebook has finally rolled out the much-awaited dark mode for PC users. The redesigned feature, according to Facebook, will be simpler and easier to use and will now load faster, giving users experience pretty similar to the mobile app. Interestingly, the feature, which was limited to a select few in the past, will now be available for users around the world. In a statement, Facebook said, “The new Facebook.com is simpler and easier to use, with the features you know and love. We’ll keep improving the experience.” The Dark Mode feature is also expected to help “billions” of users enjoy the app in lower brightness,
“We’ve grown since Facebook.com launched 16 years ago. We’ve built new features, optimized for new devices and operating systems, and expanded to hundreds of languages. Recently we’d focused on the mobile Facebook experience, and realized our desktop site had fallen behind. People need it to keep up,” said Facebook while rolling out the new design.
How to Enable Dark Mode and What Has Changed
To enable the latest dark mode feature on Facebook, users will have to go to “Settings” and then click on “Switch to new Facebook”. The dark mode can be enabled after that by tapping the same arrow. According to Facebook, the dark mode toggle is expected to help “billions” of users enjoy the website by lowering brightness along with contrast and vibrancy, therefore, reducing strain on the eyes in dimly-lit conditions. The interface is also cleaner with bigger texts as well. “It minimises screen glare for use in low light, wherever you are. The new immersive layout along with Dark Mode will also make viewing videos on Watch a great experience,” the statement read.
Furthermore, the simplified design, through its streamlined navigation approach, will make it easier for a user to not make an easy discovery of games but also create Groups, Pages, Events, as well as advertisements on Facebook.