Instagram’s New Update Has Annoyed Many Users

Nowadays there isn’t much privacy in the world with all the different applications which integrate themselves in to our daily lives such as Snapchat with it ‘SnapMaps’ feature which shows your location at all times while activated and Facebook rumoured to be reading messages, well it seems that Instagram want to get in on the action.

The whole concept of internet privacy has been in discussion constantly in the past few years, this will most likely be due to the advancements in technology as well as the amount of people using these applications and services. The fact that data gathered on these sites can be sold for a large amount of money is also incentive for these companies to gather more and more information about you.

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The Application In Action

Recently, Instagram have been blasted by users and critics for violating the privacy pact after the newest update brought along a very unwanted feature, this feature is Show Activity Status which is automatically turned on once the update has been applied and will begin allowing users to see when you were last on the app and whenever you have seen messages sent to you by them, causing the feature ‘a stalkers paradise’.

Luckily the feature can be turned off, but Instagram didn’t share this information with its users when the feature was implemented, you simply need to your profile settings and scroll to the bottom where you will find the ‘Show Activity Status’ and then you will simply be able to turn off the feature leaving you to get your fix of memes and pictures of dogs pleasure free.

Do you think that the power of the social media companies are allowing them to invade our privacy with ease? I’d love to hear your opinion on the whole concept.

Mark Zuckerberg Has Just Lost An Astonishing Amount Of Money

Mark Zuckerberg’s recent changes to Facebook have cost him $3.3 billion from his personal fortune, but this isn’t going to leave him strapped for cash as this only accounts for 4.4 per cent of his full net worth, that just shows how rich the man actually is.

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So what actually caused all that money to be lost you may ask, well it’s down to the news feed changed implemented which prioritise family and friends Facebook posts over the ones made by business, the fallout of this is that Facebook shares dropped by 4.4 per cent also taking them from $187.77 to $179.37, why would he make these changes if he knew he was going to lose money?

In an interview Mark recently said:

We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us.

But recently we’ve gotten feedback that public content – posts from businesses, brands and media – is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.

Based on this,” he added, “I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.

However, it may not be all true as people are speculating that they just wish to encourage people to share more of their private data online so that they can gain more profit from the data that Facebook sells to advertisers, which in the long run may allow him to increase the value of his company and his own wealth.

The shares are beginning to recover already which means that the loss will most likely be regained as well as profit from selling the data, the man really is a genius, what do you think that Facebook should do with our data? Let me know in the comments!

CES 2018

Some of you may not know this but CES (Consumer Electronics Show) kicks off in Las Vegas today for the annual convention, if you don’t know what CES is and what happens, basically, all the biggest names in electronics will be there to showcase some of their current products, but the most exciting part is that they are there to unveil new and planned devices, gadgets, TV’s and even Robots.

The most exciting reveals usually happen over the course of the week, but not this year as many tech firms have announced a number of products before CES has even officially begun with the hopes of catching more media attention the others, I am going to give you an update on some of the products announces at yesterdays media extravaganzas.

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Samsung’s “The Wall”

Did you think that you had a big enough TV already? well Samsung doesn’t think so, they have announced a whopping 146inch 4K TV named “The Wall” with the goal of it being to cover a full wall of your house and turn it in to one giant screen. Don’t worry if you feel like you haven’t got space for it, as The Wall does not have any bezels which means that screen can basically be whatever size you want.

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Xperia XA2 and Xperia XA2 Ultra

Sony have also been involved in a little bit of early unveiling, granted it is not as exciting as “The Wall” ,with the new range of Xperia phones, these phones are built quite well with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 635 chipset, and a 23-megapixel rear-facing camera, complete with ISO 12800 sensitivity. The Xperia L2 meanwhile, is a 5.5in smartphone powered by a MediaTek MT6737T processor and 3GB of RAM. But alongside the dominant powers Samsung & Apple, that leaves them to be a mid-range smartphone.

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Acer Chromebook 11

Acer used CES to unveil its latest line of laptops and Chromebooks. The first is the gaming-focussed Nitro 5, equipped with AMD’s Radeon RX560 GPU and the latest AMD Ryzen mobile processor. Second is the Acer Swift 7, the new 4G LTE-equipped super-slim laptop. Finally, there’s the updated stylish Acer Chromebook 11, complete with an 11.6in touchscreen display on the cheap. There isn’t much to say about these as they are a solid laptop at a solid price in comparison to other laptops of the kind.

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Nvidia BFGD Gaming TV

Nvidia had a very exciting reveal for us gamers, as we have always only had the option to only game on a monitor if we are wishing for the best experience such as response time. You may be perfectly fine playing on your current TV, but some people feel different about it. It focuses completely on the visual aspect of gaming to ensure that your game and audio quality is the best it can be, sitting at 65inch and running G-SYNC and Nvidia Shield, but the firm has also partnered with HP, Acer & Asus, so you can be sure they have more up their sleeve.

That is a lot of interesting announcements and the event hadn’t even begun, I’m excited to see what the rest of the week brings, keep checking our blogs to be updated daily on the goings on at CES 2018. Is there anything you’d like to see this year?

WhatsApp Pulls Support From A Large Number Of Smartphones

Yesterday was an unfortunate day for users of older smartphones and even the less mainstream smartphones, as WhatsApp has decided that the time is up for them by announcing its decision to not provide updates to the messenger on these devices, meaning that they will have to go back to classic texting instead of WhatsApp’s brilliantly designed service.

All old devices will never receive an update again, meaning that no new features will be available, which in the end will render the application useless whenever they try to use it, which may cause major issues for people who use WhatsApp as a primary communication tool within their mobile devices. The announcement comes as the developers at WhatsApp said “As we look ahead to our next seven years, we want to focus our efforts on the mobile platforms the vast majority of people use.” and this is clearly the start of them moving forward.

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The phones which are set to be disabled are all Blackberrys, Windows Phone 7 & 8.0, Nokia’s S40 & S60 and all phones which run android 2.1,2.2 and iOS 6. The developers then went on to recommend that users of the listed phones should upgrade to a newer phone if they wish to continue using WhatsApp, some phones have had the changes put into effect at the start of the new year but others will be occurring over time, the last one set to be disabled at the end of next year which is the Android 2.3.7 OS phones.

Most people will have a newer model phone these days but in case you haven’t, we advise you get one if you are an avid user of WhatsApp. Do you use WhatsApp? What are your thoughts on the whole ordeal? let me know.

The Reality Of Bitcoin

If you have been living under a rock and have no idea what Bitcoin is, it is a digital currency which is used online to make anonymous purchases thanks to the coin being pseudonymous, which means that they aren’t linked to people but to Bitcoin addresses or virtual wallets.

It came around in 2008 and since then it’s value has been up and down, constantly increasing and decreasing, until recently when it sky rocketed, making some people an absolute ridiculous amount of money.

This year the cryptocurrency has took the world by storm, it isn’t like any other trend out there, because this one is changing lives due to its enormous value. In the last week alone bitcoin has risen around £2000 in value, resulting in 1 coin being worth over £11,000. Which is a remarkable amount of money for something which you can’t actually see.

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But Bitcoin may be hiding a dark reality which may anger people who don’t have lots of wealth and the people who care for the future of our planet. How is this going to happen you say? well production and mining of the currency is done using super computers which are still using old fashion energy methods and they are a very limited and costly resource, especially when the amount of power used to run the machines per transaction, is the same amount of energy used to power 9 homes for 24 hours each, and now that the value has rocketed, faster computers will keep being installed at rapid rates will only ensure that this number increases.

Eric Holthaus, a humanitarian and current meteorologist has recently came forward and said that in a few months time, the amount of energy needed will overtake the amount of energy available, as well as stating “By July 2019, the bitcoin network will require more electricity than the entire United States currently uses. By February 2020, it will use as much electricity as the entire world does today. This is an unsustainable trajectory. It simply can’t continue.”

Is mining Bitcoin worth causing damage to our planet for? have you had any interaction with cryptocurrency? If so don’t be afraid to tell us your opinion and stories on our social media accounts.

New Ransomware ‘Bad Rabbit’ Cripples Businesses

In the past 24 hours, a new strain of ransomware has been spreading across Russia, Ukraine and various other countries around the world, with attacks on major organisations.

The “Bad Rabbit” ransomware bears similarities with the “WannaCry” and “Petya” which we observed earlier this year, however it is not yet know how far this new malware has spread.

Two public transport companies in Russia are said to be the worst affected with servers, computers and files being completely encrypted bringing all services to a standstill.

The US computer emergency readiness team said it “discourages individuals and businesses from paying the ransom as this does not guarantee that access will be restored”.

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Earlier this year we suffered from 2 (WannaCry & Petya) other cyber attacks which also went on to spread across the globe, infecting more and more for a few days which resulted in hundreds of thousands of pounds in ransom being paid out to the hackers. They held data at ransom, this affected many huge organisations, such as the NHS.

Ransomware typically encrypts all files and provides you with the link to a “onion” (dark web) site which allows you to purchase a key to decrypt everything.

A recent press release urges people not to pay the ransom of 0.05 bitcoin which is the equivalent to £213 as there is no guarantee that your files will be not be encrypted still once you have paid.

If this was to be even more high scale it could cause even more businesses to be rendered useless until the fix is issue, your computer could be off limits until they discover a way around paying the fee.

Want to protect your business from Bad Rabbit? Give us a call today 01709 464 323.