Facebook Adds Android App Support for Anonymity Service Tor

Facebook Adds Android App Support for Anonymity Service Tor

Users of Facebook Inc’s Android app can now privately browse the world’s largest social network through the anonymity service Tor, the company said on Tuesday.

The feature expands a collaboration that allowed Facebook users to directly access its site via Tor’s browser on personal computers. It comes as policymakers and technology companies debate whether digital privacy should be curbed to help regulators more easily thwart hackers.

Kate Krauss, a spokeswoman for the Tor Project, a group of developers that oversees development of the anonymity software, said Android support could help expand Tor due to Facebook’s large following. Facebook has more than 1.5 billion monthly active users.

“Everybody in the world needs more privacy online and almost everybody is on Facebook, Krauss said via Signal, an encrypted messaging service. “This will allow people to choose whether to share their location or not. For some people, this is convenience. For others it is lifesaving.”

Tor has no plans to support Facebook’s mobile app for Apple Inc’s iPhone, Krauss said.

Facebook said in a blog post that a “sizeable community” has grown around its feature launched in 2014, which allowed users to access its site via Tor on PCs. That has prompted calls for additional Tor support, it added.

Tor is used to hide computer IP addresses, typically by concealing the identity of an Internet user. Its popularity has grown following revelations of US spying on the Internet by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden in 2013.

Tor was funded by the US government as a communications tool to be used by dissidents in oppressive countries, but it has increasingly drawn ire from U.S. spies who are frustrated by how difficult it is to monitor the platform’s users.

Using Tor on Android requires a download of Orbot, an app that is used to connect to Tor, and updating Facebook’s app settings.

[“source-gadgets”]

Twitter Says Widespread Outages Resolved; Blames Glitchy Software Update

Twitter Says Widespread Outages Resolved; Blames Glitchy Software Update

Twitter Inc said on Tuesday it had reversed a glitchy software update and resolved outages widely reported across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and North America that affected users of the social network on computers and phones.

In a status update at 1800 GMT (1 p.m. EST), Twitter said an “intermittent issue affecting some users” was related to “an internal code change.”

“We reverted the change, which fixed the issue,” Twitter said in a statement. There was no immediate way to determine whether full service had been restored for all users.

Twitter Inc shares were down almost 7 percent at market close. Wall Street has long worried about Twitter’s stagnant growth in users and advertising revenue, and analysts said the outage added to the concern.

“The current market malaise and the recent site outages are compounding the negatives and having a very negative reaction on the shares,” said Victor Anthony, Axiom Capital Management analyst.

Some users who tweeted with the hashtag #twitterdown reported they had not experienced problems or that their service had been restored. Others said they were still having problems after Twitter’s announcement.

Many pointed out that Twitter could not have been down for everyone since #twitterdown was among the top trending hashtags on the site.

Both Twitter’s Internet and mobile services began experiencing outages concentrated in northern Europe around 0820 GMT.

Users from Scandinavia to Saudi Arabia to South Africa reported outages. India and Russia also suffered performance issues, according to a Twitter technical site.

Intermittent breakdowns later spread to the United States and Canada in the early part of their working day.

Sporadic disruptions continued at 1420 GMT, six hours after they first began to spread. At approximately 1745 GMT Twitter reported that some users were still having trouble accessing the service.

Fifteen minutes later the company announced the service problems had been resolved. A company spokeswoman had no further comment.

Even during the outage, services had been restored for some affected users, only to fail again.

Twitter currently has just over 300 million users but had its slowest user growth in 2015. It was eclipsed by photo-sharing app Instagram, which is owned by Facebook Inc and surpassed 400 million users last year.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s other company, Square Inc, was down almost 8 percent on Tuesday, though the reason for that was unclear.

[“source-gadgets”]

Goodbox Acquires SmartPocket, a Mobile Wallet for Loyalty Credits

Goodbox Acquires SmartPocket, a Mobile Wallet for Loyalty Credits

Nexus Ventures-backed [Goodbox](http://gadgets.ndtv.com/tags/goodbox), which calls itself a conversational m-commerce startup, announced Wednesday that it will be acquiring SmartPocket, a mobile wallet solution for loyalty cards.

The acquisition sum was not disclosed. SmartPocket founders Kiran Shastri and Mayank Shah will be joining the leadership team at Goodbox post acquisition, the company said.

Goodbox provides a mobile app to chat and order from local businesses, enabling small businesses to become e-commerce ready quickly, while enabling users to buy from stores across multiple categories using a messaging platform.

(Also read: SmartPocket App Review: A Smarter Alternative to Loyalty Cards)

“During our discussions with them, we realized we share a similar vision and it made sense to join forces to empower millions of SMEs to come online. We are building very strong mobile capabilities and this is a step towards that objective.” said Abey Zachariah, CEO and Co-founder of Goodbox.

Founded in 2014, the Bengaluru-based startup had raised $2.5 million (roughly Rs. 16.9 crores) in its Series A round from Nexus Venture Partners. SmartPocket had raised $200,000 (roughly Rs. 1.3 crores) in angel funding Its seven member co-founding team includes Mohit Maheshwari, Abey Zachariah, Mahesh Herle, Nithin Chandra, Anand Kelaginamani, Mayank Bidawatka and Charan Shetty.

A host of personal assistants provide chat-based shopping functionality, including Haptik, and Lookup.WhatsApp is expected to release new tools for businesses soon, to tap into small business entrepreneurs who use mobile internet to grow and network their business.]

[“source-gadgets”]

Thomas Cook India Launches Its End-to-End Holiday App

Thomas Cook India Launches Its End-to-End Holiday App

Integrated travel and travel related financial services company Thomas Cook India has launched an appthat allows customers to search, select and buy their holidays instantly, a company statement said on Wednesday.

“With India’s mobile commerce market expected to grow exponentially by 850 percent, to $19 billion (roughly Rs. 1,29,210 crores) by 2019, and with Cisco projecting a near five-fold jump in India’s smartphone users, to 651 million by 2019, this translates to a powerful yet under-leveraged market for holidays,” said Amit Madhan, chief operating officer-IT & E services, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd.

He added that the launch of Thomas Cook holiday app has been timed perfectly to harness this potential.

Driven by strong adoption of data consumption on mobile devices, research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) expects India to overtake the US as the second-largest global smartphone market by 2017.

With holidays featuring high on the Indian digital native wish-list, Thomas Cook India sees strong value in harnessing this powerfully emerging “m-Holiday market”, the statement said.

Given Boston Consulting Group’s data, that in addition to booking, 95 percent of Indians use digital resources equally to search/plan trips and share experiences, Thomas Cook’s holiday app has been designed to delight both m-searchers and m-bookers, according to the company.

The app offers special tools like ‘Experiential Search’, a unique ‘Wish-List’ to share with friends or book later.

In addition to its range of international and domestic holidays across price points, the company also offers a special ‘Deal Section’ through the new app.

[“source-gadgets”]