WhatsApp Could Soon Get Facebook Integration; End-to-End Encryption Indicator

WhatsApp Could Soon Get Facebook Integration; End-to-End Encryption Indicator

WhatsApp could soon introduce a feature to allow its users to integrate their Facebook account with the instant messaging and voice calling app. While exactly how this will benefit users remains to be seen, the description reveals that the integration will “improve Facebook experiences.”

The version 2.12.413 of WhatsApp for Android reveals company’s intention to allow users to link the messaging service with their respective Facebook account, as spotted by Android developer Javier Santos.

The feature, as seen in the screenshot, appears on the Account settings of the app, and asks users whether they want to share their WhatsApp account information with Facebook. From the leaked images, it appears to be an optional choice.

Facebook acquired WhatsApp in a multi-billion deal in 2014. Ever since the acquisition, the social juggernaut has been expected to introduce features to make WhatsApp and Facebook’s marquee services Facebook and Messenger work more efficiently, leveraging on each other’s features. But any such integration hasn’t been seen yet.

Interestingly, the same version of the app also has a “hidden” security settings page that provides users with the option to enable an additional indicator that would inform them whether their chats and calls are encrypted. Enabling the feature, however, requires a person to have a rooted Android smartphone or tablet and run a bunch of command.

To recall, in 2014, WhatsApp partnered with Open Whisper Systems, a nonprofit software group that develops collaborative open source projects to scramble messages with a cryptographic key to bolster privacy. In the same year, Open Whisper Systems noted that the end-to-end encryption had been implemented on WhatsApp’s Android client. In the studies conducted since, it has been found that the feature hasn’t been implemented correctly, with the digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation giving WhatsApp a score of two out of seven when tested for privacy sophistication.

The inclusion of an additional indicator, if it is something that is indeed on the cards, could improve WhatsApp’s image with privacy activists and enthusiasts who largely use services such as Telegram andSecure, though these people might not like the idea of sharing their information with Facebook. We’ve reached out to WhatsApp for comments and clarification, and will update the post when we hear back from them.


Apple Plans to Offer Subscription Content Through News App

Apple Plans to Offer Subscription Content Through News App

Apple Inc is working to make subscription content available through its News app, giving publishers with paywalls a new way to control who sees their articles, two sources familiar with the matter said.

The move would differentiate Apple News from Facebook’s Instant Articles news offering, which does not offer subscriber-only content, and would likely give Apple a boost as it seeks to distinguish itself from a growing crowd of online news apps.

The move comes as news publishers try to figure out how to work with Apple and Facebook Inc, which are important distributors of news content to their hundreds of millions of users, but at the same time are getting between publishers and their readers.

By making paid content available through its News app, Apple would give publishers a way to maintain relationships with readers and perhaps attract new subscribers.

It is unclear how Apple would authenticate subscribers or if it would take a cut of payments from readers who become subscribers through the app. Apple declined to comment.

Subscriber-only publications that work with Apple News now can either share their articles for free or just share excerpts of articles and direct readers to log on to their own websites for more. For example The Wall Street Journal, which has a paywall for most of its content, posts a handful of articles a day to Apple News.

However, publishers have been frustrated with the lack of information they receive from Apple about the readers of their content, the sources told Reuters.

“Ensuring subscription mechanisms in our off-platform distribution partnerships is critical,” said Katie Vanneck-Smith, chief customer officer of Dow Jones, which publishes the Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones is working with Apple and others to take advantage of new platforms, she added. She declined to comment on the specifics of conversations with Apple.

Released in September, the Apple News app followed Newsstand, which stored newspapers and magazines. Apple said in October that nearly 40 million people were reading Apple News, and the company has worked with more than 100 publishers as of this month.

Apple’s move is designed to counter publishers’ concerns about lack of data on who is reading their articles, the sources said.

Rival tech firms are working to give publishers more flexibility. Alphabet Inc’s Google is piloting a programme called Accelerated Mobile Pages that will allow users to search for news and retrieve articles from publishers instantly.


All India Radio Launches New App-Based Channel for Classical Music Lovers

All India Radio Launches New App-Based Channel for Classical Music Lovers

A new app-based audio channel of All India Radio (AIR) was launched on Tuesday which will dish out some of the best compositions in the classical music domain.

Named ‘Raagam’, the channel was launched by Prasar Bharati Chairman Surya Prakash and it will be uplinked from AIR Bengaluru station as it will get regular software updates from 13 other stations of the AIR from across the country.

“Raagam will have specific time bands for archival assets, senior living legends, budding and upcoming artists, auditioned and approved by AIR and will also have programmes on classical music with interpretation and elucidation by musicologists of repute,” Prasar Bharati said in a statement in New Delhi.

“Raagam is AIR’s tribute to connoisseurs of art, especially classical music has manifested itself today into a non-conventional audio broadcast channel through Internet and ‘free dish’ with easy accessibility to it by any and all who wish to satiate their soul with pristine Carnatic and Hindustani classical music irrespective of their geographical locations.” it said.

‘Raagam’ will be active round-the-clock and can be accessed from under the mobile application – All India Radio Live – available on Android, iOS, and Windows, beginning Tuesday, it said.

The online channel will create its own software bank to sustain itself in the future, the statement added.


With New Firefox, Your Favourite Websites Can Now Send You Notifications

With New Firefox, Your Favourite Websites Can Now Send You Notifications

Roughly a month after Mozilla released Firefox 43, the Web browser maker has announced the launch and availability of Firefox 44 for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and Android platforms. The major attraction of the updated Firefox is the support for push notifications.

Starting with the desktop client, Firefox 44 now supports push notifications. This will ensure that a user does not miss any update from their favourite websites. Be rest assured that a website will first need to get your permission before sending notifications your way. Also interestingly, a user doesn’t need to have a particular website open in a tab to get a notification.

“This is super useful for websites like email, weather, social networks and shopping, which you might check frequently for updates,” the company wrote in a blog post. The feature has long been available inGoogle Chrome.

Firefox is also utilising the new update to push some privacy-centric features. As the company explains, Firefox 44 will prevent cross-site correlations by giving every website an anonymous Web Push identifier. Mozilla says that it is also enhancing encryption on payloads.

In addition, with Firefox 44, developers are also getting new visual editing and memory management tools. It has now become easier to operate Page Inspector tool thanks to improvements to the animation panel. The new memory tools, on the other hand, will allow developers to better understand how memory is being allocated to different Web pages and how it could be optimised.

Firefox for Android now supports Android print service. The v44 of Firefox for Android also prompts users before opening intent URLs when in private browsing. The company says that tabs tray has received some improvements as well.

In addition, Mozilla has also removed the support for RC4, a cryptographic stream cipher. Multiple vulnerabilities had been discovered in it in the recent times. You can download Firefox 44 for your favoured computing device from the company’s website.