Twitter is going to make third-party apps worse starting in August

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Twitter has long had a strange disdain for third-party Twitter apps, but it’s allowed many of them to pass under the radar for the last several years. That’s starting to change this summer, when Twitter will revoke a key piece of access that developers currently have to the service, replacing it with a new access system that limits what they can do. The changes aren’t going to make third-party Twitter clients useless, but they are going to make the apps somewhat worse.

The changes, which go into effect August 16th, do two main things: first, they prevent new tweets from streaming into an app in real time; and second, they prevent and delay some push notifications. Neither of these are going to break Twitter apps completely, but they could be very annoying depending on how and where you use it.

The first change means the Twitter timeline has to be manually refreshed. That’s not necessarily a huge deal on mobile, as you’re probably used to pulling to refresh the timeline anyway. Luke Klinker, the developer behind the Android Twitter client Talon, said that only 2 to 3 percent of his users ever turned on the auto-refresh feature, or what’s known as streaming to Twitter client makers, because it was such a drain on battery. Craig Hockenberry, a senior engineer at Iconfactory, which makes Twitterrific, said it would be a bigger problem in some scenarios, like when you’re watching an event on TV. “Pulling to refresh in those cases works, but is awkward and feels ‘slow,’” he writes in an email to The Verge.

On the desktop, the lack of streaming could be a bigger issue. Twitter apps can still request that your timeline be refreshed, but they can only do it so often. If you’re the kind of person who absolutely needs to see every tweet the second it’s tweeted, that’ll be a problem.

But it might still be fine for some users. Tapbots co-founder Paul Haddad, who’s behind the Mac and iOS app Tweetbot, says that his apps are already set up to automatically check Twitter for updates “every so often” when a user has streaming disabled. “As an anecdote, we’ve had users running without streaming for months for one reason or another and not even notice,” he writes in an email to The Verge.

Push notifications could be more of a problem. On mobile, it sounds like they’re either going to vanish or be severely limited. Klinker has never had access to the developer tools that allow for push notifications, so the Talon app has never supported them. He has been able to create workarounds, like having the app occasionally request updates in the background, but it can’t receive all types of notification and, again, it’s a drain on battery.

That’s an annoying change, especially since the type of people who download third-party Twitter apps are probably the type of people who like to stay engaged on Twitter. It could also be a major issue for Twitterrific, which is available for free on iOS but charges $3 for access to notifications. That in-app purchase is Twitterrific’s “primary revenue stream,” according to Sean Heber, an engineer at Iconfactory. The feature will essentially be broken, or at least partially broken, once Twitter enacts these changes. “So this is a big problem,” he wrote in a tweet.

On the desktop, notifications will be limited, but not as dramatically. Haddad says that like and retweet notifications will stop working on Tweetbot for Mac, and other notifications will be delayed by one to two minutes.

There may be other, unexpected issues too. Heber said it’s still unknown if direct messages will work on mobile. Haddad said he expects issues on mobile to primarily revolve around push notifications, but that he wasn’t ready to detail the exact impact yet.

Twitter will offer developers a way to buy access to a new API that will enable all the old, real-time features. But the service appears to be extremely limiting and prohibitively expensive for consumer app developers. I suspect it’s likely meant for companies doing data analysis or offering financial services; something that can be sold for much more money. Twitter’s pricing comes out to $11.60 per user per month, and that’s only if an app doesn’t go above 250 users. Any more than that and they have to negotiate a deal for greater access. And given Twitter’s well-known disinterest in third-party Twitter apps, it’s unlikely this would be an option for developers.

While developers aren’t exactly thrilled with the way Twitter’s changes have turned out, it sounds like they aren’t too shaken either. “We’d obviously prefer to continue to offer things in as real-time a manner as possible, but not being able to do that is not the end of the world,” Haddad said.

Klinker said most users of Talon and other recent Android Twitter apps won’t notice any changes, since they never had access to push notifications anyway. They also aren’t likely to get some new Twitter features, he said, like polls. “My users won’t see any changes, but Twitter has restricted what I hoped to be possible for the future,” he wrote. Klinker said he was excited for the API changes because it could have finally granted his app access to notifications, but Twitter’s pricing makes it “clear that push notifications for third-party apps is the last thing Twitter wants these APIs used for, which is disappointing.”

Twitterrific for iOS should “mostly keep working without push, in theory,” wrote Heber. He said Iconfactory will “still expect to keep the app running with reduced functionality for as long as we can.”

“One thing I’m concerned that Twitter doesn’t understand: a lot of the folks who use our apps are longtime users who are highly engaged with the service,” Hockenberry said. “These folks aren’t served well by the official client and are likely to find a different outlet for their social media needs.”

[“Source-theverge”]

Xiaomi Mi 7 and 8th Anniversary Edition Phone Tipped to Launch in May; May Be Called Mi 8 Instead

Xiaomi Mi 7 and 8th Anniversary Edition Phone Tipped to Launch in May; May Be Called Mi 8 Instead

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Mi 7 and 8th-anniversary edition smartphones expected
  • Xiaomi may unveil Mi 8 to align with its anniversary
  • New smartphone may have 3D facial sensing

Chinese mobile maker Xiaomi is expected to launch the successor to its premium Mi 6 smartphone this year. Xiaomi fans were expecting a Mi 7 handset to be launched at MWC 2018, but that did not happen, and the company went on to unveil the Mi Mix 2S in March. However, the latest leaks suggest that Xiaomi will launch the smartphone later this month. Interestingly, reports also suggest that the company either launch two smartphones this year or will reportedly skip its Mi 7 branding to go for just Mi 8.

As per a MyDrivers report, Xiaomi will launch two handsets in May 2018. While one of them is said to be the Xiaomi Mi 7, the other is said to be the firm’s 8th-anniversary edition. The leak claims that the special edition will be the highlight of the launch event. The new smartphone dubbed as the 8th Anniversary Edition phone is rumoured to be unveiled by the end of this month, and it may come with 3D facial recognition feature like the one present in Apple iPhone X. According to the report, it will be the first Android smarphone to feature 3D facial recognition. Similar to the Mi 7, Xiaomi’s 8th Anniversary Edition phone is said to be powered by the Snapdragon 845 coupled with 8 GB of RAM.

Coming to the nomenclature, Mocha RQ, a blogger in China wrote on microblogging site Weibo that Xiaomi will skip the Mi 7 name in favour of Mi 8. Chinese firms are usually obsessed with numbers. It is reminiscent of the time when another Chinese manufacturer OnePlus had skipped a OnePlus 4 smartphone because the number ‘4’ is considered unlucky in China. The blogger explained that Xiaomi wants the name to align with its 8th anniversary. Also, the blogger added that the handset will be announced in May this year.

To recall, another report in April claimed that Xiaomi may, in fact, be one of the first brands to unveil a handset with 3D facial sensing with the launch of the latest Mi flagship. The report had also claimed that Xiaomi’s plans to launch the smartphone with a Snapdragon 845 SoC in the first quarter this year have been delayed. Instead, the smartphone might see an unveiling after the third quarter.

In terms of specifications, the company CEO has already hinted that the Mi 7 will come with an under-display fingerprint sensor. Additionally, reports have suggested that the phone will come with 6GB RAM and Android 8.0.0 Oreo.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Theresa May defeats bid to make her launch part two of Leveson inquiry

Brian Leveson wrote to the government earlier this year insisting the second phase of his inquiry should be ‘commenced as soon as possible’. Photograph: Paul Hackett/Reuters

The government has narrowly defeated a Labour bid to force it to launch the second phase of the Leveson inquiry into press behaviour.

MPs were voting on an amendment to the data protection bill tabled by the former Labour leader Ed Miliband. The government won the vote by 304 votes to 295, a majority of nine.

The Conservative manifesto for last year’s general election said Theresa May’s government would not proceed with the second stage of Leveson. During a two-hour debate on Wednesday, the culture secretary, Matt Hancock, said it would be the wrong way of tackling the most pressing questions facing the media industry.

He praised the low-cost arbitration system for victims of press intrusion set up by the Independent Press Standards Organisation). Ipso is voluntary, and not officially recognised.

“I am determined that we have a system that is strengthened so that we have recourse to justice when things go wrong,” he said. “The choice isn’t between doing something, and nothing. It is between doing something, and something better.”

Sir Brian Leveson was appointed in July 2011 in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal that led to the closure of the News of the World, and spent many months examining witnesses, ultimately reporting in November 2012.

When the inquiry was launched, a second phase was envisaged, which would cover cases under criminal investigation when phase one was carried out. Leveson wrote to the government earlier this year insisting he believed the second phase of his inquiry should be “commenced as soon as possible”. Ed Miliband attacks government’s axing of new Leveson inquiry – video

The shadow media secretary, Tom Watson, opted not to press for a vote on a separate amendment he had tabled, aimed at forcing the government to trigger section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act of 2013.

Passed in the wake of Leveson, section 40 would impose punitive legal costs on English media organisations that refused to sign up to an officially recognised press regulator. At present, the only such regulator is Impress.

Hancock robustly rejected the idea of implementing section 40, warning that it would accelerate the decline of local newspapers and undermine investigative reporting.

Allies of Watson said he had dropped his bid to force a vote on the issue when it became clear that the SNP would abstain – but some Labour MPs had also expressed concerns.

Miliband, who tabled the Leveson 2 amendment, gave an angry speech, accusing the Conservatives of abandoning promises made to the victims of the phone-hacking scandal by him and his then fellow leaders, David Cameron and Nick Clegg.

“No ifs, no buts, no maybes. A clear promise. And a promise to victims of the press. And here we are today, and we have the government saying: ‘Let’s dump this promise, it’s too expensive, it’s a distraction.’ How dare they! How dare they, to the McCanns, the Dowlers, all those other victims … I say to members across the house, whatever party they are in, this is about our honour. This is a matter of honour about the promise we made,” he said.

“We said to them that this time it will be different, this time we won’t flinch, I promise you we will see this process through.”

Labour’s Liam Byrne said: “If we have learned one thing from the last 10 to 12 years, whether it is the expenses scandal, whether it is Hillsborough, whether it is Orgreave: it is never the right thing to look at a scandal and decide it is too expensive, or we’re too busy, to get to the bottom of what happened. And that is the core of the argument to let Brian Leveson finish his job.”

The veteran Tory MP Ken Clarke pointed out to Hancock that both of them had served in the previous Tory government, which promised to carry out Leveson 2. He accused his colleagues of “currying favour with newspaper proprietors and editors”.

“Why is he cancelling a previously promised inquiry? What on earth is the reason for stopping investigations into the kind of thing we are talking about? No one else would stop investigations like this into any other body in this country,” Clarke said.

Hancock insisted the Leveson inquiry had been a “thorough and diligent examination” of the activities of the press. “The inquiry was followed by three major police investigations leading to more than 40 convictions,” he said.

Hancock sparked anger on Labour benches by announcing that the government had ordered a review into the compliance of the media in Northern Ireland with new media rules, in an apparent concession to the DUP.

The government relies on the votes of the DUP’s MPs to secure a majority, and the DUP’s Ian Paisley described the review as “Leveson for Northern Ireland”.

Miliband asked: “Why can there be a Leveson for NI and not for the rest of the UK?”

[“Source-theguardian”]

5 Insights Entrepreneurs Who Go to the Gym Gain About Themselves

5 Insights Entrepreneurs Who Go to the Gym Gain About Themselves

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You don’t have to be a Harvard business grad to have a successful career as an entrepreneur. Similarly, you don’t have to be an intense CrossFitter to get in shape, but there are plenty of ways in which having a strong body and mind will benefit you in both life and business.

We often underestimate how strong we are in both our body and our mind. Many of us lack the confidence to put ourselves to the test. But to achieve our goals, we need to push ourselves, trust our instincts and be disciplined in going after what we want. To make big gains, start by taking a detour to the gym.

Here are the five insights you will gain if you become as committed to the gym as you are to your business.

1. You are tougher than you think.

It takes a great deal of work to transform your body or your business. When you put in the hard work at the gym, it improves your energy and stamina, and helps you stay focused. But more than that, getting a good sweat on can actually make you more resilient to stress.

Exercise reorganizes the brain so that it doesn’t allow stress and anxiety to interfere as much with brain function. In essence, exercise can make both your body and your mind stronger and more flexible. The harder you push yourself, the more you realize that you are stronger and tougher than you think. If you dig deep, you can go farther and faster than you thought possible.

We all know that resilience is a cornerstone to building a successful business. Being able to bounce back from a difficult situation is key to being able to move forward and eventually flourish. An entrepreneur must stay levelheaded during the lean times, as well as when business is bountiful.

What better way to teach yourself to be nimble and juggle priorities than to train your body to be resilient in the gym? Along the way, you’ll build confidence, and gain adaptability and flexibility.

Related: This Entrepreneur Lives in the Back Room at a Gym While Building His Business

2. It’all about mindset.

Any given year around January 1, if you ask people what their New Year’s resolution is, many will say they want to get in shape or lose weight or be healthier. But how many people actually accomplish this goal?

Many fall short because they don’t get themselves into the right frame of mind to accomplish their goal. They don’t follow through, set realistic expectations or commit to healthy habits to make it happen. They fail to develop the right mindset.

They will probably keep setting the same goal — and keep failing — year after year, unless they do something to shake things up and change their habits. If you want to succeed, you have to believe you can. Then you have set about making real changes to put you on the right path. Finally, you need to keep going for the long haul.

The same thing is true for an entrepreneur who wants to build a successful business. Often there isn’t a huge difference between one entrepreneur and another. Their mindset and determination are what set them apart. If you want to create a successful business, you have to stop letting fear or lack of confidence hold you back. You have to have purpose and a vision to succeed.

3. More is possible with strong core.

When you work out, you’ve got to do more than just exercise your arms and legs. To truly get in shape, you’ve got to build your core muscles. Without a solid core to support you, you’ll end up with a lot of physical ailments and injuries, and unable to accomplish your workout regime.

The same thing goes for business. You’ve got to build the core of your business. Why are you doing this? Who are your customers? What makes you stand out? You need to decide what your business is focused on and then make sure you keep that focus, even as you build other elements.

Having a strong foundation will allow you to expand and contract as needed with market fluctuations. If you fail to build your core, you will flop.

Related: 5 Elements That Shape the Core of a Strong Startup

4. It’marathon, not sprint.

You can’t just show up on day one and expect to kill it. It doesn’t work like that, either in business or at the gym. Your strength and endurance can only be built slowly.

If you push yourself too far, too fast, you may hit burnout before you reach your goal. What matters is being persistent, showing up day in and day out. Sometimes the biggest accomplishment is being able to put one foot in front of the other and keep moving toward your goal.

You have to know when to press forward, when to work on gaining strength, when to throttle back and when to give it your all. Any transformation you go through will be painful. But if you want to accomplish your goals, you’ve got to push through the pain.

It’s easy to do nothing: to sit on the couch and accept being average. But if you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you’ve got to be in it for the long haul. The same thing goes for the gym.

Related: My Journey From Couch-Surfing Kid to Tech Engineer

5. Get your creative juices flowing.

When you work out, you’re giving your body a chance to exert energy, to burn off stress, to focus on the here and now and let go of issues that have been plaguing you.

A good workout session can feel like a chance to purge your body through sweat, but it can also be cathartic for your mind. Working out reduces stress and helps you focus. But more than that, it’s also a great way to open yourself up to new ideas.

The gym can be a great place to get both your brain and your body working outside the box. It can give you that mental spark you’ve been looking for. One study shows that those who work out regularly do better on tests of creativity than those who are sedentary. Moving your body can help you overcome mental blocks and go deeper into a problem.

Scientists now recognize that intense exercise helps your brain produce brain-derived neutrophic factor, an important protein that helps stimulate the process of neurogenesis, which is the growth of new brain cells. What more do you need to know to convince you to hit the gym?

[“Source-entrepreneur”]