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Apache discontinues use of Facebook code libraries




San Francisco, July 18: US-based open-source community Apache Foundation has said it will not use Facebook’s ‘BSD-licensed’ code for any of its new software projects for legal reasons.

The foundation banned the use of libraries, frameworks and tools covered by Facebook’s open-source ‘BSD-plus-Patents’ license in any new projects, The Register reported on Tuesday.

“No new project, subproject for the codebase, which has not used Facebook’s ‘BSD-plus-Patents’ licensed jars are allowed to use them,” Chris Mattmann, Legal Affairs Director, Apache Foundation, was quoted as saying.

“In other words, if you haven’t been using them, you aren’t allowed to start. It is ‘Cat-X’,” he added.

A library belonging to the ‘Cat-X’ category cannot be used in any Apache product.

The existing projects that rely on the ‘BSD-plus-Patents’ licensed libraries have until August 31 to find a suitable replacement for Facebook’s code that has been approved by the foundation.

The decision has been taken considering certain terms in Facebook’s customised agreement with coders which includes the provision that says if someone accuses Facebook of patent infringement, they lose the right to use and distribute its code.

They would also lose rights to the code, if they sue someone else for patent infringement in a way that involves Facebook’s code, according to the terms.

However Facebook insisted that the license was not written to stop any software from competing with its own and that the terms do not apply to patent infringement suits unless their patent counter-claim is related to its software licensed under the Facebook ‘BSD-plus-Patents’ license, the report added.


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ASUS launches world’s thinnest convertible laptop in India



ASUS Zenbook Flip S UX370
Asus ZenBook Flip S is pitched as the world’s thinnest and lightest 2-in-1 laptop.

New Delhi, March 19: Taiwanese electronics giant ASUS on Monday launched the worlds thinnest convertible laptop at Rs 1,30,990 in India.

The new “ASUS Zenbook Flip S UX370” comes with a 13.3-inch full-HD display with touch screen.

“With the ‘ASUS Zenbook Flip S UX370’, it becomes a perfect companion for those looking for stylish and powerful notebook for daily use,” Arnold Su, Business Development Manager, ASUS India, said in a statement.

The device comes with 8th-Generation Intel Core i7-8550U processor with on-board 16GB RAM. It runs on Windows 10.

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The device is a mere 11.2mm and weighs just 1.1 kg, the company claimed in a statement.

It comes with ErgoLift hinge — one of the world’s most compact 360 degree hinges — that features a precision-engineered multigear metal mechanism, with a silky-smooth, stepless action that holds the display securely at any angle.

The two USB-C ports on the device support external 4K UHD displays, power delivery and data transfer — all via the reversible, any-way-up USB-C connector.

The device is currently available at ASUS stores across the country.


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Moto Z2 Force: Sturdy all-rounder but dated 16:9 display




New Delhi, March 19: Lenovo-owned Motorola’s latest premium offering Moto Z2 Force, with dual rear cameras, is here and the company is selling it as a phone with a shatter-proof display.

Moto Z2 Force essentially replaces the original Moto Z with Moto “ShatterShield” technology as its USP and a bundled Moto “TurboPower mod pack” in India for Rs 34,999.

How does the smartphone fare when it comes to everyday usage? Here is our review.

The smartphone has a 5.5-inch Quad HD AMOLED shatterproof screen that did withstand drops and falls during our review test from approximately 3-4 feet height.

Despite being launched in 2018, the device features 16:9 aspect ratio that is now outdated as other flagships such as Galaxy S9, OnePlus 5T and Honor View10 are now offering a better 18:9 display — and this might be a put-off for those who want more a immersive experience.

Having said that, the good colour reproduction and viewing angles of the display mostly make up for the loss of screen space. It was bright with decent sunlight legibility.

The front of the phone is dominated by thick bezels above and below the screen, which was also present in the original Moto Z. This is because the company had promised that at least three generations of Moto Z phones would be compatible with the original “Moto Mod” — a clip-on accessory that transforms Moto Z Force into a super-zoom camera, a boombox, a projector and more.

There is an earpiece above the AMOLED screen that also houses the loudspeaker.

There is a 5MP selfie camera with a flash which was capable of taking decent self portraits.

Moto Z2 Force is comfortable to hold and for single-handed use but feels slippery when used without a Mod or a protective case.

The device is made of 7000 series aluminium which made the exterior look both tough and appealing. An added advantage of water-repellent nano-coating is there to protect the device from accidental spills or splashes.

The 12MP dual primary camera sensors come with phase detection autofocus (PDAF) and 4k video recording. It took good photographs in well-lit conditions with accurate colour saturation levels.

The phone runs Android Oreo Operating System (OS) and offered an enhanced stock Android experience.

Motorola has added features such as “one-button” navigation, “double chop” gesture to turn the flashlight on or off, twist the phone to launch the camera and take screenshot by placing three fingers on the screen, among others.

Coming to its performance, the Moto Z2 Force is powered by a Snapdragon 835 chipset which is the same as in OnePlus 5T device.

The phone offered snappy performance most of the time and the fingerprint sensor below the display interested us the most.

The phone can be put to sleep with a long-press and the same button can unlock the device.

What does not work?

The absence of weather-proofing could be a major put-off for most users.

We also noticed that the display was extremely prone to scratches even as it doesn’t shatter or crack easily.

Conclusion: This is undoubtedly a well-built device with Motorola’s promise of timely updates. If you are looking for a sturdy device with stock Android experience, go for it.


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‘Secret police’ chasing information leakers at Facebook: Report



mark zuckerberg-wefornews

San Francisco, March 17: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has reportedly deployed “secret police” to catch and punish information leakers at his company.

According to a report in The Guardian, an unnamed employee was called to a meeting in 2017 under the guise of a promotion. However, he found himself face to face with the secretive “rat-catching” team led by Sonya Ahuja, the company’s head of investigations.

The team had records of screenshots he had taken, links he had clicked or hovered over.

The “secret police” also accessed chats between him and a journalist dating back to before he joined the company.

“It’s horrifying how much they know. You go into Facebook and it has this warm, fuzzy feeling of ‘we’re changing the world’ and ‘we care about things’.

“But you get on their bad side and all of a sudden you are face to face with [Facebook CEO] Mark Zuckerberg’s secret police,” the employee told The Guardian.

According to the report, Zuckerberg hosts weekly meetings where he shares details of unreleased new products and strategies in front of thousands of employees.

“When you first get to Facebook you are shocked at the level of transparency. You are trusted with a lot of stuff you don’t need access to,” the employee was quoted as saying.

During one of Zuckerberg’s weekly meetings in 2015, said the report, he had warned employees: “We’re going to find the leaker, and we’re going to fire them.”

According to a Facebook spokesperson, “companies routinely use business records in workplace investigations, and we are no exception”.

Not just Facebook, James Damore, the software engineer who was fired from Google after writing a controversial anti-diversity memo, “suspects he was being monitored by the company during his final days”.

James Damore stopped using his personal Gmail account after being fired, said the report.


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