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WWDC 2017: Apple introduces smart compact music speaker




San Francisco, June 6: Apple on Monday introduced a music speaker, its first hardware since Apple Watch was rolled out two years ago, at this year’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).

To be “smart,” the latest product in Apple’s portfolio, known as HomePod, comes with a A8 microprocessor chip, the same power engine in the company’s flagship iPhone smartphone and iPad tablet computer.

To be available on the market in December this year, the compact wireless speaker has some identical functions offered by similar products made by other companies, such as Amazon Echo, but promises to produce sound with higher quality, Xinhua reported.

HomePod is deemed a more expensive competitor of Echo, which was released two years ago.

Meanwhile, at a San Jose venue in Northern California, Apple’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tim Cook opened the Worldwide Developers Conference, or WWDC, with announcement that Prime Video, a video streaming service that is operated by, will be integrated into Apple TV, a digital media player and microconsole.

In addition, Cook said Apple, headquartered in Cupertino, Northern California, now has 16 million registered software developers worldwide for its consumer electronics, including smartphone known as iPhone, and 3 million of them were added last year.

He claimed this year’s WWDC is the largest of the kind for the technology company.

At the event, a parade of executives unveiled updates to Apple’s hardware, software and mobile applications, or apps, including iMac desktop computer, MacBook laptop machine, iPad, Apple Watch, iOS software operating system and App Store.

The company said its App Store has so far paid out $70 billion to developers, of which 30 per cent was made last year.



Mark Zuckerberg regrets, says ready to testify




San Francisco, March 22: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has apologised for the data debacle that has upended the social media giant and said he was ready to testify before Congress, a media report said.

“The short answer is I’m happy to if it’s the right thing to do,” Zuckerberg said in a CNN interview on Wednesday night.

“What we try to do is send the person at Facebook who will have the most knowledge.

“If that’s me, then I am happy to go,” he added.

Although Facebook employs a small army of lawyers and lobbyists in Washington, Zuckerberg himself has never testified before a congressional committee.

Politicians have called for Zuckerberg to testify before their legislative bodies in the five days since the Cambridge Analytica scandal erupted.

The data firm, which has ties to President Donald Trump’s campaign, reportedly accessed information from about 50 million Facebook users without their knowledge, CNN reported.

Facebook has said that the data was initially collected by a professor for academic purposes in line with its rules. The information was later transferred to third parties, including Cambridge Analytica, in violation of Facebook’s policies.

Zuckerberg broke his silence on the issue earlier on Wednesday with a post on his personal Facebook page laying out a series of steps the company would take to better protect user data.

“I want to share an update on the Cambridge Analytica situation — including the steps we have already taken and our next steps to address this important issue. I’ve been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” the CEO wrote.

“The good news is that the most important actions to prevent this from happening again today we have already taken years ago. But we also made mistakes, there’s more to do, and we need to step up and do it,” he added.

In the CNN interview, Zuckerberg suggested that the question was not whether Facebook should be regulated so much as how best to do it.

“I’m not sure we shouldn’t be regulated,” Zuckerberg said. “There are things like ad transparency regulation that I would love to see.”

Zuckerberg was criticised by some on social media for his post for stopping short of an outright apology. He rectified that in the CNN interview.

“This was a major breach of trust, and I’m really sorry that this happened… We have a basic responsibility to protect peoples’ data.”

The CEO was now pledging to further restrict developers’ access to user data. Facebook will also investigate all apps with access to large amounts of user data.

Zuckerberg also expressed regret for not doing more to take action against Cambridge Analytica when the issue came to the company’s attention in 2015.

“We need to make sure we don’t make that mistake ever again,” he told CNN.


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All about Cambridge Analytica data scandal

The users were paid to take a psychological test and the app collected the data. It also gathered data on a person’s Facebook friends.



Cambridge Analytica data scandal

New Delhi, March 21 : Cambridge Analytica, the London-based data consultancy firm in the midst of a global row, has allegedly been using Facebook users’ data to unfairly influence election results by psychological manipulation, entrapment techniques and fake news campaigns.

But Britain’s Channel 4 News on Monday exposed how senior executives at Cambridge Analytica were caught on camera suggesting that the firm could use sex workers, bribes and misinformation in order to try and help political candidates win votes around the world.

The Channel 4 News investigation followed articles published by The New York Times and The Observer that outlined how the data of millions of Facebook profiles ended up being given to Cambridge Analytica. The companies have denied any wrongdoing.

According to reports, Cambridge University researcher Aleksandr Kogan and his company Global Science Research created an app called “thisisyourdigitallife” in 2014.

The users were paid to take a psychological test and the app collected the data. It also gathered data on a person’s Facebook friends.

Kogan has admitted harvesting the personal details of 30 million Facebook users via the app. He was quoted by the Guardian as saying that he passed the data to Cambridge Analytica who assured him this was legal.

In this way, millions of Facebook profiles were mined for data.

Whistleblower Christopher Wylie told The New York Times and The Observer that Kogan along with Cambridge Analytica then created a software solution to help influence choices in elections.

He claimed that the Facebook data was used to develop “psychographic” profiles of people and deliver pro-Trump material to them online during the 2016 US elections.

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It’s time to delete Facebook, says WhatsApp co-founder



New York, March 21: In the wake of rising speculations of Facebook’s involvement in the alleged misuse of users’ personal data, WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton said its time to delete social media major. 

Acton, whose product was purchased by Facebook in 2014 for a whopping USD 16 billion, taking to the microblogging platform said “It is time. #deletefacebook” following the concerns were flagged on data privacy after Cambridge Analytica’s alleged misuse of user data.

The rise of false and fake news and the disclosure recently that numbers of Facebook profiles had been harvested by Cambridge Analytica, a voter-profiling firm that worked on United States President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign, are the prime issues which have emerged.

The revelations have resulted in a significant downfall in the company’s shares over the last five days.

In the meantime, yesterday  Cambridge Analytica suspended its chief executive, Alexander Nix, amid a furor over the access it gained to private information on more than 50 million Facebook users.



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