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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Star Wars News: Why Is It Oh So Quiet?

Probably because the next ‘Star Wars’ movie is still 10 months away … but we’ve gleaned a few morsels.
Source: Wired

Android Apps for the Deaf: Live Transcribe and Sound Amplifier

Two new assistive apps coming to Android provide audio boosting and near-real-time text-to-speech translation to the deaf and hard of hearing.
Source: Wired

Warby Parker's AR App Lets You Try on Glasses Using Your iPhone

Warby Parker’s new AR app for trying on its eyewear is another example of how companies are exploiting face-mapping tech to help you buy their stuff.
Source: Wired

The World Might Actually Run Out of People

The United Nations predicts that the global population will soon explode. In *Empty Planet*, John Ibbitson and Darrel Bricker argue they’re dead wrong.
Source: Wired

15 Moments That Defined Facebook's First 15 Years

A lot has changed since Mark Zuckerberg launched TheFacebook in 2004. Here are some of the milestones that mattered most.
Source: Wired

AG Nominee William Barr Is No Friend of Telecom Competition

A likely shoo-in to be the next attorney general, William Barr spent much of his career helping phone companies reassemble the old Bell System monopoly.
Source: Wired

15 Years of Facebook in 4 Charts

The social network is growing fastest in Asia, is insanely profitable, makes most of its money from mobile ads, and has rewarded investors richly.
Source: Wired

Top 5 gadgets of January 2019 video – CNET

What were CNET readers checking out? Find out here!
Source: CNET

Chat app Line injects $182M into its mobile payment business

Japanese messaging app company Line is pumping 20 billion JPY ($182 million) into its mobile payment business as it tries to turn things around following a challenging year in 2018.

The company announced the infusion into Line Pay, a subsidiary that it fully owns, in a filing which stated that the new capital is “necessary funds for its future business operation.” No further details were provided.

The investment comes on the heels of Line’s latest financial report which saw it post a 5.79 billion JPY loss as revenue grew by 24 percent to reach 207.18 billion JPY in 2018. Line has long been a top money maker in the App Store, but its efforts to build out content around its messaging platform and games division have turned out to be expensive, with a job service, manga platform and e-commerce business among its ventures.

In addition to additional content, payments are also seen as ‘glue’ that can increase engagement within the Line ecosystem and its main messaging app.

The company is going after the cashless opportunity in Japan, where it is the dominant chat app with an estimated 50 million registered users. The country is notable for its continued use of cash, but the government is using the upcoming 2020 Olympic Games as an opportunity to move towards a digital future. Aside from its core Line Pay service, which sits inside the Line chat app, Line is introducing its own credit card with Visa and it has gone after Chinese tourists through a tie-in with Tencent, the internet giant behind China’s top messaging app WeChat.

Outside of Japan, Line Pay is also available in Thailand (where it works with the Bangkok metro provider), Taiwan (where it counts two banks as partners) and Indonesia, which Line says are its next three largest markets in terms of user numbers. Together, across those four countries, Line claims it has 165 million monthly active users and 40 million registered Line Pay users. Line said GMV reached 55 billion JPY ($482 million) per month back in November 2017, there’s been no update since.

The service was launched more widely but it has shuttered in other markets, including Singapore where it was ended in February 2018.

Beyond payment, Line is also moving into banking and financial services. It is working to launch a digital bank in Japan and last year it announced plans to investigate the potential to roll out loans, insurance and other services backed by its own cryptocurrency. While it didn’t hold an ICO — its ‘Link’ token is earned or can be bought on exchanges — Line did dive into crypto in a major way, opening its own exchange and starting a crypto investment fund, too. With the bear market in full effect, and token valuations dropping by 90 percent across the board, we haven’t heard too much more from Line on its crypto plans.


Source: TechCrunch

WhatsApp adds support for Face ID/Touch ID biometric lock on iOS

WhatsApp users updating to the latest version of the messaging app on iOS will find a new setting lurking at the bottom of the ‘Privacy’ menu that adds support for Apple’s biometric authentication technologies.

WhatsApp users on iOS can now tap into Apple’s biometrics for an extra layer of security

Under the new setting, called ‘Screen Lock’, users of WhatsApp on iOS can tap through to another menu to add an additional layer of security by requiring either their facial biometric or a fingerprint to unlock the messaging app.

iPhone users are either offered the ability to ‘require Face ID’ or ‘require Touch ID’ depending on their handset hardware.

The change, in version 2.19.20 of the WhatsApp iOS app, is listed as: 

• You can now require Face ID or Touch ID to unlock WhatsApp. Tap “Settings” > “Account” > “Privacy” and enable Screen Lock.

While WhatsApp makes use of the respected Signal Protocol to protect users’ comms via end-to-end encryption, the best encryption in the world can’t offer any protection if a person gains possession of your unlocked device as they can just open the app and read everything in plain text.

So the lack of a native lock option in WhatsApp has been a rather big security oversight. But one the messaging giant has at least now rectified on iOS.

Albeit the setting is not enabled by default — and is a bit buried in the menus — so less security savvy users are unlikely to realize it’s there.

There’s also still no native option in WhatsApp to add any kind of passcode to the app. Which would offer a universal ‘extra security’ option that could work across Android and iOS. (Presumably WhatsApp’s parent Facebook isn’t a fan of the added ‘friction’ such a setting could bring.)

Although various third party apps can be downloaded and used to require a passcode before other apps can be opened, a native passcode option would increase accessibility and shrink potential security concerns about using third party downloads for what should really be a core function.


Source: TechCrunch

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