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Chinese government forces Xinjiang residents to install spyware on their mobiles

chinese-flag-cctv

China's control of the internet is no secret and the government's latest encroachment into people's lives sees residents of the north-west Xinjiang -- a largely Muslim area -- being forced to install surveillance software on their phones, sparking privacy concerns.

Notifications were sent out recently informing mobile users that they had just 10 days to download and install the Jingwang spyware. Random checks are now being carried out on the street to ensure that citizens have the app installed. Anyone found without the software faces up to 10 days in jail.

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New intelligence service allows companies to protect their digital identity

Business Computing

Hackers often seek to imitate well-known companies in order to cash in on events as we saw in the wake of the recent WannaCry attacks.

It’s therefore important for companies to be aware of their digital presence and know if they are being impersonated online. Threat management company RiskIQ is launching a Digital Footprint Snapshot to provide an on-demand intelligence report of a firm's internet-facing digital assets.

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Microsoft launches LinkedIn Lite in India ahead of a wider rollout

linkedin-lite

Just like Facebook did with Facebook Lite and Facebook Messenger Lite, Microsoft is launching a cut-down, data-sipping version of LinkedIn for mobile users. LinkedIn Lite launches in India initially, and is designed for countries with limited mobile internet access.

This is an app designed for emerging markets, and as such it is Android-only; there are no plans for an iOS version. While LinkedIn Lite is starting out its life in India, it will eventually spread to a further 60+ countries.

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NSA says it is 'not the best time' to create a US-Russia cyber unit

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When Donald Trump met with Vladimir Putin, the pair apparently discussed the idea of the two nations forming an "impenetrable Cyber Security unit." It's an unlikely partnership, to say the least, and NSA Director Mike Rogers has voiced his disapproval of the move.

Given the, erm, interesting relationship between the US and Russia, the controversy surrounding Russia's possible hacking of the last election, and Trump's ongoing problems defending himself over rumored Russian ties, it's perhaps little surprise that the NSA chief says "now is probably not the best time" for the two superpowers to work together on such a project.

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Attendees to disastrous Pokémon GO Fest refunded with PokéCoins and Lugia

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Yesterday, Grant Park in Chicago was packed with thousands of Pokémon fans. People of all ages attended the Pokémon GO Fest in the hope of catching ultra-rare Pokémon at the special event, but things did not go well.

A series of technical glitches meant that game-creator Niantic was forced to cancel the event. The large number of attendees led to network issues which could not be resolved, causing anger and annoyance among fans. As part of its compensation offer, the company is giving festival-goers $100 of Pokémon GO's in-game currency, Pokecoins.

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All the features Microsoft is removing or deprecating in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

Each new big update for Windows 10 introduces a wealth of new features. The forthcoming Fall Creators Update will be no different, delivering lots of improvements as well as new components like OneDrive Files On-Demand, and My People.

But when Microsoft giveth, it also taketh away, dropping various features and functionalities from its new build. In preparation for the release of the Fall Creators Update, Microsoft has released the full list of features that will be removed or deprecated from the new version.

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No, Google is not about to redesign its iconic minimalist homepage

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A few days ago Google announced plans to update its iOS and Android apps. The update sees the arrival of algorithm-powered feeds that display a personalized stream of content.  Note the reference to Apple and Google’s mobile platforms.

This story was widely reported in the tech press, but the Guardian decided to take things further, claiming that Google was on the verge of unveiling a "radical" change to it homepage on the desktop. The story is seemingly plucked out of thin air, as Google has made no such suggestion. In fact, the company has spoken out to refute the claim.

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Verizon's 'video optimization' test throttles Netflix and YouTube

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Verizon Wireless customers complained this week that the company was throttling Netflix traffic. With talk of net neutrality ringing in their ears, people were upset to find that download speeds were capped at 10Mbps.

When Netflix denied implementing a cap, the finger of suspicion pointed at Verizon. Now the company has owned up to testing a new "video optimization" system, but it's not clear how this resulted in the cap-like effects experienced by many users.

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UK government proposes mandatory drone registrations and safety awareness tests

quadcopter-drone

The UK government has announced plans to force private drone owners to register their devices as well as passing a safety awareness test -- a drone driving test essentially. The rules would affect drones weighing more than 250g and they come in response to an increasing number of near-misses between drones and aircraft.

The Civil Aviation Authority’s Airprox Board investigated no fewer than 22 incidents between drones and commercial aircraft in the first four months of the year, but police currently have a near-impossible task when it comes to tracing owners of drones that have been flown dangerously.

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Bank of England supports FinTech startups

Fintech

The Bank of England has allowed access to settlement accounts in the real-time gross settlement system (RTGS), the media reported this week.

Apparently, this move should blow some wind into the sails of innovative fintech companies, boosting competition.

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London Stock Exchange trials blockchain for shares in Italy

blockchain

London's Stock Exchange is set to start using blockchain to improve transparency for shareholding information among unlisted businesses.

According to a news report by CityAM, the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) will use Hyperledger Fabric, one of the open source blockchain frameworks hosted by The Linux Foundation to make info on private SMEs digital. The end goal is to draw more mature investors.

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One in 10 UK businesses moved to the cloud

cloud-ladder

A tenth of all UK businesses have moved entirely to the cloud, according to a new Breaking Barriers 2020 report from Fuze.

The report is based on a poll of more than 900 CIOs, and claims that the UK keeps lagging behind North America and the rest of Europe in terms of adopting cloud services. The report compares the UK with American firms, 45 percent of which have fully made the migration to cloud.

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GLAS is Microsoft's gorgeous Cortana-powered smart thermostat

glas microsoft smart thermostat

Microsoft has announced its entry into the smart office market with the launch of a new thermostat.

GLAS, which was revealed in a YouTube video this week, targets businesses and stores looking to establish a smarter, more connected workplace.

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Nintendo, expectedly, trademarks Nintendo 64 Classic Edition

n64_classic

What do 1985 and 2016 have in common? The same video game system as one of the hot-ticket Christmas presents. Nintendo has masterfully fulfilled the need for nostalgia among millions of gamers, in addition to creating that need for countless others who, thanks to the hype of the NES Classic Edition, didn't even realize how cool it was to play games from their childhood days in the 2010s.

It came as no surprise, then, when Nintendo announced the follow-up Super NES Classic Edition last month, which is due to be released in September. And eagle-eyed fans have discovered that there is likely another stop on the nostalgia train before too long.

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deepin 15.4.1 Debian-based Linux distribution now available for download

Deepin_Desktop

So many Linux distributions, so little time! Today, yet another operating system based on the kernel gets a new version. This particular distro, called "deepin" is a bit controversial, as it comes from China -- a country not known for human rights or user privacy. Since the OS is largely open source, I am not really worried, but I can respect people that are wary of spying, however.

This new version of deepin is 15.4.1. I know what you are thinking -- this is just a point release, is it really interesting? Actually, yes! There are quite a lot of new features and fixes, making this essential for existing users of the operating system. Those looking to try it for the first time -- maybe because they are dissatisfied with Windows 10 -- are in for a treat, as it has quite the unique and elegant user interface, delivering a very positive experience. Since it is based on the great Debian, you know that it will be rock solid.

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