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The race to replace persistent chemicals in our homes
Why widely-used PFAS coatings found on objects like frying pans and raincoats are in the spotlight.

Source: BBC News - Technology | 27 Sep 2021 | 7:15 pm

Instagram for kids paused after backlash
Facebook delays its child-friendly Instagram version to do more work with concerned parents.

Source: BBC News - Technology | 27 Sep 2021 | 11:44 am

Facebook-Owned Instagram ‘Pausing’ Development of Instagram Kids to Address Concerns

Instagram is putting a hold on the development of Instagram kids, geared towards children under 13, so it can address concerns about access and content.

Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, wrote in a blog post Monday that a delay will give the company time to “work with parents, experts, policymakers and regulators, to listen to their concerns, and to demonstrate the value and importance of this project for younger teens online today.”

The announcement follows a withering series by the Wall Street Journal, which reported that Facebook was aware that the use of Instagram by some teenage girls led to mental health issues and anxiety.
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Yet the development of Instagram for a younger audience was met with broader push back almost immediately.

Facebook announced the development of Instagram for kids in March, saying at the time that it was “exploring a parent-controlled experience.” The push back was almost immediate and in May, a bipartisan group of 44 attorneys general wrote to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, urging him to abandon the project, citing the well being of children.

They cited increased cyberbullying, possible vulnerability to online predators, and what they called Facebook’s “checkered record” in protecting children on its platforms. Facebook faced similar criticism in 2017 when it launched the Messenger Kids app, touted as a way for children to chat with family members and friends approved by parents.

While concerns about Instagram for kids is ongoing, Mosseri said that Instagram believes it’s better for children under 13 to have a specific platform for age-appropriate content, and that other companies like TikTok and YouTube have app versions for that age group.

“We firmly believe that it’s better for parents to have the option to give their children access to a version of Instagram that is designed for them — where parents can supervise and control their experience — than relying on an app’s ability to verify the age of kids who are too young to have an ID,” he wrote.

Mosseri said that Instagram for kids is meant for those between the ages of 10 and 12, not younger. It will require parental permission to join, be ad free, and will include age-appropriate content and features. Parents will be able to supervise the time their children spend on the app, oversee who can message them, who can follow them and who they can follow.

While work is being paused on Instagram Kids, the company will be expanding opt-in parental supervision tools to teen accounts of those 13 and older. More details on these tools will be disclosed in the coming months, Mosseri said.

Source: Tech – TIME | 27 Sep 2021 | 10:32 am

Mr Goxx, the crypto-trading hamster beating human investors
Can a hamster trading cryptocurrency beat human investors in the stock market? Mr Goxx can.

Source: BBC News - Technology | 27 Sep 2021 | 7:52 am

7 of the Best iPhone Tips and Tricks for the New iOS 15

This week, Apple released its newest iPhone software update with iOS 15. While a new iOS version has become an annual event, iOS 15 brings some notable changes and more than a few welcome additions.

iOS 15 is full of security enhancements, bug fixes and general improvements that cement its status as one of the best mobile operating systems around, especially when paired with Apple’s latest iPhone 13 devices. But with all those fixes come a few helpful features, a few of which you might not be aware.

From more fruitful and fun FaceTime calls, to easier ways to manage your bundle of Safari browsing tabs, iOS 15 brings the refinement you’ve been expecting and eliminates a few of the headaches you’ve probably had.
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Drag and drop between apps

Sometimes you see a fun image or block of text you want to get into a text message, email body or late night Twitter DM. Before iOS 15, you’d have to take a series of steps to save or copy text or download an image to your already cluttered camera roll.

But now you can simply move the selected item from one app to another thanks to the game-changer of dragging and dropping between apps. It’s one of iOS 15’s many lesser known features, one that makes multitasking on your handheld device a little easier.

Read More: The iPhone 13 Is Perfectly Fine

Open the two apps you want to interact with, one after the other. Then, tap and hold the item you want to select while swiping across the bottom to return to the previous app where you can drop it into the text field. It’s just that easy!

Learn to use Focus mode


Sick of your siblings distracting you with invitations to hang out when you’re trying to study? Want to keep Slack at bay when you’re recording some music or playing a high-stakes game of Fortnite with your buds? The new Focus mode feature (found in the Settings app) will help you distinguish between work and play (and nap) time with custom filters that enable or disable certain apps from sending notifications.

Focus modes like Do Not Disturb and Sleep already exist to block notifications (and let you set a sleep schedule). New modes like Personal and Work let you set up Focus modes dependent on your needs when you’re on call or off the clock and need to put your head down and get things done.

Group your tabs in Safari (and move that new URL bar)

If you’re doing some research on your phone, or just comparing sites looking for the best deal, tab grouping can save you some time hunting for that one page you were just looking at.

Hit the tab button at the bottom right of the window to see the grid of tabs you already have open. Hold down the tab number at the bottom of the screen so you can group the tabs in question or create a completely new group of empty tabs to play around with.

Read More: An Open Letter to Tim Cook on Why Apple Should Compromise With Antitrust Regulators

If you’re already frustrated by Safari’s new URL bar (now located at the bottom of the app), you’ll be happy to know you can fix that annoyance quite quickly.

Visit Settings, then hit Safari. From there you can change the Tab style from Tab Bar, which places the URL at the bottom of the screen, to Single Tab, which moves the URL bar back to its traditional top placement.

Watch shows (and everything else) with your friends via FaceTime

“You’ve got to see this!” you say to your friends on your weekly FaceTime chat. Unfortunately, sharing something with your friends on a call is easier said than done. Luckily, that becomes easier with iOS 15.

Now you can share videos and sites with friends while you’re on FaceTime thanks to the new SharePlay features. You can all laugh at the YouTube video of the day, share your iPhone screen or refer to some group texts to get your jokes just right. You can also sync music playlists, adjust volume levels to make sure everyone is heard and even make yourself look more professional with portrait mode in FaceTime.

Read More: With the Help of a World Full of iPhones, Apple’s AirTags Have Already Outsmarted the Competition

What’s more, you can invite people to your FaceTime call (and still remain encrypted) even if they’re not using an iOS device. Android and Windows devices running Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge can participate in calls as long as they receive a link to join.

Protect yourself online with iCloud Private Relay

iCloud Private Relay obscures your internet traffic from people who want to take a good look at your internet activity, mainly advertisers and ISPs.

The feature, which adds further encryption to Safari, is included with an iCloud+ subscription. So, if you pay for data on iCloud and use Safari to browse on your iOS device, your web browsing is more protected and secure.


Live Text makes pictures worth actual words

Some might find it to be the most useful feature in iOS 15, especially when looking at a menu and wonder what the heck “Saucisson” is made of (pork, for the most part). Live Text makes this a thing of the past.

The new feature scans for text in images, through your phone’s camera, in screenshots, and in Safari. Just hit the Live Text button on the image in question, or tap the text highlighted by your camera or recently snapped photo, and select the text like you would in a document.

Say you’re at a restaurant and don’t recognize a word on the menu, open your camera, point it at the word, hit the Live Text icon in the bottom right and look up the word. Finally, you can know what the ingredients are in that extremely complicated cocktail.

Protect yourself with recovery contacts

Whether you lose your device, forget your password or for whatever reason are locked out of your iOS device, having a backup plan can mean the difference between a good day and a nightmare. Here’s where recovery contacts come in handy, letting you access your data with the help of a trusted friend.

In the Settings app, select your Apple ID, then select Account Recovery in the Password & Security section. From there you can add a new recovery contact, so long as they are over 13 years old and also use iOS 15. Should you be locked out of your device, your friend can visit the same Account Recovery page in their Settings app, select your name, and give you the recovery key when you’re ready to attempt another login.

Source: Tech – TIME | 24 Sep 2021 | 5:31 pm

Facebook Files: 5 things leaked documents reveal
Leaked documents appear to present a new problem for Facebook - employee discontent.

Source: BBC News - Technology | 24 Sep 2021 | 11:03 am

The self-sustaining house on wheels and other news
BBC Click's LJ Rich looks at the best of the week's technology news stories.

Source: BBC News - Technology | 24 Sep 2021 | 9:35 am

China declares all crypto-currency transactions illegal
Trading Bitcoin and other crypto-currenices is a criminal activity, China's central bank says.

Source: BBC News - Technology | 24 Sep 2021 | 7:30 am

Chris Pratt, Jack Black to star in new Super Mario Bros movie
Chris Pratt will be playing Mario with Charlie Day as his sibling Luigi.

Source: BBC News - Technology | 24 Sep 2021 | 4:51 am

Spying concerns fuel the market for more secure tech
Revelations about spyware have spurred interest in more secure phones and software.

Source: BBC News - Technology | 23 Sep 2021 | 7:03 pm

Apple bans Fortnite from App Store during Epic Games legal battle
The game won't be available on iPhones or other Apple devices until its legal battle with Epic Games ends.

Source: BBC News - Technology | 23 Sep 2021 | 11:37 am

AI cannot be the inventor of a patent, appeals court rules
"Only a person can have rights. A machine cannot," one of the judges wrote.

Source: BBC News - Technology | 23 Sep 2021 | 10:47 am

Meet the 14-Year-Old Girl Whose Solar-Powered Invention Is a Finalist for Prince William’s Earthshot Prize

Tell Vinisha Umashankar that your teen years pale in comparison to hers, and she is quick to remind you that everyone has a different life journey.

But the 14-year-old also knows that the future looks very different for her generation if the world doesn’t act to slow global warming and the effects of climate change. Still, she’s optimistic that “collective action” of people her age will turn the tide.

That’s probably why Umashankar has already been doing more than her fair share. In Tiruvannamalai, a small temple town in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, she designed an ingenious solar-powered alternative for the millions of charcoal-burning ironing carts that ply the streets of India’s cities—pressing clothes for workers and families.
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Her invention is now getting global recognition. Umashankar is the youngest finalist for the first Earthshot Prize, a £1 million ($1.3 million) award launched by Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge. The initiative plans to give £50 million ($68 million) in awards over the next decade to people working to solve environmental problems, with the aim of providingat least 50 solutions to the world’s greatest problems by 2030.”

READ MORE: Prince William Announces Environment Prize, Calls for ‘Decade of Action to Repair the Earth’

There are 14 other finalists including, the Republic of Costa Rica for a scheme that helped revive rainforests, the Italian city of Milan for cutting down on waste while trying to resolve hunger and a Chinese app, The Blue Map App, that allows citizens to report environmental violations. Five winners will be announced on Oct. 17.

Umashankar’s invention is especially significant in her native India, which is home to 22 out of the 30 most polluted cities in the world, according to a report by IQAir, a Swiss air quality technology company. In 2019, 1.6 million deaths in India were attributed to toxic air. The country is also the world’s third-highest carbon dioxide emitter, after China and the U.S., despite being one of the most vulnerable countries to the impact of human-induced climate change.

It’s these pressing problems that Umashankar aims to address by reducing the use of charcoal with her solar-power ironing cart. Ironing vendors, called “press wallahs,” pushing their carts from one neighborhood to the next are a common sight in India. According to the Indian government’s science and technology department, there are an estimated 10 million ironing carts in the country. Each of them uses about 11 pounds of charcoal daily, taking a heavy toll on the country’s air and forests.

An iron vendor, called “press wallah,” uses an iron heated with charcoal to press clothes in Amritsar, India. AFP/Getty Images.

For Umashankar, it started as an internet search during her summer break in 2018. After seeing her neighborhood ironing vendor disposing of used charcoal, Umashankar was curious to learn about the environmental and health hazards of ironing carts burning charcoal all day. “That’s when I learned that something as common as an iron can have such dangerous consequences,” she says.

Umashankar had been fascinated by science ever since her parents got her an encyclopedia at the age of 5. She had previously designed a ceiling fan that operates based on motion sensors. After seven months of researching solutions to the traditional charcoal-heated ironing cart, she started working on a design.

The cart’s roof doubles up as a panel that absorbs sunlight to convert it into electricity to fuel the iron. Surplus energy is stored in a battery for use after dark and on overcast days. By late 2019, she had won a national-level award for her design, following which it was prototyped and patented. She hopes to get the manufacturing process for her carts started later this year or early 2022.

Umashankar believes winning the Earthshot Prize will help her kickstart the process to commence manufacturing. “An innovation’s true potential is understood only when it reaches people,” she says. “A customer’s perspective will help me understand what to change and improve.”

For the Earthshot to Clean our Air, our 3 incredible Finalists are:

💨 Blue Map App, China
💨 Takachar, India
💨 Vinisha Umashankar, India#EarthshotPrize #CleanOurAir #EarthshotLondon2021

— The Earthshot Prize (@EarthshotPrize) September 19, 2021

Even as she awaits the Earthshot results, Umashankar says she is working on five other projects, all aiming to solve environmental problems. While juggling school work and her innovative side projects is not an easy feat, she feels it’s critical to keep going; time is running out. “We are trying to restore our planet in less than a century, and that’s not much time compared to the time it took us to get to this point,” she says.

But she is also cautiously hopeful. The COVID-19 pandemic is a reminder of human versatility and adaptability, she says. She feels the need to seize this moment to use technology to drive innovation and move towards a sustainable future that is accessible and affordable. “[During the pandemic] we worked our way around and figured out alternative methods to get things done,” she says. “I believe we can take the same initiative for the future and for our planet.”

Source: Tech – TIME | 23 Sep 2021 | 7:04 am

A New Campaign Asks Facebook Users to Log Off. Will It Have an Impact?

A coalition of advocacy groups is calling on Facebook and Instagram users to log out of both platforms for one day in November to hold the company to account for “irresponsibility,” in a new campaign launched Wednesday.

The Facebook Logout campaign takes aim at what it says is the company’s role in a series of recent scandals, including the Jan. 6 insurrection and a pattern of “ignoring disinformation for profit.”

The campaign comes in the wake of a series of reports last week in the Wall Street Journal that revealed executives at Facebook knew its photo and video sharing platform Instagram had a negative impact on teen girls’ mental health, that it did little to act on staff reports of trafficking and other human rights violations, and that its executives ignored warnings that a change to content-ranking algorithms boosted divisive content and sensationalism.
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The Facebook Logout campaign asks users to pledge to log off from Facebook and Instagram, its photo-sharing subsidiary, for at least three days on Nov. 10. The campaign has a list of demands, including that CEO Mark Zuckerberg should step down, and that Facebook should immediately halt its “Instagram for Kids” project. It is spearheaded by Kairos, a tech-focused racial justice group.

Read more: Instagram Makes Teen Girls Hate Themselves. Is That a Bug or a Feature?

Facebook’s most recent earnings report shows that 98.5% of its revenue comes from its advertising business, which uses reams of personal data about users to predict what kinds of ads they are likely to click on, then sells businesses the opportunity to place those ads.

“Companies like Facebook would have us believe that people are simply users of their platform and we should be grateful for the privilege of using Facebook, when in fact the opposite is true,” Kairos’ executive director Mariana Ruiz Firmat told TIME. “Through this campaign, we hope to change the way we think of ourselves as ‘users’ and our relationship to platforms.”

The Facebook Logout campaign’s organizers are confident that user action can still have an impact.

“Users logging off creates momentum that feeds into the need for greater regulation,” says Rishi Bharwani of Accountable Tech, a Washington-based tech reform advocacy group that is part of the coalition working on the Logout campaign. “These things all reinforce each other and create a groundswell of support for meaningful change.”

But in a world where social media is integral to our human relationships, as well as being the primary organizing tool for social activists, can a grassroots boycott of social media ever get off the ground?

“Facebook is everywhere. I got up this morning and posted about this campaign on Facebook,” says Jelani Drew-Davi, the Facebook Logout campaign director at Kairos.

“The focus of this campaign is showing people power, and showing that we do hold power as Facebook and Instagram users,” Drew-Davi says. “We don’t have to be complacent with whatever Facebook wants to do. Long term, we’re trying to change people’s mindset.”

It’s not the first time a campaign has attempted to convince users to drop the social network. Amid backlash to the Cambridge Analytica data scandal in 2018, the hashtag #DeleteFacebook trended online. The company’s stock price fell, but soon recovered. Facebook’s valuation has more than doubled since then, as advertisers continue to spend big money to reach users with targeted ads, even as the company’s reputation takes blow after blow.

Read more: How Whistleblower Christopher Wylie Is Seeking Redemption After Cambridge Analytica

When advertisers have taken a stand, it has had little impact. During the Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020, more than 1,000 companies, including Ford and Coca-Cola, temporarily halted buying ads on Facebook after CEO Mark Zuckerberg refused to remove a post from President Donald Trump that said “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” (The Southern Poverty Law Center said the post “glorifies violence against protesters,” especially protesters of color.) Again Facebook’s stock price dropped but quickly recovered. Ford, Coca-Cola and many of the other advertisers involved in the boycott have since returned to posting ads on the social network.

“Black and brown people are the people who are most harmed when tech does things wrong,” Drew-Davi says. “That’s why it’s really important for us to take action from a racial equity lens.”

Kairos hopes that the Facebook Logout campaign’s approach will be more effective than past attempts by balancing the symbolic power of a mass log-off while harnessing social media as a tool for collective organizing.

“People use Facebook, not only to connect with each other, but also to organize for social change,” Drew-Davi says. “That’s the reason we’re not saying delete your account, or do it right now, even. All we’re asking is: take the pledge and join us later to log off. This is an opportunity to show our collective power.”

Correction, Sept. 27

The original version of this story misstated the period of time for which organizers are asking people to log out of Facebook beginning Nov. 10. It is at least three days, not 24 hours.

Source: Tech – TIME | 22 Sep 2021 | 3:19 pm

What Would a Climate-Conscious Facebook Look Like?

A version of this story first appeared in the Climate is Everything newsletter. If you’d like sign up to receive this free once-a-week email, click here.

After a summer of devastating hurricanes, heat waves and wildfires, Facebook’s new measures to address climate misinformation leave something to be desired. In fact, you might be forgiven for thinking they were a joke.

In a blog post headlined “Tackling Climate Change Together,” Facebook said it would be adding quizzes to its climate information center and donating $1 million to organizations that fight climate misinformation, among other measures. Those pledges, activists and disinformation experts say, are piddling compared to the amount of climate misinformation and paid pro-fossil fuel advertising on the site. In 2020 alone, U.S. oil companies spent nearly $10 million on Facebook ads promoting the continued use of fossil fuels, according to an August report from InfluenceMap, a nonprofit watchdog group. Another report, from nonprofit Friends of the Earth, showed how faulty narratives around renewables spread far and wide on social media sites like Facebook following the Texas blackouts in February. “The initiatives that [Facebook] took are far too little, far too late,” says Michael Khoo, Friends of the Earth’s disinformation spokesperson. “It’s missing the big picture problem.”
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There are smart, reasonable people working at Facebook—people well aware of the dire climate situation, and the shrinking window of time we have to avoid the worst effects down the road. But why haven’t they taken more serious action? Is addressing climate misinformation on Facebook a matter of a few simple fixes—something a programming team could accomplish in a week? Or would it require a rethinking of everything Facebook does and is? For that matter, what does a climate conscious Facebook even look like? Would we know it if we saw it?

I put those questions to an array of climate activists and social media scholars. They uniformly agreed that making such changes is well within Facebook’s power. “You’ve got the smartest kids in the room and the most money on the planet. How on Earth can you not figure out a solution?” says Khoo. “They literally created this problem, so there’s no one better positioned to deconstruct the problem.”

Indeed, some of the fixes researchers and activists are talking about sound relatively straightforward. Faye Holder, a program manager at InfluenceMap, says part of the issue is a matter of Facebook implementing its own advertising policies by clamping down harder on obvious falsehoods in paid posts—like claims that climate change is a hoax. Facebook could also expand that policy to include advertisements from fossil fuel companies portraying oil and gas as clean energy sources. “Facebook isn’t including all of these claims as misleading or misinformation, but there’s definitely scope [for them] to,” says Holder. “That’s something they need to address and figure out where they fall on this.”

There’s also a broader problem: Facebook’s advertising-based business model is powered by engagement—its algorithm promotes whatever content keeps people hooked. The system makes Facebook the perfect breeding ground for conspiracies and disinformation of all sorts, including climate denialism, because that kind of content is some of the most engaging, says Danny Rogers, co-founder of The nonprofit Global Disinformation Index and an adjunct professor at New York University. Changing the algorithm would cost the company—which reported $10 billion in profits in the most recent quarter—financially. “Facebook makes money by luring users to the platform and keeping them on the platform,” says Rogers. “If people are spending less time on the platform, [Facebook] makes less money.”

What, then, might a responsible Facebook look like? It might be a company that decides it’s in its own best interest—if not the rest of society’s—not to exploit engagement to the maximum extent, which would stop conspiracies and climate disinformation from spreading like wildfire. It could come to such a decision due to government regulation, or a restructuring that ends the almost complete control of its founder, Mark Zuckerberg. It might even choose to become part of the solution, giving an extra boost to posts that demonstrate positive climate action.

There could be a trade off though: With a decreased emphasis on engagement above all else, this new version of Facebook might seem a little less exciting from a user’s perspective, with fewer high emotions and comment thread screaming matches—more of a school field trip vibe than an MMA cage match. “At first glance that sounds disappointing, like a healthier diet sounds more boring compared to a gluttonous feast,” says Rogers. “But ultimately it’s not a bad thing.”

Source: Tech – TIME | 22 Sep 2021 | 2:07 pm

How to Free Up Storage Space on Your iPhone

There’s nothing worse than that dreaded iPhone message that always seems to pop up at the wrong time: “Not enough storage.”

Maybe you’ve taken one too many 4K videos, or maybe you’re worried you’ll get the notification as you update to the new iOS 15. Whether it’s a preventative measure or you desperately just need to be able to take photos again, here’s how you can free up more space on your iPhone.


How can I see what’s taking up space?

First, you’ll need to figure out where all those precious gigabytes on your iPhone are being used. Open the Settings app, tap General and then tap iPhone Storage.
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You may see a grey bar at the top of your screen as your iPhone calculates how much storage you’re working with and how much each category of memory is taking up of your total storage space. Then, it will show you a color-coded breakdown. The dark grey bar is your system files which cannot be altered, and the light grey is other system files you also can’t delete— so don’t count on that space.

Read More: The iPhone 13 Is Perfectly Fine

Your biggest culprits for memory hogs are most likely to be categorized as Apps and Media. Below the breakdown, it will show you what apps are using the most memory in descending order.

But if you still have a memory shortage after you’ve cleared out all the mobile games you’re done playing and the weird App Store downloads that weren’t as useful as you’d hoped, don’t fret. There is still more you can do to free up space on your iPhone.


How do I know where to start deleting?

On the iPhone Storage page, you’ll also notice recommendations for how to optimize your storage, which is arranged in order by the size of the apps on your iPhone.

When you tap on each app, it pulls up a screen displaying the app’s size, which is often less than a few hundred megabytes of data (though it’s not unusual for some mobile games and other apps to be up to a few gigabytes of data). This is often a great way to find apps that are taking up memory that you would like to delete. It’s easy to miss those that get tucked away inside forgotten folders. The size of any documents or data within apps are also displayed here.


What does “offloading apps” mean and should I turn that option on?

Under the iPhone Storage menu there is the option to offload unused apps. Turning this option on tracks which apps you use, and deletes those that you don’t open anymore. It’s an easy way to periodically save storage space on your iPhone, and takes some of the management out of your hands.

If you want to re-download the deleted apps, it’s as easy as tapping the app on your screen where they were last accessed. All settings and documents are saved and restored upon downloading it again.


How do I clear up space in Messages?

For many people, photos and videos are the biggest culprits when it comes to iPhone space-eaters. These big files can hide in large attachments sent and received through iMessages and SMS. Think of all the live photos and long videos that we all love to share. They can really fill up a phone.

Read More: 9 Smart Things You Can Do With an Old iPhone

You can get an organized view of these attachments in the iPhone Storage menu by tapping on the Messages app. There you can check which of your text threads are largest, and by periodically clearing that out, can seriously free up some space. You can also delete specific photos or videos to give yourself a bit of breathing room.

If you want a more nuclear, unforgiving option, scroll to Messages under the main Settings page. Find the Message History section and specify how long you’d like to “Keep Messages.” You can limit it all the way down to 30 days, and your phone will automatically delete any messages and attachments over a month old.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t help you with the pictures you keep in your Photos albums.


What’s the best way to get my Photos albums under control?

The easiest way to free up space in the Photos app is by uploading the photos to the cloud service of your choice and deleting them all in one go from your iPhone.

But that doesn’t help you clear your unwanted photos so much as move them. Plus, it will most likely cost a monthly fee.

Only you can decide which photos should stay or go, but an easy way to bring it down significantly for some is to clear out your Screenshots folder. If you’re screenshot-happy, it’s not unusual to have hundreds or thousands of these. They can really balloon over time. Whether it’s just mass-deleting these or scrolling through and deleting old screengrabs of no longer relevant text conversations or memes manually, it’s probably better to start clearing from here rather than actual photos you took with your iPhone.

Read More: See How the iPhone Has Changed Over the Past 10 Years

Videos and live photos take up more space than regular photos, so those are ideal places to start when it comes to clearing space. If you feel like duplicate photos are a problem, you of course have the option of scrolling through and deleting the not-so-great shots manually, but there are also apps that can assist with that on the App Store.

There are several duplicate photo options online, some of which automatically remove screenshots, blurred photos and other clutter in a snap. But be aware that some of these apps charge for these functions, either for download or via in-app purchases— but that’s the price of convenience when it comes to avoiding the tedium of manually going through your duplicate photos.


How do I make sure I’m freeing up storage space from deleting photos?

It’s important to remember that in order to actually free up all the glorious space you just cleared in photos and videos, you’ll need to clear out the Recently Deleted album in the Photos app.

If you tap ‘Select’ in the top right corner of this album, you’ll be given the option to Delete All or Recover All items in the album. Otherwise, items are usually automatically deleted from this folder after 30 days.

Hopefully this advice allows you to clear up some space for more pictures and take away some of that storage anxiety.

Source: Tech – TIME | 22 Sep 2021 | 1:18 pm

Airbnb Is Game to Share Safety Information With Rivals

Airbnb Inc. Chief Executive Officer Brian Chesky says he is “absolutely” willing to share information on dangerous listings with rival short-term rental providers in order to help protect users from violent crime.

In an interview on Bloomberg TV on Tuesday, Chesky said Airbnb was already liaising with other platforms about party house listings, but that the companies could “of course go further” to include properties they’ve deemed to be dangerous.

If implemented, such cooperation would see Airbnb, Expedia Group Inc.’s Vrbo and other rental companies disclosing information on properties they’ve banned after violent crimes have occurred there, to prevent the listing from popping up on another platform.
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“Anything we can do to be able to help people feel like Airbnb is a safe community,” is something the company wants to prioritize, Chesky said in the interview.

Earlier this year, Bloomberg reported a series of stories about violent crimes occurring inside Airbnb properties, including the mysterious death of Lauren Kassirer. The 35-year-old New York City high school teacher was found naked, bruised and unconscious inside an Airbnb property on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico in 2018. After Kassirer’s death, Airbnb permanently banned the villa she had rented—and its host—from ever listing on the platform again. However, Airbnb didn’t warn other short-term rental providers about the listing and it was only after the story was published that Expedia became aware of what happened and also removed the listing from its platform.

“Traveler and community safety is most important to us, full stop, and so if that means broadening the scope of information we share with others, we will look into those opportunities,” an Expedia spokesman said.

In June, the two rivals agreed to start sharing information on repeat party house offenders after COVID-19 closed down bars and nightclubs and promoters began booking homes on the platforms to host events with live DJs and bottle service. The parties frustrated neighbors, spread the virus and in some cases resulted in fatal shootings. The companies launched a Community Integrity Program to prevent repeat offenders who are delisted on one platform from just shifting to another. “One platform alone can’t solve this problem,” the companies said at the time. “It requires an industry wide effort.”

Future of Travel

In the interview, Chesky also spoke about the future of travel, and said the flexibility of remote work that employees now enjoy is changing how trips will look in the next few years.

“This is the worst technology will ever be in our lifetime—it’s only going to improve,” he said. “The world is going to continue to get more flexible, people are going to continue to have more options, and we’re going to start to live in a world where all you have to believe is that people don’t go back to the office five days a week and some business travel is curbed.”

Chesky expects three-day weekends to become more common and that rental stays will get longer. About half of Airbnb’s bookings are for more than a week, and one-fifth are for a month or longer, he said. Despite topping Wall Street analysts’ estimates for second-quarter bookings, the company said in August that third-quarter bookings will fall short of 2019 levels as the Delta variant weighs on wary travelers.

Even with virus concerns, Chesky sees travel, living and working blending together, ultimately giving employees more autonomy.

“The reason travel isn’t going back to the way it was is because the world is not going back to the way it was,” he said. “We used to live in one place, work in another and travel to a third place. Now all those places are one place, and that place can be wherever we want.”

Source: Tech – TIME | 22 Sep 2021 | 12:14 pm

Apple, Google Raise Concerns After Removing Russian Political Opposition App From App Stores

(BERKELEY, Calif.) — Big Tech companies that operate around the globe have long promised to obey local laws and to protect civil rights while doing business. But when Apple and Google capitulated to Russian demands and removed a political-opposition app from their local app stores, it raised worries that two of the world’s most successful companies are more comfortable bowing to undemocratic edicts — and maintaining a steady flow of profits — than upholding the rights of their users.

The app in question, called Smart Voting, was a tool for organizing opposition to Russia President Vladimir Putin ahead of elections held over the weekend. The ban levied last week by a pair of the world’s richest and most powerful companies galled supporters of free elections and free expression.
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“This is bad news for democracy and dissent all over the world,” said Natalia Krapiva, tech legal counsel for Access Now, an internet freedom group. “We expect to see other dictators copying Russia’s tactics.”

Technology companies offering consumer services from search to social media to apps have long walked a tightrope in many of the less democratic nations of the world. As Apple, Google and other major companies such as Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook have grown more powerful over the past decade, so have government ambitions to harness that power for their own ends.

“Now this is the poster child for political oppression,” said Sascha Meinrath, a Penn State University professor who studies online censorship issues. Google and Apple “have bolstered the probability of this happening again.”

Neither Apple nor Google responded to requests for comment from The Associated Press when the news of the app’s removal broke last week; both remained silent this week as well.

Google also denied access to two documents on its online service Google Docs that listed candidates endorsed by Smart Voting, and YouTube blocked similar videos.

According to a person with direct knowledge of the matter, Google faced legal demands by Russian regulators and threats of criminal prosecution of individual employees if it failed to comply. The same person said Russian police visited Google’s Moscow offices last week to enforce a court order to block the app. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

Google’s own employees have reportedly blasted the company’s cave-in to Putin’s power play by posting internal messages and images deriding the app’s removal.

That sort of backlash within Google has become more commonplace in recent years as the company’s ambitions appeared to conflict with its one-time corporate motto, “Don’t Be Evil,” adopted by cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin 23 years ago. Neither Page nor Brin — whose family fled the former Soviet Union for the U.S. when he was a boy — are currently involved in Google’s day-to-day management, and that motto has long since been set aside.

Apple, meanwhile, lays out a lofty “Commitment To Human Rights” on its website, although a close read of that statement suggests that when legal government orders and human rights are at odds, the company will obey the government. “Where national law and international human rights standards differ, we follow the higher standard,” it reads. “Where they are in conflict, we respect national law while seeking to respect the principles of internationally recognized human rights.”

A recent report from the Washington nonprofit Freedom House found that global internet freedom declined for the fifth consecutive year and is under “unprecedented strain” as more nations arrested internet users for “nonviolent political, social, or religious speech” than ever before. Officials suspended internet access in at least 20 countries, and 21 states blocked access to social media platforms, according to the report.

For the seventh year in a row, China held the top spot as the worst environment for internet freedom. But such threats take several forms. Turkey’s new social media regulations, for instance, require platforms with over a million daily users to remove content deemed “offensive” within 48 hours of being notified, or risk escalating penalties including fines, advertising bans and limits on bandwidth.

Russia, meanwhile, added to the existing “labyrinth of regulations that international tech companies must navigate in the country,” according to Freedom House. Overall online freedom in the U.S. also declined for the fifth consecutive year; the group said, citing conspiracy theories and misinformation about the 2020 elections as well as surveillance, harassment and arrests in response to racial-injustice protests.

Big Tech companies have generally agreed to abide by country-specific rules for content takedowns and other issues in order to operate in these countries. That can range from blocking posts about Holocaust denial in Germany and elsewhere in Europe where they’re illegal to outright censorship of opposition parties, as in Russia.

The app’s expulsion was widely denounced by opposition politicians. Leonid Volkov, a top strategist to jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny, wrote on Facebook that the companies “bent to the Kremlin’s blackmail.”

Navalny’s ally Ivan Zhdanov said on Twitter that the politician’s team is considering suing the two companies. He also mocked the move: “Expectations: the government turns off the internet. Reality: the internet, in fear, turns itself off.”

It’s possible that the blowback could prompt either or both companies to reconsider their commitment to operating in Russia. Google made a similar decision in 2010 when it pulled its search engine out of mainland China after the Communist government there began censoring search results and videos on YouTube.

Russia isn’t a major market for either Apple, whose annual revenue this year is expected to approach $370 billion, nor Google’s corporate parent, Alphabet, whose revenue is projected to hit $250 billion this year. But profits are profits.

“If you want to take a principled stand on human rights and freedom of expression, then there are some hard choices you have to make on when you should leave the market,” said Kurt Opsahl, general counsel for the digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Ortutay reported from Oakland, California. Associated Press writers Daria Litvinova in Moscow and Kelvin Chan in London contributed to this story.

Source: Tech – TIME | 22 Sep 2021 | 10:35 am

Instagram Is Doing Grave Harm to Our Generation. We Need Help to Stop It

Although Destinee was just 13 when she created her first Instagram account in 2012, she was late to the world of social media. She remembers standing in her best friend’s bathroom, posing in front of the mirror as her friend taught her how to take a selfie.

“Stand right here,” the friend said, grabbing Destinee’s arm. “Hold the camera up higher and put your hand on your hip.”

Destinee was wearing makeup that was too light for her dark complexion, and she struggled to keep her eyes open after applying too much of the thick black mascara she took from her friend’s mother’s makeup drawer. She posed anyway. She did not have a smartphone, so her friend loaned her an iPad to access Instagram.
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“Finally,” her friend said as Destinee tapped the button to create an account.

Like most young people, Destinee quickly learned how to use Instagram for social gain. If she used more than one filter she received more likes, and if she showed more skin, she received more comments. She was obsessed with increasing her engagement—likes, comments and shares—because the more she received, the more she felt she was positively perceived by her peers.

But after years of trying to reach Instagram’s impossible standards, she began to develop an overwhelming fear of rejection and uneasiness. She would stare at her screen for hours after uploading one picture, anxious about the reaction she would receive and whether people would approve of her.

Then, this month, at age 22, Destinee was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder—which is common among her peers. The tipping point, which made her seek help from her doctor, was an Instagram post she made about her grief after losing her father. She went back and edited the caption several times after posting it, each time trying to add a more optimistic tone—one that would be more likely to win approval from her followers. Her doctor told her the pressure she feels to present herself as someone other than her authentic self is the key factor to her diagnosis.

READ MORE: Instagram Makes Teen Girls Hate Themselves. Is That a Bug or a Feature?

As two members of Generation Z, no one we know is doing well mentally, but you wouldn’t be able to tell from their Instagram posts, which usually show our friends only smiling. There’s an insurmountable pressure to perform.

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Facebook knows Instagram can be mentally detrimental for teenagers and young adults. “We make body image issues worse for one in three teen girls,” a Facebook presentation quoted by the Journal said.

Facebook also found young women have been diagnosed with eating disorders, anxiety, depression, or had suicidal ideations—all linked to their usage of Instagram. According to Facebook’s own study, reported by the Journal, 13% of British users and 6% of American users who reported suicidal thoughts traced the desire to harm themselves to Instagram. This study solidified years of anecdotal accounts of what we already knew: Instagram is killing us.

Adam Mosseri, the Head of Instagram, told the Journal that mental health such as anxiety is not an Instagram-specific problem, rather it is a “societal problem” with no “silver bullet.”

Meanwhile, Facebook’s business model is to monetize user information and maximize profit over privacy, and it has no incentive to change. How many teenagers and young adults have to be diagnosed with anxiety, depression or an eating disorder before social media platforms take action?

As regular social media users who grew up online, this is what must be done:

First, Mark Zuckerberg and Mosseri must be held accountable for their misleading and vague responses to the media and Congress. Earlier this year, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Sen. Marsha Blackburn, and Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rogers asked Zuckerberg for the company’s internal research about the mental health effects Facebook and Instagram can have on young people. Facebook failed to provide the data.

READ MORE: Here’s a Break Down of the Wall Street Journal’s Facebook Revelations

Second, Congress must provide social media users with a platform to discuss the side effects of regular social media usage. Teenagers and young adults need a safe place to share their experiences and interactions with elected officials, even in a formal hearing.

Third, elected officials must understand social media is the main way that many young people socialize—especially after the pandemic, but it needs regulation. Deleting the apps is not an option for many young people; it has a social price that most are unwilling to pay. Users need effective regulation to help them protect themselves, such as banning targeted ads for kids and teens, safeguards to restrict the collection of user data, and tools to stop endless scrolling.

Destinee had her wake-up call when she sought treatment for her anxiety disorder. She is learning to develop a healthier relationship with social media.

These revelations must be a wake-up call for our entire generation—and the people who have the power to force change.

Source: Tech – TIME | 21 Sep 2021 | 8:26 pm

With 1 Final, Amazing ‘September’ Dance Video, Creator Demi Adejuyigbe Explains Why He’s Ending the Beloved Internet Tradition

Do you remember Demi Adejuyigbe’s first “September” video?

It was a fateful day on social media in 2016 when the comedian shared the debut installment in what would become an annual tradition of joyous dance videos. Wearing a T-shirt that read “SEPT 21,” Adejuyigbe paid tribute to the date immortalized in the first line of Earth Wind & Fire’s seminal 1978 end-of-summer anthem “September” with an infectious cutting of the rug.

Adejuyigbe dutifully released this year’s video on Tuesday, and in only a few hours it has already been watched over 920,000 times. Adejuyigbe turned this sixth video into what is basically a delightful, enormously creative short film.
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— demi adejuyigbe (@electrolemon) September 21, 2021

He dances his way through a series of colorful and mind-bending sets—including the backyard of the iconic pink house owned by the late Allee Willis, who co-wrote “September.” It’s a far cry from the first video, which saw Adejuyigbe simply bopping along to his own remix in his apartment.

“When I did the first one, I had made the audio of me remixing ‘September’ and played it for my roommate at the time and he was like, ‘You have to post this,'” Adejuyigbe tells TIME. “So I made a video to go with it and everything kicked off from there. Then once you do it twice, it’s a tradition and you have to do it until you die.”

For the past four years, Adejuyigbe has used the occasion to raise money for various charities, an idea that he says came about when he needed inspiration to continue making the beloved internet content.

“The charity thing came into play a few years ago, when I was starting to think, ‘I don’t have a reason to keep doing these if it’s just like spending a bunch of money and then nothing,'” he says. “But if I’m spending money to raise money for charity, then that’s great.”

This year, Adejuyigbe is raffling off a painting of a Sept. 21st-themed jersey—and promising to hand-deliver it to the winner, regardless of where they live. He’s also encouraging viewers to donate to three charities supporting causes close to his heart: Imagine Water Works, a disaster relief organization helping with Hurricane Ida relief; West Fund, a nonprofit for abortion access in Texas; and Sunrise Movement, a climate advocacy organization.

As of Tuesday afternoon, only five hours after Adejuyigbe released this year’s video, his efforts had already raised almost $500,000 for the charities.

Still, all good things must eventually come to an end. Following the final scene of this year’s music video—in which Adejuyigbe takes off into the sky in a flying car à la the ending of Grease—he appears on screen to announce that his six-year “September” run has come to a close.

Adejuyigbe confirmed that he’s done with the series to TIME, explaining that not doing the videos will give him more time for other filmmaking projects.

“It feels like this sort of albatross around my neck as we get closer and closer to September, where people start being like, ‘The day’s coming.’ And then it’s like, ‘how am I going to top it every year?'” he says. “It’s a prison I’ve created for myself and it’s a dumb thing to complain about because ultimately, it’s fun and every time I see the first shot of the video I remember that I love doing it. But it just takes so much time and so much money and a lot of effort to keep it going. There’s only so much I can do with it and it takes away from the time I have for other projects when I’m tied to this thing that I put my life on pause for every year.”

Adejuyigbe has spent the day taking his “September” internet bow by reposting the old videos and even sharing an outtake of 2021’s spectacle.

— demi adejuyigbe (@electrolemon) September 21, 2021

It’s doubtless that, at the very least, his efforts will help more people remember the twenty first of September for years to come, and maybe do a little dance of their own.

Source: Tech – TIME | 21 Sep 2021 | 5:45 pm

Facebook takes down certain posts, ads from Trump re-election campaign
Facebook Inc said on Thursday it took down certain posts and advertisements from U.S. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence related to their re-election campaign, due to violation of the social network's policy against organized hate.

Source: Reuters: Technology News | 18 Jun 2020 | 2:05 pm

UK ditches homegrown COVID-19 tracing app to use Google-Apple model
Britain will switch to the Apple and Google model for its COVID-19 test-and-trace app, ditching an attempt to develop an app by itself after the homegrown system did not work well enough on Apple's iPhone, the government said on Thursday.

Source: Reuters: Technology News | 18 Jun 2020 | 2:05 pm

Robinhood trading app back online after major outage
Robinhood Markets Inc, the fintech startup credited with helping popularize trading with millennials, said on Thursday it resolved an issue that had caused a "major outage" on its platform earlier in the day.

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Exclusive: Massive spying on users of Google's Chrome shows new security weakness
A newly discovered spyware effort attacked users through 32 million downloads of extensions to Google's market-leading Chrome web browser, researchers at Awake Security told Reuters, highlighting the tech industry's failure to protect browsers as they are used more for email, payroll and other sensitive functions.

Source: Reuters: Technology News | 18 Jun 2020 | 1:48 pm

U.S. House panel hears from Facebook, Google, Twitter on election security
Top officials from Facebook, Google and Twitter were grilled by U.S. lawmakers on Thursday at a virtual hearing on foreign influence and election security ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential contest.

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France's top court rejects core of law targeting online hate speech
France's top court rejected most of a draft law that would have compelled social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter to remove any hateful content within 24 hours, it said on Thursday.

Source: Reuters: Technology News | 18 Jun 2020 | 12:54 pm

No date for release of test-and-trace app in UK, minister says
Britain's health minister declined on Thursday to set a date for when a smartphone app to help trace people who have been in contact with a person infected with the new coronavirus would be rolled out.

Source: Reuters: Technology News | 18 Jun 2020 | 12:40 pm

Facebook sues individuals for offering to extract data, gather likes
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Source: Reuters: Technology News | 18 Jun 2020 | 12:18 pm

Kenya video-conference platform elbows its way into crowded field
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Source: Reuters: Technology News | 18 Jun 2020 | 11:58 am

Amazon and Valentino file joint lawsuit over shoe counterfeiting
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Source: Reuters: Technology News | 18 Jun 2020 | 11:41 am

Brands that use influencer marketing can boost returns and conversions
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Using a 4K drone to diagnose roof damage
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Hackers target ad networks to inject cryptocurrency mining scripts
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iOS 11.4 Public Beta 1: Here's what's new
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Galaxy S9's new rival? OnePlus 6 will be as blazingly fast but with 256GB storage
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Mozilla launches new effort to lure users back to the Firefox browser
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Intel: We now won't ever patch Spectre variant 2 flaw in these chips
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​Cloud computing: Don't forget these factors when you make the move
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Driverless 'Roborace' car makes street track debut
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Teen girls prepare for space launch
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This NASA astronaut voted from space
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Tencent nears $US9bn game deal
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Her master’s voice
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Samsung Pay launches Down Under
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