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India bans 47 more Chinese apps weeks after blocking TikTok and 58 others over security fears

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India bans 47 more Chinese apps weeks after blocking TikTok and 58 others over security fears

India has banned 47 more Chinese apps just weeks after blocking popular video-sharing platform TikTok and 58 others over national security and privacy concerns. 

The Indian information ministry official disclosed the news on Monday, July 27.

‘We have banned 47 mobile apps from China in this ongoing exercise which highlights the government’s seriousness about data privacy and security,’ the official, who asked to remain anonymous, told news agency AFP.

‘The order was issued on Friday. Most of these 47 apps are banned for the same reasons as the earlier 59, and many were lite versions or variants of the earlier banned applications.’

Chinese apps Included in the latest ban are Tiktok Lite, Helo Lite, SHAREit Lite, BIGO LIVE Lite, and VFY among others.

There has been no official statement or order released by the government about the ban but it has been widely reported across major Indian media.

The latest move comes days after a Himalayan border clash left 20 Indian troops dead and an unknown number of Chinese casualties.

Local media on Monday July 27, said there are 275 other Chinese apps that could also be blocked over similar concerns, including the hugely popular “PUBG Mobile” game owned by tech giant Tencent.

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Google now allows you find the name of a song by humming and whistling

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Google has introduced a new feature that allows you to identify a song even if you don’t know the lyrics.

You can now hum, sing or whistle the tune into your phone and the name of the song will come up.

The technology to match tones to a database of identified songs through singing, humming and whistling — instead of from lyrics alone — has existed for more than a decade, and was a staple in the music app SoundHound as far back as 2009.

To start using Google’s new feature, open the latest version of the Google app or Google Search widget on your phone, then, tap the Microphone icon and say “what’s this song?” You can also tap the Search a song button. Finally, start humming, singing or whistling the tune to get your results.

Google announced the new feature on Thursday, October 15, and has started rolling it out globally to iPhone and Android users. It’s currently available in English for iPhone users and in more than 20 languages on Android.

This new tool only works on mobile devices, so at this time, it won’t work on your Google Home or Nest speakers.

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Apple sues recycling partner for reselling more than 100,000 iPhones, iPads and Watches it was hired to dismantle

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Apple is suing former recycling partner GEEP Canada — now a part of Quantum Lifecycle Partners — for allegedly stealing and reselling at least 103,845 iPhones, iPads and Watches that it was hired to disassemble. “At least 11,766 pounds of Apple devices left GEEP’s premises without being destroyed – a fact that GEEP itself confirmed,” reads a portion of Apple’s complaint, as reported by The Logic(via AppleInsider).

Apple sent the recycling firm over 500,000 iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches between January 2015 and December 2017, according to The Logic’s report. When Apple did an audit, it discovered 18 percent of those devices were still accessing the internet through cellular networks. That 18 percent doesn’t count Apple devices without a cellular radio, so it’s possible an even higher percentage of the gadgets were resold. 

Apple seeks to obtain at least $31 million Canadian dollars (roughly $22.7 million USD) from its former partner. The recycling firm denies all wrongdoing, but it doesn’t deny there was a theft — it has reportedly filed a third-party suit claiming three employees stole the devices on their own behalf. Apple disagrees, arguing that these employees were in fact senior management at the recycling firm, according to The Logic

Apple’s recycling robot
Apple’s recycling robot Daisy can disassemble nine different iPhone models to recover valuable materials.

Last year, humans left behind a record amount of e-waste adding up to 53.6 million metric tons of discarded phones, computers, appliances, and other gadgets. Like other tech companies, Apple has been trying to improve its environmental practices, including an effort to move recycling in-house with its own disassembly robots Daisy and Dave, which are designed to recover iPhone components that traditional recyclers can’t. 

However, the company still relies on other partners to recover valuable material from used devices, and from 2015 to 2018 GEEP Canada was one of them. Refurbishing and reselling devices was also part of GEEP’s business, though: while the company offered multiple e-waste management services during that period, it also explicitly stated on its website that its mission was to “encourage reuse whenever possible.”“PRODUCTS SENT FOR RECYCLING ARE NO LONGER ADEQUATE TO SELL TO CONSUMERS”

But from Apple’s standpoint, reselling these devices would not have been OK. Just because products were able to be resold on the grey market doesn’t mean they met Apple’s quality or safety standards. “Products sent for recycling are no longer adequate to sell to consumers and if they are rebuilt with counterfeit parts they could cause serious safety issues, including electrical or battery defects,” the company tells The Verge.

Apple filed the complaint in January 2020, but it’s known about the thefts since they were discovered between 2017 and 2018. Apple hasn’t worked with GEEP Canada since. 

In 2019, we published a report about how one poster child of recycling firms, Total Reclaim, advertised its ethical practices while actually shipping off hazardous waste overseas without following regulations.

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Apple to release iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 14 and tvOS 14 on September 16

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Image Credits: Apple

Apple said its latest iOS 14 software will be released on September 16, ahead of the company’s release of the next-generation iPhones.

We saw our first glimpse at iOS 14 earlier this year at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference, which included home screen widgets and reply threading in Messages. It also comes with new Maps features, including adding cycling as a transportation option, and routing for electric vehicle owners so they can find charging points along the way.

iOS 14 also comes with an in-built translator, an improved and redesigned Siri, and better security and privacy features in the Safari browser.

But one privacy feature promised by Apple will be delayed. Apple said it would allow iPhone users to opt-out of in-app tracking, which the company said would not be immediately enforced when iOS 14 is released. It follows an uproar from ad giants — including Facebook — which lobbied against the proposal. Apple said it would give developers until next year to adjust to the changes.

iOS 14 will be supported on iPhone 6s and later, and lands as a free download.

Apple said it will also release its upcoming iPadOS 14, watchOS 14 and tvOS 14 on September 16.

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