Who is Aran Khanna?

Aran Khanna is a 21-year-old CS50 Course Assistant at Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences who was about to start interning for Facebook. He has come into the news after developing the Marauders Map app. This is a Google Chrome extension, which allows users to see the exact location of the people they are talking to on Facebook messenger. The same was downloaded by 85,000 people as soon as it was launched.

Aran Khanna Facebook
Source: Facebook

Khanna is of the opinion that he has developed the app to show the consequences of sharing data unintentionally by social networking and other sites. He thought he was doing a public service.

However, this did not go well with Facebook. The social media giant cancelled his internship just hours before he was about to start it. According to Facebook, “Despite being asked repeatedly to remove the code, the creator of this tool left it up. This is wrong and it’s inconsistent with how we think about serving our community.”

To which Khanna responded by means of an email to IANS, “I complied with Facebook’s requests as they pertained to both, my interactions with the media and the handling of the code, every step of the way. My intentions were never malicious; I simply sought to draw attention to a privacy issue that I knew many people were unaware of.”

However, Facebook continued to maintain that Aran Khanna’s app violated company norms. Facebook has also said that they started working on improvements to the location-sharing months ago. It added that Khanna’s mapping tool scrapped Facebook data in a manner that it compromised on the privacy and safety  of their users.

Facebook also added, “We don’t dismiss employees for exposing privacy flaws, but we do take it seriously when someone misuses user data and puts people at risk.”

Khanna told Boston.com that his summer internship was withdrawn by Facebook three days after Marauder’s Map was launched. He was called by his future manager and was told to not to talk to the press about anything.… Read the rest

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Windows 10 Raises Privacy Concerns Within A Week Of Its Release

Windows 10 is making many people unhappy within just one week of its global release. Both users and privacy advocates are condemning the new desktop OS by Microsoft. The latest OS that comes with a lot of exciting features is making people worried about the way these tools work.

Windows 10 Raises Privacy Concerns with a Week of Its ReleaseIt was Wi-Fi Sense first that was shammed by users. This feature lets your friends get connected to your Wi-Fi network automatically. It is enabled by default and could share Wi-Fi credentials to anybody and everybody in your Facebook, Skype and Outlook contacts. Though the company says that everything happens over an encrypted network yet the users are concerned about the potential abuse that this feature can bring onto them.

Windows 10 has not left even the Solitaire alone. This game is now a freemium but ad-riddled version where video advertisements cannot be skipped. If you want to stay away from ads, you would have to pay $ 10 to Microsoft every month.

The digital voice assistant, Cortana, that Windows 10 features in quite a good application but the catch is that it gets its data from your text messages and emails as well as from the list of people you call, your phonebook and how often you get in touch with them through your computer.

 The feature Windows Update Delivery Optimisation, which is also enabled by default, uses your Internet data to update OS of other’s computers. This feature uploads parts of updates that you have downloaded earlier with users on your LAN and strangers on the Internet.

It seems if Microsoft does not take care of all these issues, it will be hard for the company to create a loyal customer base for its new OS.… Read the rest

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Millenium Touch To Super Mario At Facebook Hackathon

It was during the two-day hackathon at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park that Amanda Maler and her fellow teammates decided to participate in the challenge to create a Facebook infused level for Nintendo’s 30-years-old Super Mario. They named their team “Move Fast and Brick Things” based on the Facebook motto “move fast and break things” with the hacker mindset.

Millenium Touch to Super Mario at Facebook Hackathon“We are millennials and we grew up playing Mario,” said 23-year-old Maler, who is also an employee of Facebook. Her team thought, “Let’s bring Facebook to Nintendo. Be bold”.

Nintendo invited Facebook to create a new level for the upcoming “Super Mario Maker” to be available on September 11. Facebook was given early access to the game to bring out a new level for the game to play and that is when more than 100 employees of the social networking company participated in the hackathon.

This new game is going to be launched by Nintendo to mark the 30th birthday in 2015 of its extremely popular “Super Mario” franchise. This game will allow people to create as well as share levels to play on.

“Facebook has attracted some of the brightest minds in the tech industry who can come up with some of the most diabolical puzzles and who also like to push boundaries about what is possible,” said AJ Glasser, manager of the games partnerships team of Facebook to the AFP. He also added, “Pushing everything to the maximum fits well with what Mario Maker is trying to accomplish, which is re-imagining a game that is 30 years old.”

The competing teams created features like daring leaps, tricky challenges, daunting adversaries and Instagram or Facebook logos with “Thumbs Up” symbols for the Game’s levels. While some teams planned on white boards, some other drew on graph paper and few also used sticky notes to design the new levels. Once the winning level is decided, you can see it online at Nintendo’s social network Miiverse for Wii U consoles.… Read the rest

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How Windows 10 May Annoy You?

Windows 10 may be giving permission to Microsoft to share your internet bandwidth with others. Next Web is the first to spot this feature in the new version of Windows.

Microsoft Gets Back Lashed for Distributing Windows 10 Updates Using Internet Bandwidth of UsersThe feature called Windows Update Delivery Optimization downloads the same updates and apps that you get through Windows Update and the Windows Store and then shares it with other people on local internet.

Delivery Optimization creates a local cache, and stores files that it has downloaded in that cache for a short period of time.” Next Web opined, “Depending on your settings, Windows then send parts of those files to other PCs on your local network or PCs on the Internet that are downloading the same files.” This feature works similar to BitTorrent.

This is a feature that is enabled by default in all the Windows 10 desktop editions. However, on Windows 10 Education and Windows 10 Enterprise, this feature distributes the update files on local network only.

It is better to turn this feature off and the process to do it is as simple as to visit Settings>Update & security>Windows Update>Advanced options. Thereafter, select ‘Choose how updates are delivered’ and then use the toggle to make ‘Discovery Optimization’ feature off.

After Wi-Fi Sense, this is yet another feature of Microsoft Windows 10 that irritates its users. Wi-Fi Sense was first made available on Windows Phone only. It used to share Wi-Fi credential to everybody on the contact lists of Outlook, Facebook and Skype of the users.

 … Read the rest

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How Willing Are People To Shop At App Only Websites?

Myntra recently shut down its website and turned app only. The e-commerce giant took this step to tap the burgeoning number of smartphone and mobile users. Flipkart will also be operating exclusively through its mobile app from September. This seems like the next step in the journey for online companies. OLA Cabs, MakeMyTrip and Snapdeal are also said to be considering the trend and may soon bring down the curtains on their websites.

Indian companies going app onlySo, why are more and more Indian companies planning to go app-only? Is India really becoming a hub of smartphone users?

According to Flipkart, “India is gradually transitioning from a mobile first to a mobile only country” and it is expected that over the years people would like to shop from the comfort of their phones.

Apparently, most of the traffic on Flipkart and Myntra comes from their mobile app. Myntra claims that around 85 percent of all users come to the site via the app whereas on Flipkart 70-75 percent traffic is from the mobile app. This is not the only reason why the companies are going the app way.

According to Myntra head of e-commerce Prasad Kompalli, the apps enable better user experience because they are quick and easy to use. “Mobile apps are the best platform for Myntra today, as they allow you to integrate with contacts, calendar, and camera, which can be used to improve the user’s experience in a number of ways,” he said to NDTV gadgets.

It also brings down the cost of website maintenance and according to reports customer retention is also higher with apps. This could be because one does not tend to remove as many apps. Moreover, according to avid online shopper Sushant Sharma, the reach of an app is higher at places where people don’t have access to laptops or desktops.

“In places like Leh, where broadband connectivity is big issue, the phone Internet and app market is like a a boom. Not only does it give one the ease to shop, it makes for a great user experience. I am almost addicted to Myntra shopping app,” he says.

It’s clear that users are shifting to mobile platforms for the ease of use and e-commerce websites are following suit for better profits. However, there are some users who are not happy purchasing only through the app. According to one user, the products don’t appear to be what they are on the app, especially in terms of color.

“The product I ordered through the app did not have the same tint of color as it appeared on my mobile,” the user says. This discrepancy is lower on desktops and laptops as the product is seen in its full glory. Many users are not comfortable using their credit card details on an app. Therefore, they would prefer buying on a website with a desktop presence such as Jabong over an app-only e-commerce company like Myntra.

Also, the deletion and re-installation of the apps is a common tendency. Founder CEO of Freecharge Kunal Shah has raised this issue in his Facebook post. “Based on research, most Indians have only 19-20 apps on their android smartphones. Out of this 15-odd apps are the ones that can’t be deleted. One hypothesis is users are low on memory and keep deleting apps and install them when needed. With such challenge, is “app only” is a good strategy? Maybe this explains high uninstall rates companies see,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

Of course, there are always two sides to a coin but having a no desktop presence could shake the loyal base of a company’s customers. But as they say, there is no harm in experimenting and taking risks and e-commerce seems to be doing so. It remains to see how they perform in years to come.… Read the rest

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Facebook Messenger To Host Games

Facebook has decided to introduce games on Facebook messegner. The games would be available on the Facebook chat app. According to the reports, users can find the game by clicking the overflow menu of Messenger. 

Introducing the game is a great way to engage the users and is a positive move for the company.

 Doodle Draw Is Now Available On Facebook MessengerThe First Game Is….

Doodle Draw is the first game made available on this platform and more games are expected to follow. According to the reports, the leading social network site which initially restricted their services to meme generators and GIF tools for content creation has now moved to gaming as well, which indicates that the company is interested in increasing their expanse to other apps as well.

Who Are The Rivals?

While the launch of Doodle Draw on the Facebook Messenger has brought a smile on the users face, it can be a reason of concern for the rival companies like Viver, Line or WeChat as these services already host games on their platforms. These companies host games not just for keeping the users engaged but also for earning some revenue and Facebook’s new move might affect their popularity to some extent. The latest move of Facebook is expected to be positive for the company in every aspect, yet it will take some time to get users feedback in this aspect. 


Will Microsoft Stick To Snapdragon 810 Processor For Lumia 940 XL Despite Overheating Issues?

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Pinterest And Instagram To Focus On Advertisements And Purchases

Advertising new brands and products on the social networking sites have become a common phenomenon these days and it seems Pinterest as well as Instagram have taken some initiatives to improvise the experience of the users. According to the reports, Pinterest has adopted some measures to make purchasing a much streamlined job while Instagram is now open for advertisements of all kinds.

Popular as a photography oriented website, Instagram’s new initiatives is expected to help advertisers easily reach their targeted audiences by using information and demographic they pick up from Facebook, reports TechRadar.

Pinterest and Instagram To Focus On Advertisements And PurchasesWhile Instagram is following the footsteps of Facebook, the $11 billion online pinboard, which was so far a platform to display different innovations and products, will now allow users to make purchase at ease.

As per the reports, the network has now decided to add “buy it pins” to allow users to make purchase from the mobile app. Reports also indicate that a buy button would be added along with the pin button to help users purchase by following simple steps. The feature is expected to be available in iPhone and iPad by June last week, yet there is no news whether it would be available on Android phones as well. … Read the rest

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Save Your Facebook Pictures From Landing Into Wrong Hands

With the latest Facebook privacy setting update, it has become tough to keep your profile picture away from the prying eyes of strangers.  No matter how hard you try, you can barely find the solution to stop your profile pic to be non-clickable to prevent becoming full-blown to somebody. However, the following steps could just wipe this problem off-

Save Your Facebook Pictures From Landing Into Wrong HandsIn case you had uploaded a snap that was cropped using Facebook’s tool, erase it. Re-upload a fresh picture that need not be cropped at all. Even if you crop it, use some external tool over the web to tone it down in size. 180 by 180 picture resolution usually is the apt size and you can choose from image editors such as Adobe Photoshop. Once uploaded, you will see that no matter how much you click the new profile snap, it remains stagnant—without blowing up full size.

Post-rollout of new settings, all past pictures you used as profile snaps or covers are available for public view. Altering this is a task but you need to click every such snap on Facebook and access the privacy tab from Edit menu. Once you reach the Who should see this?” option, select More Options before hitting on Only Me.

Also Read: Why Microsoft Surface 3 should land at Indian shores

 … Read the rest

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