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KUALA LUMPUR, August 18, 2018 (News Wires) - If you’re using WhatsApp on Android, you can back up your conversations and other media files directly to Google Drive. At the moment, it takes up space on the cloud and this can be a problem if your WhatsApp backup is huge and you don’t have much space remaining.

All of that is going to change in three months as Google and WhatsApp are getting a better backup solution very soon.

According to WhatsApp, backups will no longer count towards your Google Drive storage quota starting from November 12, 2018.

That means you won’t have to worry about available free space and you can switch phones easily (Android to Android) without losing your existing chats. However, do note that backups that are not updated in more than a year will be automatically removed from Google Drive.

To avoid any potential loss of data, it is recommended that you perform a manual WhatsApp backup before November 12.

If you haven’t backup your WhatsApp to Drive before, you can do so under Menu > Settings > Chats > Chat backup. Just select the Google Drive account and you’re good to go. You can choose between daily, weekly and monthly backups and by default, it’s done
automatically via Wi-Fi at 2am.

Unlike other instant messengers, WhatsApp does not back up your chat history to their servers and you have to use a third party cloud storage provider.

On Android, it uses Google Drive and on iOS devices, your WhatsApp history is backed up to iCloud. Unfortunately, this means that you can’t back up or restore your chat history across different platforms such as Android to iOS, and vice versa.

 

KUALA LUMPUR, August 18, 2018 (News Wires) - Are you looking for a budget phone with long battery life? The Nokia 2.1 could be the device you’re looking for. HMD Global, the company behind Nokia phones, has officially announced the availability of the Nokia 2.1 in Malaysia.

For a retail price of RM415, the Nokia 2.1 combines a massive 4,000 mAh battery that can last for two days on a single charge, a 5.5-inch HD display and dual front-facing stereo speakers which are quite rare for an entry-level smartphone.

Besides that, it also gets a Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage that can be expanded via microSD.

The Nokia 2.1 is running on Android 8.1 Oreo (Go Edition) which is a stripped-down version of Android that is designed to run on entry-level devices.

This will provide a smooth Android experience for phone users with low specs. For taking pictures, the Nokia 2.1 offers an 8MP autofocus main shooter along with a LED flash and the front gets a 5MP fixed focus camera.

SAN FRANCISCO, August 18, 2018 (News Wires) - The US Department of Housing and Urban Development accused Facebook of breaking the law by letting landlords and home sellers use its ad-targeting system to discriminate against potential buyers or tenants.

A formal complaint filed by HUD said that Facebook advertisers were able to target offers of homes available for rent or sale based on factors such as race, religion, gender, nationality, or disabilities.

That precision allowed landlords or home sellers to discriminate against certain groups of people in violation of the US Fair Housing Act, according to the claim.

"When Facebook uses the vast amount of personal data it collects to help advertisers to discriminate, it's the same as slamming the door in someone's face," Anna Maria Farias, HUD's assistant secretary for fair housing and equal opportunity, said in a release.

The formal complaint came after a HUD investigation confirmed that advertisers on Facebook could exclude categories such as people who expressed interest in assistance dogs, parenting, China, or the Bible, according to the agency.

Facebook prohibits discrimination and has strengthened its systems during the past year to protect against targeting being misused by advertisers, a spokesman told AFP.

"There is no place for discrimination on Facebook," the spokesman said.

"We're aware of the statement of interest filed and will respond in court; and we´ll continue working directly with HUD to address their concerns."

SAN FRANCISCO, August 17, 2018 - Google has revised an erroneous description on its website of how its "Location History" setting works, clarifying that it continues to track users even if they've disabled the setting.

The change came three days after an Associated Press investigation revealed that several Google apps and websites store user location even if users have turned off Location History. Google has not changed its location-tracking practice in that regard.

But its help page for the Location History setting now states: "This setting does not affect other location services on your device." It also acknowledges that "some location data may be saved as part of your activity on other services, like Search and Maps."

Previously, the page stated: "With Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored."

The AP observed that the change occurred midday Thursday, a finding confirmed by Internet Archive snapshots taken earlier in the day.

The AP investigation found that even with Location History turned off, Google stores user location when, for instance, the Google Maps app is opened, or when users conduct Google searches that aren't related to location. Automated searches of the local weather on some Android phones also store the phone's whereabouts.

In a Thursday statement to the AP, Google said: "We have been updating the explanatory language about Location History to make it more consistent and clear across our platforms and help centers."

The statement contrasted with a statement Google sent to the AP several days ago that said in part, "We provide clear descriptions of these tools."

Jonathan Mayer, a Princeton computer scientist and former chief technologist for the Federal Communications Commission's enforcement bureau, said the wording change was a step in the right direction. But it doesn't fix the underlying confusion Google created by storing location information in multiple ways, he said.

"The notion of having two distinct ways in which you control how your location data is stored is inherently confusing," he said Thursday. "I can't think off the top of my head of any major online service that architected their location privacy settings in a similar way."

K. Shankari, a UC Berkeley graduate researcher whose findings initially alerted the AP to the issue, said Thursday the change was a "good step forward," but added "they can make it better." For one thing, she said, the page still makes no mention of another setting called "Web & App Activity." Turning that setting off that would in fact stop recording location data.

Huge tech companies are under increasing scrutiny over their data practices, following a series of privacy scandals at Facebook and new data-privacy rules recently adopted by the European Union. Last year, the business news site Quartz found that Google was tracking Android users by collecting the addresses of nearby cellphone towers even if all location services were off. Google changed the practice and insisted it never recorded the data anyway.

Critics say Google's insistence on tracking its users' locations stems from its drive to boost advertising revenue. It can charge advertisers more if they want to narrow ad delivery to people who've visited certain locations.

Several observers also noted that Google is still bound by a 20-year agreement it struck with the Federal Trade Commission in 2011. That consent decree requires Google to not misrepresent to consumers how they can protect their privacy.

Google agreed to that order in response to an FTC investigation of its now-defunct social networking service Google Buzz, which the agency accused of publicly revealing users' most frequent Gmail contacts.

A year later, Google was fined $22.5 million for breaking the agreement after it served some users of Apple's Safari browser so-called tracking cookies in violation of settings that were meant to prevent that.

The FTC has declined to say whether it had begun investigating Google for how it has described Location History.

KUALA LUMPUR, August 17, 2018 (News Wires) - HTC Malaysia has officially announced the availability of their latest flagship device, the U12+. If you are one of those HTC fans who are eager to secure a unit, you’re in luck.

Starting from August 17, 2018 (12am), you can pre-order the flagship phone online or via authorised dealers and outlets.

To recap, the HTC U12+ gets an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage that can be expanded via microSD. Besides that, it also gets a 6-inch QHD+ display and packs a 3,500 mAh battery.

For capturing images and recording videos, the rear camera configuration consists of a 12MP wide-angle camera and a 16MP telephoto lens. At the front, it features dual 8MP selfie cameras. If you want to know more about the HTC U12+, you can check out our post here.

 

 

KUALA LUMPUR, August 17, 2018 (News Wires) - OPPO Malaysia has just announced the F9, its latest selfie centric smartphone that comes with an even smaller notch. While the core hardware underneath is similar to the OPPO F7, the new smartphone now comes with a dual camera setup and OPPO’s very own fast charging feature.

In front, the F9 gets a 6.3″ Full HD+ display with an aspect ratio of 19.5:9. With a smaller notch and thinner bezels, it boasts a screen to body ratio of 90.8 per cent This is also one of the first smartphones to use Gorilla Glass 6 which is designed withstand repeated drops.

To stand out from the rest, the back of the F9 features a stunning looking glass effect which looks different in various angles. The device comes in various gradient colours and the special paint job even flows onto the frame.

Under the hood, the F9 gets a familiar MediaTek Helio P60 chipset with 6GB RAM and 64GB of storage. If you need more, you can expand further using the dedicated triple slot tray, which enables you to use two SIMs and a microSD card simultaneously.

The tiny notch in the front houses a 25MP selfie camera that’s also used for face unlock. Over at the rear, it gets an AI powered 16MP + 2MP dual camera setup which offers depth of field effects.

 

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