Tag: Millions

12
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

China’s Quiet Experiment Let Millions View Long-Banned Websites

(Bloomberg) — In a quiet experiment of just two weeks, China provided millions of people access to long-forbidden foreign websites like YouTube and Instagram. The trial appears to signal the Communist government is moving toward giving the country’s citizens greater access to the global internet — while still attempting to control who sees what.



a person wearing a hat: An attendee uses her smartphone ahead of the keynote speech at Tencent Holdings Ltd.'s WeChat Open Class Pro conference in Guangzhou, China, on Monday, Jan. 15, 2018.


© Bloomberg
An attendee uses her smartphone ahead of the keynote speech at Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s WeChat Open Class Pro conference in Guangzhou, China, on Monday, Jan. 15, 2018.

The Tuber browser-app, backed by government-linked 360 Security Technology Inc., appeared without fanfare late September and offered for the first time in years a way to view long-banned websites from Facebook Inc. to Google and the New York Times, albeit sanitized versions. Chinese users rejoiced in a newfound ability to directly peruse long-blocked content from a mobile browser without an illegal virtual private network or VPN.

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The browser, carried on app stores run by Huawei Technologies Co. among others, suggests Beijing is testing ways to let its 904 million internet users into once-prohibited zones. While Tuber bore the hallmarks of state-style censorship and got pulled without explanation Saturday, it’s Beijing’s most significant experiment in years with greater internet freedoms.

State-sanctioned apps like Tuber offer a possible compromise — a controlled environment in which activity can be tracked and content screened, while allowing academics, corporations and citizens to exchange information. It addresses a complaint among corporations local and foreign that need to access everything from financial data to critical software tools from abroad.

“This latest development with Tuber is interesting because it could be seen as more openness,” said Fergus Ryan, a researcher at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. “But the way that it would actually work would mean that people who use it would be

05
Oct
2020
Posted in internet

AT&T kills DSL, leaves tens of millions of homes without fiber Internet

A snail resting on a computer mouse, to illustrate slow Internet service.

Getty IMages | Synergee

AT&T has deployed fiber-to-the-home Internet to less than 30 percent of the households in its 21-state territory, according to a new report that says AT&T has targeted wealthy, non-rural areas in its fiber upgrades.

The report, co-written by an AT&T workers union and an advocacy group, is timely, being issued just a few days after AT&T confirmed it will stop connecting new customers to its aging DSL network. That does not mean customers in DSL areas will get fiber, because AT&T last year said it was mostly done expanding its fiber service. AT&T said at the time that it would only expand fiber incrementally, in areas where it makes financial sense for AT&T to do so. We’ll provide more detail on the DSL cutoff later in this article—in short, the fiber/copper hybrid known as AT&T Internet is still offered to new customers, but the slower product that AT&T sells under the DSL name is being discontinued except for existing customers.

Citing data that ISPs are required to submit to the Federal Communications Commission, the report issued today said that AT&T had built fiber-to-the-home to 28 percent of the households in its footprint as of June 30, 2019. The report was written by the Communications Workers of America (CWA), a union that represents AT&T employees; and the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA), an advocacy group that has been tracking AT&T’s broadband deployments for years. The groups say that AT&T has left rural areas and people with low incomes with old, inadequate broadband services.

There are 52.97 million households in AT&T’s home-Internet service area, and 14.93 million of them have fiber-to-the-home access, the CWA told Ars. The fiber percentages were particularly bad in some states, with rates of 14 to 16 percent in Michigan, Illinois, Mississippi, and Arkansas,

30
Sep
2020
Posted in technology

Pandemic Pushes Millions Of Shoppers Online In Latin America

Latin America’s e-commerce industry is booming as millions of shoppers across the region venture online during the pandemic, many for the first time, forcing traditional businesses to adapt to survive.

The sector has been one of the big winners of the coronavirus outbreak as fears of infection and lockdown measures keep people at home.

“Covid-19 has been an accelerator of trends, and in electronic commerce it has been very powerful,” said Oscar Silva, an expert in global strategies with the consultancy firm KPMG in Mexico.

“More than 10 million Latin Americans who had never bought online now do so regularly,” he told AFP.

The dominant regional force is not Amazon or eBay but Mercado Libre, which has a similar business model and is present in 18 countries.

Despite the economic turmoil unleashed by the pandemic, the Argentinian company doubled its sales in the second quarter of this year thanks to a 45 percent rise in the number of customers to 51.1 million.

Its market capitalization reached $55 billion, challenging Brazilian mining giant Vale for the title of Latin America’s most valuable company.

The tectonic shift in consumer habits is likely to endure, said Silva.

“People were afraid of fraud or that the product wouldn’t be what they expected. It’s very likely that a large percentage of these customers will stay after realizing how easy and efficient online commerce is,” he said.

David Geisen, head of Mercado Libre’s Mexican arm, said that “loyal users now buy in 12 days what they bought before in 17, frequent users in 24 days what they bought in 79, and sporadic users in 29 days what they bought in almost a year.”

At the start of the pandemic, top sellers included face masks, antibacterial gel, thermometers and oximeters, but demand gradually spread to other goods

29
Sep
2020
Posted in technology

Serious Google Photos Problem Impacts Millions Of Users

Google Photos is a great place to keep a backup of all your smartphone pictures, but some Samsung users have recently discovered that the service can no-longer be trusted to keep their images safe.

MORE FROM FORBESGoogle’s Pixel Smartphones Have Serious New Problems

According to a report by Android Police, images created in Samsung’s Motion Photos format are no-longer saving correctly on Google Photos, causing data to be lost. 

Motion Photos enhance regular still shots by adding a short video clip, and sometimes audio, each time the shutter is clicked. Unfortunately, these audio and video elements are apparently being stripped out by Google Photos, leaving only the still image.

It’s not clear at this point whether Google Photos is simply failing to display the video content or whether it hasn’t been saved at all. This means Samsung users can’t currently trust Google Photos to back up their motion photos. In the light of this information, I would advise them not to delete any original motion photo files from their devices until the problem has been resolved.

Google Photos has supported Samsung’s implementation of Motion Photos for quite some time, allowing users to tap on the playback icon to display the embedded video. So this change in behaviour is quite unexpected and is likely to catch people out.

A similar motion photo feature is available on the iPhone as well as several other Android handsets, but the exact implementation varies between smartphone manufacturers. This means apps and services such as Google Photos need to write custom code to handle various different formats. In this case, it seems something has gone wrong with the way Samsung’s files are handled. Motion photos created by other devices remain unaffected.

Incidentally, it’s quite easy to leave