Tuesday, February 28, 2017

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WhatsApp is testing location functions

Several media have reported that WhatsApp is testing new features for its messaging application, such as the ability to locate users, at a time of growing concern about privacy policies. Users can now share their Location with the contacts, but now, moreover, they can allow friends to track their movements for a specific period, which can range from a single minute to the permanent location capability, through Live Location Tracking.

They can also delete or edit messages already sent, as long as the recipient has not yet read them; Respond to a friend's status message; And notify problems to the company just by shaking the phone.
The location crawler seems to have a similar operation to the "Find My Friends" application that iOS users have available since 2011.

The news are still in beta mode, available only to some users. It is not known with certainty if they will be implemented to all effects, nor when.

A German group sues WhatsApp

The Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband e. V. (a federation of German consumer advocacy organizations, known as VZBV) has sued WhatsApp for its policy of transferring user data to Facebook.

The aforementioned group affirms that the consumer has to be able to choose the personal data that will be disclosed, as well as to control its use. According to VZBV, "our experts have discovered irregular behaviors. Now we're going to court. We do not care if it is Facebook, Google, Amazon or, this time, WhatsApp. We fight illegalities. "

This is not the first time that a group has taken action against the aforementioned policy. In November, WhatsApp was required to temporarily suspend the practice of sharing European user data with Facebook, and in September the Data Protection and Freedom of Information Commissioner of Hamburg, Germany, blocked Facebook's data collection activity.

Subsequently, the European Commission described as "misleading" Facebook information that provides customers with the possible uses of their data.

Several companies are developing technologies in London to keep citizens informed and protected from air pollution.

Not far from the city center, Airlabs develops the "Clean Air Bank". At first glance it does not look like much, but it is a piece of smart urban furniture, which creates a bubble of pure air around it.

The bank draws air from the rear, where a filtration system cleans it of particles and absorbs pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide.

The clean air returns to the outside by grills placed under the armrests. The bank is equipped with a total of five air cleaning units.

For the moment, it is a prototype. The idea is that the same technology be included not only in banks, but also in street lamps, bus shelters and other elements on the streets of a city.

A test conducted by King's College London in July 2016 revealed that one of these banks could remove up to 87% of the gases it was filtering.

Airlabs technology can also be applied to the industrial field, to fight pollution from factories.

Sophie Power is the CEO of the company:
"Recent studies," he explains, "show that even if we reduce diesel consumption in London from 50% to 10% there would still be areas with higher nitrogen dioxide exposure than the World Health Organization recommends. We have been perfecting this technology for a long time and I think it would be a very good tool in schools, hospitals, the public transport network and other places where people unknowingly absorb countless pollutants every day. "

Dawn in London. As traffic slows down and the jam grows around the British capital, Romain lacombe begins to work. The founder of Parisian startup Plume Labs uses Flow, an air quality tracker, which allows him to monitor indoor and outdoor pollution.

This small metal device records everything from particles and gases to chemicals used in the home. That information alone is already useful, but a complimentary phone application goes a step further, synchronizing with other users to provide an updated map of air pollution. In red they appear the most exposed areas and in yellow and white, the less contaminated.

Cell phone tracker application, which provides air quality forecasts throughout the day. The idea is that users can plan their activities, such as salt To run to the park, avoiding pollution peaks. Lacombe believes that all this information is not only of great help to the citizens, but also to the authorities responsible for implementing environmental policies. "Let us think of Wikipedia, for example, a vast Encyclopaedia nurtured by its users, "says Lacombe. "Well, we try to do the same, but with the air we breathe.

Collecting the data of our users we obtain the level of pollution of the city. And so we can create a map with the most and least contaminated areas, which is updated in real time and can help the citizen to escape the most contaminated points and protect their health.

 And it can also be an interesting tool for those who make and apply laws, for mayors and their teams. "According to the World Health Organization, 12.6 million people died in 2012 for pollution-related causes, with Living and working in an unhealthy environment, accounting for almost a quarter of the world's total deaths. Last month, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan first issued a warning for severe air pollution. The shortage of wind caused that the emissions of the south-east of England concentrated around the capital. King's College researchers cataloged the air with the black label, the maximum level of contamination, advising the population to do work or efforts outside their houses. The peak detected was due to a combination of traffic contamination and wood combustion.

A package delivery has associated risks; From phishing emails and delivery scams to package theft. Follow these tips from your BBB to make sure your packages are delivered securely and your personal and financial information is not compromised.

Be an expert online shopper.
It is easy for scammers to create fake websites that take their money but never send products. In 2016, the BBB Scam Tracker received more than 2,700 reports of online shopping scams, and 74% involved a monetary loss!

Before shopping on a website, look for the site on bbb.org to make sure it is reliable. There, you can see your rating, complaint history and comments from previous clients.
Make sure the site is secure - look for the "https", where the "s" means "secure", and read its privacy policy. Look for a physical address along with a telephone number and email for customer service, and carefully read the refund and exchange policies.
Protect your packages from theft.

First, you should not have a package delivered unless you know you are going to be at home and not on vacation. If you can not avoid having a package delivered when not at home, have it delivered to the post office or other carrier facility where you can pick it up. You can also have it delivered to your job, or ask a trusted friend or neighbor to pick you up from your home for you.
It is always a good idea to request a tracking number for your package and track it - paying attention to the estimated delivery date. Save this number along with your order confirmation and other delivery information and shipped.

Sometimes you can choose to require a signature for delivery - this ensures that a package will not be left at your door. You can also request that a package be delivered to a safer rear or secondary door.
Beware of suspicious emails about delivery.
In 2016, consumers reported more than 1,200 phishing scams to the BBB Scam Tracker, and the average loss was $ 400 - be careful!
How it works: Scammers, claiming to be from a legitimate delivery service, send "failed delivery" or "email confirmation" notices by email. The email instructs you to click on a link or open an attachment to complete the delivery process. Unfortunately, links and attachments can contain a virus or other malware that can damage your computer's files or crawl your login information and passwords.

You should not open any emails that you are not expecting or click on links or attachments within them. Even if you ordered a package, legitimate delivery companies will leave a label on your door if they can not deliver it, they will not send an email.

Do not let a delivery scam steal your information.
The scam begins like this: a delivery person unexpectedly appears at his door with a gift basket. You do not know who sent it and neither does the delivery person. However, they inform you that you need to pay a nominal "verification fee" with your credit or debit card to accept the gift. The card scanner, however, is actually a "skimmer", and will pick up your credit or debit card number and security code. Then you may be a victim of identity theft or fraudulent charges.

Protect yourself by being cautious with any package delivered by an unrecognized delivery service - you must recognize the company. If you have not heard of the company, look it up at bbb.org. Unless you ordered the package and expected to have to pay for it, you should never be required to pay to receive a package or gift. If you are receiving alcohol, you may need to show your ID, but never provide your card information.


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