Apple reportedly plans to perform 5G internet tests in Cupertino

Apple is planning to test next-generation wireless internet technology near its California headquarters, according to a experimental application signed today by the iPhone maker and disclosed by the FCC. The application, obtained by Business Insider, details Apple’s plans to test 5G internet speeds achievable only with what’s known as millimeter wave technology, or mmWave. This is the same type of technology that internet startup Starry uses to try and deliver gigabit Wi-Fi to homes.

“Apple Inc. seeks to assess cellular link performance in direct path and multi-path environments between base station transmitters and receivers using this spectrum,” reads the application, according to BI. “These assessments will provide engineering data relevant to the operation of devices on wireless carriers’ future 5G networks.”

Though 5G remains a somewhat nebulous concept because standards organizations have yet to formally classify it, the successor to LTE is broadly understood to be capable of gigabit speeds that rely on mmWave tech. Because mmWave transmits data at a higher frequency, and thus a smaller wavelength of between 30 GHz and 300 GHz, the technology is capable of reducing latency and expanding data transmission capacity. It also opens up possibilities for cutting down on antenna size and for packing more powerful multi-band antennas into a single device.

Generally speaking, we’re talking about internet speeds that are orders of magnitude higher than standard LTE. Of course, there are big technically challenges with mmWave that need to be solved, primarily that the signal has trouble traveling great distances and through a great many surface materials, including glass. Still, Apple seems intent on testing the technology for itself:

Apple intends to transmit from two fixed points located at Apple-controlled facilities in Cupertino and Milpitas, CA. These transmissions will be consistent with the parameters and equipment identified in Apple’s accompanying Form 442, and will include the use of a horn antenna with a half-power beamwidth of 20 degrees in the E-plane and H-plane and a downtilt between 20 – 25 degrees. Apple anticipates that it will conduct its experiments for a period not to exceed 12 months.

Apple would be handling only the hardware side of testing with relation to the construction of new iPhones — perhaps the company is also looking at a different smartphone modem supplier given its ongoing legal dispute with Qualcomm. On the other end, there’s still a significant amount of network infrastructure work that has to be completed on behalf of telecoms, chipmakers, and standards organizations before your next smartphone sports a new logo in the upper left corner. That might not happen for an other two or three years.

AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile have all announced plans to start testing faster versions of 4G LTE that should, in theory, help lay the groundwork for true 5G in the future. On the chip side, Samsung, Qualcomm, and Intel have all announced new hardware to support 5G speeds, while telecom standards organization 3GPP is working to release the first official 5G standards in the second half of 2017 with full-scale tests and deployments slated for 2019.

Microsoft proposing $10B program to bring broadband internet to rural America

 

In an event scheduled for Tuesday in Washington, D.C., Microsoft plans to propose using technology it helped develop as a cornerstone of an effort to connect the 23.4 million Americans in rural areas who lack high-speed internet access.

Microsoft is set to propose a $10 billion program to bring broadband internet to the rural U.S., an economic-development program aimed at a core constituency of the Trump administration.

The plan, which calls for corporate and government cash, relies on nascent television “white-space” technology, which sends internet data over unused broadcast frequencies set aside for television channels.

 Sherry Scott, a schoolteacher in southern Virginia, tests a new broadcast internet system as part of a pilot program by Microsoft and Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities to extend access to more rural students. (Microsoft)

In an event scheduled for Tuesday in Washington, D.C., Microsoft is to propose using the technology it helped develop as a cornerstone of an effort to connect the 23.4 million Americans in rural areas who lack high-speed internet access.

“One thing we’ve concluded is just how important broadband is for all kinds of things,” Microsoft President Brad Smith said in an interview ahead of the announcement.

It’s not just streaming high-definition movies, he said. Slow or nonexistent connections can hinder agriculture, business, education and health care, he said. Broadband “is about, increasingly, the necessities of life.”

His speech Tuesday is designed to raise the profile of the TV white-space technology, in which base stations tap into a database, ask what television spectrum is unused in the area (the “white space”), and send broadband data to customers using that frequency.

Smith also hopes to pitch the value of Microsoft’s guidance as the Republican-held White House and Congress lay the groundwork for an infrastructure bill in coming months.

White House officials are expected to attend Microsoft’s event, held at a hotel a few blocks from the White House, Smith said. Meanwhile, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai plans to travel to southern Virginia to visit a pilot project demonstrating Microsoft’s technology.

Smith’s proposal calls for a five-year program of corporate investment and matching federal and state grants to end the gap between rural and urban access, starting with the company’s own efforts.

Microsoft’s new Rural Airband Initiative will aim to have projects to deploy white-space internet with telecommunications industry partners up and running in 12 states by next year.

A receiver used to extend broadband internet over unused parts of the TV broadcast spectrum is seen at a Charlotte County, Virginia, home. (Microsoft)
A receiver used to extend broadband internet over unused parts of the TV broadcast spectrum is seen at a Charlotte County, Virginia, home. (Microsoft)
 

Microsoft will provide the technology and invest the cash to expand coverage, Smith said. That sum will be repaid by collecting a share of future service revenue, and will subsequently be spent on additional projects.

The company hopes that its direct investments will connect 2 million people to broadband internet by 2022. Smith didn’t specify Microsoft’s total financial commitment to meet that goal, but said it would be “very substantial.”

For other interested companies, Microsoft is offering the use of 39 of its white-space patents to implement their own projects.

It’s unclear whether other companies will follow Microsoft’s lead. Google and Facebook are both plugging away at research projects to build global aerial networks to bring broadband to places without internet access.

Much of Microsoft’s pitch is that its technology is cheaper than other alternatives available today.

Connecting people using TV white-space technology would cost between $10 billion and $15 billion, according to a Microsoft-commissioned study by the Boston Consulting Group. The use of satellite connections where density slips too low for even white-space broadcasting could shave $2 billion off the cost, the study estimates.

Using 4G wireless networks to achieve the same goal would cost $15 billion to $25 billion, the study estimates. Deployment of fiber-optic cable would cost $45 billion to $65 billion.

Companies and researchers have been experimenting with white-space technologies for more than a decade. Investment ramped up following 2008 FCC regulations that pushed for more efficient use of the wave spectrum that carries everything from TV and radio broadcasts to smartphone data packets and commercial-airline communications.

Unused TV spectrum has a few advantages that make it well placed for rural areas, Microsoft says.

Television signals travel four times the distance of Wi-Fi, translating to 16 times the coverage area for broadcast towers beaming in all directions. TV signals also are better able to pass through obstacles like hills and walls. And rural areas tend to have more unused TV channels ripe for internet traffic than do cities.

Microsoft has extensively tested the technology, running 20 pilot efforts and connecting about 185,000 people.

The experiments had primarily targeted the developing world, whether stretching internet connectivity to corners of Africa that lacked it before or trying out white-space towers for disaster relief in the Philippines.

But as of Tuesday, Microsoft’s focus with the technology shifts to the U.S., which Smith acknowledged is partly a result of issues raised by Donald Trump’s win in November.

“In all honesty, the election did provide a wake-up call for all of us in the country to think about the role of rural counties,” he said.

Some major providers of broadband and wireless coverage are reluctant to extend their networks into rural areas, preferring the more lucrative and cost-effective business of building in cities.

Federal and state governments in recent years have tried to use tax breaks and other incentives to bridge that gap, often in partnership with regional or small-scale providers.

One of them is Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities (MBC), which was founded in 2004 by an electricity cooperative and has relied on grants to build out 1,800 miles of fiber-optic cable, the modern telecommunications backbone.

“We started with the idea that we’re losing jobs and investment because we can’t get broadband in rural Virginia,” said Tad Deriso, the nonprofit’s president.

Deriso approached Microsoft a few years ago after hearing about the company’s experiments with white-space technology.

Some students in MBC’s area struggle to complete or turn in digital school assignments on weak home internet connections, a problem commonly called the homework gap. Deriso was looking for creative ways to address that.

Microsoft chipped in, contributing to a partially grant-funded project that, for $1 million, is expected to connect 1,000 households to high-speed internet powered by TV white-space technology. FCC Commissioner Pai is expected to see the progress toward that goal firsthand on Tuesday, Deriso said.

Microsoft’s next experiments will be larger.

“We have not seen the market or the public sector really effectively fill this gap,” Smith said.

 The Best Days Of Indian Consumer Internet Are Yet To Come

Image result for  The Best Days Of Indian Consumer Internet Are Yet To Come

Consumer Internet startups, the hottest ticket in Indian startup ecosystem for the last decade, appeared to have hit a massive speed breaker in 2016. Funding slowed down drastically. In the ecommerce sector alone, funding fell to $1.94 billion in 2016 from $4.7 billion in 2015, as per data from Venture Intelligence. Many were forced to shut shop. Tracxn counted over 314 consumer Internet startups which shut down in 2016 compared to 215 the previous year. Those who survived saw their valuations fizzle out; even the biggest startups were not able to get through without anguish.

This bleak scenario led to many observers questioning the legitimacy of India’s consumer Internet story. They had data to back this hypothesis as funding began shifting away from consumer-Internet startups. But there is one singular aspect of the analysis that caught my eye – a few people started questioning the very existence of India’s big consumer Internet market.

A chart published in The Economist last month said that ecommerce sales in India were flat in 2016, after doubling in 2014 and trebling in 2015. The report accompanying the chart noted that of the 200 Mn-250 Mn Indians with Internet access and credit or debit cards; only a small proportion of this were inclined to shop online. Although this part may be true.

The Internet Is Freaking Out Over These Zendaya And Tom Holland Dating Rumors

ATTENTION, HUMANITY: I may or may not have very good news for you regarding Spider-Man stars Tom Holland and Zendaya.

But first, let me make something absolutely clear: The things I am about to share with you are just rumors. So please, do not purchase your wedding outfit just yet.

Carlos Alvarez / Getty Images

But first, let me make something absolutely clear: The things I am about to share with you are just rumors. So please, do not purchase your wedding outfit just yet.

So, here’s the deal: According to People, Zendaya and Tom Holland are ~*~DATING~*~.

Robert Marquardt / Getty Images

Here’s some exclusive footage of me when I first read that news:

Nickelodeon

But again, none of this is official. An anonymous source told People:

They started seeing each other while they were filming Spider-Man. They’ve been super careful to keep it private and out of the public eye but they’ve gone on vacations with each other and try and spend as much time as possible with one another.

And a second source added:

They’re both really ambitious and they challenge each other — but, most importantly, they make each other crack up. They seem to have a really similar sense of humor and love joking around together. They have great banter back and forth.

Now, as a person whose only hobby is watching hot, smart people kiss, I was very excited about this prospect!!!

Kevin Winter / Getty Images

But so far, Zendaya and Tom are mostly laughing off the rumors. Zendaya just tweeted:

And Tom even posted this lovely Instagram yesterday — captioning it #lonerlife. Does a boy with a girlfriend use the hashtag #lonerlife?

STILL. I can’t help but notice that their tweets aren’t really a denial. They’re just kinda… laughing at it?

Harpo Productions

And if it WAS true, Zendaya and Tom would actually be following in the footsteps of their Spider-Man predecessors. Dating your Spider-Man co-star is a tradition dating all the way back to 2002.

Tim P. Whitby / Getty Images

Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst dated while filming their 2002 Spider-Man series, as did Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield while filming theirs in 2012.

Well, true or not, you have to admit this pairing would be cute as hell. ADD THIS SHIT TO YOUR VISION BOARDS, PEOPLE.

Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images

Britain’s May asks G7 to back moves to tackle internet extremism

 

 

British Prime Minister Theresa May will urge the world’s major industrialized nations on Friday to unite to force technology companies to tackle “extremist material” and stop militants who are moving their fight “from the battlefield to the internet”.

A senior British government source said May, attending her first G7 meeting since becoming prime minister last year, will say social media are not moving fast enough to tackle what she calls an “evolving” threat, just days after a suicide bomb attack in the northern English city on Manchester killed 22.

“The PM will say that the threat we face is evolving, rather than disappearing, as Daesh (Islamic State) loses ground in Iraq and Syria. The fight is moving from the battlefield to the internet,” the government source said.

“If you have unity at the G7, and you are all sending out the same message, that we want internet companies, social media companies to step up … then obviously that delivers a powerful message.”

May has made tackling extremist material on the internet one of her main commitments after becoming prime minister in the aftermath of Britain voting to leave the European Union in June last year.Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks at an election campaign event in Wrexham, Wales May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville

While Italy hopes the G7 meeting in Taormina, on the cliffs of eastern Sicily, will concentrate minds on Europe’s migrant crisis, the British leader has said she wants to set out her stall on measures to tackle internet extremism.

May’s interior minister, Amber Rudd, said technology companies must cooperate more with law enforcement agencies after it was reported that British-born Khalid Masood, who plowed his car into pedestrians and fatally stabbed a policeman in parliament in March, had used encrypted messages moments earlier.

The Manchester suicide bombing has also focused minds, with May describing it as a callous attack on innocent children.

Salman Abedi, a 22-year-old British-born man with Libyan parents, who blew himself up is suspected by the police and security services to have been working with a network of people who were inspired by extreme Islamist ideology.

She will tell the leaders of the United States, Japan, France, Italy, Germany and Canada that technology companies should be encouraged to better develop tools that can automatically identify and remove harmful material, to block users who post extremist content and revise industry guidelines.

May, a former interior minister, will also reiterate that companies should “tell the authorities when they identify harmful material so action can be taken”.

“This sort of material being on the internet is obviously harmful,” the source said. “It’s obviously in the past been linked to acts of violence and the less of this material that is on the internet, clearly that is for the better.”

 

 

THE GIF TURNS 30: HOW AN ANCIENT FORMAT CHANGED THE INTERNET

THE WEB’S FAVORITE file format just turned 30. Yep, it turns out the GIF is a millennial, too.

At the same time, 30 makes the GIF ancient in web years, which feels a bit weird, given that the proliferation of animated GIFs is a relatively recent phenomenon. Today, Twitter has a GIF button and even Apple added GIF search to its iOS messaging app. Such mainstream approval would have seemed unthinkable even a decade ago, when GIFs had the cultural cachet of blinking text and embedded MIDI files. But today they’re ubiquitous, and not in some nostalgic sense.

Animated GIFs have transcended their obscure 1990s roots to become a key part of day-to-day digital communication. Some, like Orson Welles clapping or Michael Jackson eating popcorn, have become instantly recognizable shorthand. Others, like Sean Spicer disappearing into the bushes—itself a remix of a popular Simpsons GIF—serve up political satire. The GIF does double duty as both expression and as badge of digital literacy. Not bad for an image standard that pre-dates the web itself.

Spicer-giphy-2.gif

Today GIFs are synonymous with short, looping, animations. But they got their start as a way of displaying still images. Steve Wilhite started work on the Graphics Interchange Format in early 1986. At the time, he was a programmer for Compuserve, an early online service that let users access chat rooms, forums, and information like stock quotes using dial-up modems. Sandy Trevor, Wilhite’s boss at Compuserve, tells WIRED that he wanted to solve two problems.

The first was that Compuserve needed a graphics format that worked on all computers. At the time, the PC market was split between several companies, including Apple, Atari, Commodore, IBM, and Tandy, each with its own way of displaying graphics. Compuserve had used other graphics formats of the era, such as NAPLPS, but Trevor thought they were too complex to implement. So he tasked Wilhite with creating a simple format that would work on any machine.

Second, he wanted Wilhite to create technology that could quickly display sharp images over slow connections. “In the eighties, 1200 baud was high speed,” Trevor says. “Lots of people only had 300 baud modems.” The average broadband connection in the US is more than 40,000 times faster than even those blazing fast 1200 baud connections, so Compuserve needed truly tiny files.

The web’s other major image format, the JPEG, was under development at the time. But it’s better suited for photographs and other images that contain high amounts of detail and won’t suffer from a small amount of distortion. Compuserve needed to display stock quotes, weather maps, and other graphs—simple images that would suffer from having jagged lines. So Wilhite decided to base the GIF on a lossless compression protocol called Lempel–Ziv–Welch, or LZW.

Wilhite finished the first version of the GIF specification on May, 1987, and Compuserve began using the format the next month. This was two years before Sir Tim Berners-Lee announced his World Wide Web project and six years before the Mosiac browser made the web accessible to less technical users. But it was the web that made the GIF what it is today.Image result for The GIF Turns 30: How an Ancient Format Changed the Internet

Under Construction

The GIF was perfect for displaying logos, line art, and charts on the web for all the same reasons that Wilhite first developed the format. And because portions of an image could be transparent, meaning an image could blend into the background or be fit together with other images in interesting ways, it enabled web designers to create more complex layouts. But the most important thing about the format was that Wilhite had the foresight to make it extensible, so that other developers could add custom types of information to GIFs. That enabled the team behind the Netscape browser to create the animated GIF standard in 1995. “I didn’t ask Steve to put in as much extensibility as he did, but I’m glad he did,” Trevor says.

Soon, “under construction” GIFs adorned practically every site on the web. The “Dancing Baby” becoming one the web’s first true viral video sensations. The dancing 7-Up mascot “Cool Spot” also made a unconscionable number of appearances, making it perhaps the first viral #brand GIF.

Baby-giphy-3.gif

The file format also became the center of one of the web’s first patent disputes. In 1994, IT giant Unisys claimed to own the LZW protocol that Wilhite used in the GIF specification. The company threatened to sue anyone who made software that could create or read GIFs without paying for a license. Unisys’s LZW-related patents expired in 2006, but the ordeal of dealing with the company left a lasting impression on Trevor, who now works as a consultant helping tech companies avoid running into patent suits.

The animated GIF epidemic ended about as quickly as it started. As web design professionalized, those under construction GIFs disappeared. Animators and artists, meanwhile, moved on to more sophisticated media like Flash and later HTML5. But the format survived on web forums and sites like 4chan, Reddit, and Tumblr.

Adam Leibsohn, the COO of the GIF search engine Giphy, calls the GIF an “insurgent format.” It enables people to publish moving images in places they weren’t necessarily intended, like someone’s signature on a forum. “The easiest, simplest thing wins,” he says.

As people realized they could stick tiny, looping bits of animation into web-based conversations, GIFs became a new form of expression. Clips of people clapping, slamming their heads on a desk, or dancing replaced text, and new, more artistic GIFs emerged as a form of micro-entertainment. The rise of smartphones made this form of visual communication all the more appealing.

Peggy.gif

“We’ve reduced our shorthand to things like ‘lol’ and ‘wtf’, things that aren’t very expressive,” says David McIntosh, CEO of the GIF search service Tenor. “With GIFs you can express a wide range of emotions.” About 90 percent of the service’s search terms are related to feelings, he says.

It’s hard to say exactly when the GIF re-entered the mainstream web experience. The Nieman Journalism Lab called the 2012 Summer Olympics a “coming-out party” for the animated GIF. That same year, Oxford Dictionaries named “GIF” the word of the year. By early 2013, GIFs were showing up in museums and marketers wanted in. That year Steve Wilhite was awarded a life-time achievement award at the Webbys, where he stirred up a mini-controversy by telling the world that GIF is pronounced like the peanut butter brand Jif, not like “gift.”

At the time, it was easy to see GIFs as a passing fad, a throwback to the 1990s along with the “soft grunge” trend. It seemed like surely something newer like Vine or Snapchat would replace GIFs. But all these years later, Vine is gone and the GIF is still with us.

Part of that success owes itself to web obsessives, who have built up an enormous inventory of GIF files to choose from. When you want to express dismay or joy or any other emotion, all you have to do is go to Tumblr, Giphy, or Tenor and you can find a ready-made loop. You can think of it as an expansive visual vocabulary built over the years.

And while newer formats might bring more options, Tumblr head of creative strategy David Hayes says that the GIF’s technical limitations are actually its strength, not its weakness. After all, artists have long used constraints to spur creativity. “The GIF has constraints that will continue to challenge people,” he says. “You have to make trade-offs with the file size, the frame rate, and the intensity of color.”

Instead of asking what’s next, Hayes says, perhaps we should ask whether the GIF is the end-point for visual language. Let’s give it another 30 years and see what happens.

 

I’M ADDICTED TO WATCHING ARCHIVE RAVE FOOTAGE ON THE INTERNET

Hi, my name is Louis Anderson-Rich and I am an archive rave addict.

Right, I see by the way your face has scrunched up that you don’t have a clue what I’m talking about so let me cut to the chase. Basically, like people who have been duped by Nigerian money scams, Yahoo Mail users and Bad Luck Brian, the Internet has sucked me in and fucked me over. Not in, like, a malicious way or anything but… The Internet is just such an addictive place isn’t it? And I have an addiction – I just can’t stop watching videos of old raves on the Internet.Image result for I'M ADDICTED TO WATCHING ARCHIVE RAVE FOOTAGE ON THE INTERNET

Whether it’s old episodes of The New Dance Show or videos of people losing it in a Doncaster warehouse, Sven Vath chewing his face off at Love Parade or Underground Resistance blowing people’s minds in 1992, I cannot fucking get enough. Just look at the sheer optimism in these videos. Here are people discovering dance music when it was a never-before-seen, cutting-edge youth revolution. And of course there’s all the sick 90s gear.

If I said “YouTube hole” to you, it might help you understand. We’ve all been trapped down one in the past, staring at a screen as if to see who blinks first. They’re characterised by recommended videos that are just too tasty to not click, and if you’ve told yourself “just one more Carpool Karaoke video” before inevitably missing your bus stop and cursing James Corden’s slimmed down face then you know what I’m talking about. But I’m at DEFCON 1 with this shit.

 

Blackstone warns of internet impact on US shopping malls

 

Blackstone, the world’s largest real estate investor, has warned that the outlook for America’s enclosed shopping malls is darkening quicker than experts expected as the growing online retail threat hammers their valuations.

More than 10 per cent of US retail sales are transacted online, according to Credit Suisse, forcing big chains to shutter thousands of stores in recent years. Retailers have announced plans to close 76m square feet of store space already this year, according to CoStar, a data provider, almost as much as that announced in the whole of 2016.

Retail woes are intensifying pressures on shopping malls, especially of the lower-end “enclosed” type in smaller American cities and towns, where tenants are moving out or demanding lower rents. The enclosed mall is the classic indoor commercial hub that emerged in the 1950s, rather than the malls built around an anchor grocery chain or department store.

“The retail industry is clearly facing headwinds. And it’s the first time we’ve seen secular rather than cyclical headwinds,” said Nadeem Meghji, head of North American real estate at Blackstone. “We’re now seeing pressures even on luxury retailers, which I didn’t expect to happen as fast as it has.”Image result for Blackstone warns of internet impact on US shopping malls

The market for second-tier enclosed malls has virtually frozen given how concerned investors are, but Mr Meghji estimated that in the past two years prices may have plunged as much as 40 per cent on average for the 1,100 enclosed regional malls in the US. Even for the top 50, prices have probably declined by 20 per cent, the Blackstone executive said.

The private equity firm’s $102bn real estate arm still owns some grocery shop-anchored malls in high-density population areas, but no longer has any exposure to the enclosed shopping mall sector.

“The internet has made the value proposition for a lot of shopping malls less relevant,” Mr Meghji said. “If you add in the factor that they actually tend to have higher operating costs due to security, electricity and so on, then they are high-cost rental spaces for retailers.”

However, Greg Maloney, chief executive for Americas retail at JLL, the real estate investment and management company, said the “doom and gloom” was overdone, pointing out that a retail property can be converted to alternative uses such as housing. He argued that overbuilding is the central challenge rather than internet shopping.

“People say the internet killed bricks-and-mortar retailers. But bricks and mortar killed itself,” he said. “People say they don’t know how we’ll survive, but we do it by adapting.”

Yet concerns about the march of online retailing are mounting in most parts of the retail industry. Sears, the department store chain founded in 1886, is emblematic of the challenges. In March it warned there was “substantial doubt” over its ability to continue operating, and its Canadian subsidiary filed for bankruptcy last month.

The US company managed to steady its shares with a fierce cost-cutting drive this year but many investors expect it to fall by the wayside. Given Sears’ long pedigree, that could deepen investor pessimism surrounding the industry, according to Larry Perkins, head of SierraConstellation Partners, a restructuring firm.

“The big names mark the tipping points, and everyone is now looking at Sears as it is such a marque name,” he said. “Its cultural significance is disproportionate, given its legacy and history.”

 

Google Play Music Offering 120-Day Free Subscription to New Subscribers

Google Play Music Offering 120-Day Free Subscription to New Subscribers

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Contrary to earlier, Google Play Music is now offering 120-day free trial
  • It includes offline downloading and listening to music online
  • However, there will be advertisements inside the Play Music app

Google is offering a four-month free subscription on its music streaming service Google Play Music for new subscribers, allowing users to scan up to 50,000 songs from their music library.

Typically, Google offers a 90-day free trial when a user signs up, but the offer has been extended by one month, AndroidPolice reported on Friday. The new special offer can be availed here.Image result for Google Play Music Offering 120-Day Free Subscription to New Subscribers

Users can listen to custom radio stations on their computer or mobile device using Google Play Music service. However, users who use the free service face ads on their app, unlike those subscribers who pay around $10 (roughly Rs. 645).

Such users can also listen to over 35 million songs, download music to listen offline, and get access to YouTube Red. Though Google has offered similar deals in the past, it was not clear how long the deal would remain active.

Google Play Music All Access was launched in India in April, priced at Rs. 99 per month. As an introductory offer, users were offered a 30-day free trial and a subscription fee of Rs. 89 per month.

In India, the entire music collection licensed by Google – about 35 million songs – is available for streaming or download for offline listening. Google’s offering is also cheaper than its biggest rival by volume of music, Apple Music, which comes in at Rs. 120 per month in India.

Written with inputs from IANS

Symantec Says 96 Percent of Indians at Risk While Using Public Wi-Fi Networks

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Consumers are unable to resist a strong, free Wi-Fi network
  • 73 percent of Indians will do or swap something for a strong Wi-Fi signal
  • 31 percent use public Wi-Fi for viewing explicit or suggestive content

A whopping 96 percent of Indians put personal information at risk while using public Wi-Fi for checking bank accounts, sharing personal photos and videos, a report by Norton by Symantec said on Tuesday.

According to the ‘Norton Wi-Fi Risk Report 2017’ by Symantec, consumers are unable to resist a strong, free Wi-Fi network and their online behaviour may be placing their personal information at risk.

“There is a deep divide between what people think is safe when it comes to using public Wi-Fi versus the reality,” said Ritesh Chopra, Country Manager, Consumer Business Unit, Symantec, in a statement.

 Symantec Says 96 Percent of Indians at Risk While Using Public Wi-Fi Networks

“What someone thinks are private on their personal device can easily be accessed by cyber criminals through unsecure Wi-Fi Networks or even apps with privacy vulnerabilities,” he added.

The report says that 73 percent of Indians will do or swap something for a strong Wi-Fi signal including watching a three minute advertisement (35 percent), to something as critical as allowing access to personal emails (19 percent), personal photographs (22 percent), online dating profiles (16 percent), contact lists (19 percent) and giving permission to access and even edit personal social media profiles (19 percent).

The survey also revealed that 31 percent Indians use public Wi-Fi for viewing explicit or suggestive contents, of which 44 percent admit to doing so at work and 49 percent in hotels.

The survey, which included more than 15,000 consumers in 15 countries, noted that almost half (48 percent) of Indian users have accessed Wi-Fi without the Wi-Fi network owner’s permission.

The report provides certain measures to ensure security over the web which includes using Virtual Private Network (VPN) and looking for ‘HTTPS’ (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) in the web addresses while visiting a website.