Telegram breaks another record! It has been downloaded and installed on smartphones more than a billion times

Telegram has reached a new record and this time it has done so in the Android platform and in its PlayStore that is the virtual store where all users can download applications. In this case that the application has passed for the first time a milestone that few other applications have reached this Russian during their life and we are talking about the download record on the Google PlayStore.

As reported directly on the Google PlayStore card, Telegram has been downloaded and installed on smartphones for more than a billion times. A staggering figure that few other applications have ever reached in the history of Android and which has certainly also been allowed by the latest downs of Facebook and WhatsApp.

But that’s not the only reason: Telegram over the years has been a shovel of many that no one had been able to formulate messaging in a simple application now. And if everyone has their preferences for the messaging system, it is clear that the functionalities that observe Telegram have not passed, indeed they are precisely those that have resulted in the success that the app has today. We speak clearly of the possibility of creating channels where to send messages to real communities of users, use stickers, customized or even created directly on the portal and then a user friendly aspect that over the years has improved in usability allowing anyone to use chats in fast and safe way.

And we remember, a story of a few weeks ago, as just with the down of Facebook and WhatsApp, Telegram has managed in a few hours to obtain the beauty of over 70 million new users. In short, a success that has no limits, just like the features that the app has and that are coming in the future.

Battlefield 2042, the beta version available from today in preload

Battlefield 2042 is one of the best shooting games. The release of the video game is approaching, but in the meantime the beta is upon us, with the possibility of preloading already yesterday on PC and consoles and the opening of the new trial version scheduled for today, Wednesday 6 October 2021. After many uncertainties and rumors, the beta and preload dates have been officially announced by EA and the early download is available on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X | S. Let’s say that it is not really a feature that smells of realism, but the series has never wanted to be too fiscal under the simulation aspect and certainly will not change its philosophy with Battlefield 2042. (IGN ITALY) Well, on the technical front, the PlayStation 5 version promises well with its 2160p that seems effective (even if some reconstruction technique has been used is not noticeable at all) and a fairly solid frame rate. We must always consider that this is the open beta version, therefore not indicative of the final quality of the game, but already seen in this way, with very high PC settings, it makes a good impression at 4K and 60 fps.

Google Chrome, immediately update the browser, fixed two flaws in the new version

For the second time in a few days, Google has updated the Chrome browser to fix security issues that are actively exploited by attackers. It is therefore advisable to update Chrome on Windows, Mac and Linux to version 94.0.4606.71, which you can do immediately by typing in the URL bar “chrome: // settings / help” (without quotes), otherwise the update will be automatically distributed during the course of the next days / weeks.

The browser update contains a total of four security fixes, including two patches for 0-day vulnerabilities. “Google is aware that there are exploits for CVE-2021-37975 and CVE-2021-37976,” the company writes on its Chrome build blog.

In the first case it is a high severity flaw that refers to a Use-After-Free (UAF) vulnerability in the V8 JavaScript engine; The second “hole”, of medium danger, is described as a “leak of information in the core”, unearthed by Google’s Threat Analysis Group (TAG) with the assistance of researchers from Google Project Zero. With these two vulnerabilities, Google has fixed 12 Chrome 0-day flaws since the beginning of the year.

WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram restart after 7 hours. How much the longest “down” in history cost

The repercussions have not only been on the nerves but also economically and politically around the world. Companies accustomed, from India to Brazil, to receiving orders and making deliveries by communicating through Facebook have suddenly stopped. Bloomberg estimates that the global economic loss was $ 160 million for every hour of digital disruption.

It took nearly seven hours to partially and slowly get back online. Not exactly a day to frame, Monday 4 October, for Mark Zuckerberg’s galaxy. First the words of Frances Haugen, the former manager who delivered internal research to lawmakers and the Wall Street Journal on how the social network manages content and risks for users. Then the downtime of all the sites and services that also involved the same Menlo Park employees with phones and badges out of order. Around midnight, a tweet from the group Zuck founded apologized for the “inconveniences.”

Even Zuckerberg himself, through his Facebook profile, apologized: «Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger are coming back online now. I’m sorry for today’s interruption – I know how much you rely on our services to stay in touch with the people you care about, “wrote the founder of the social network par excellence. Shortly before midnight the first signs of recovery for Facebook and Instagram, while for Whatsapp only for a few seconds. As a Facebook spokesperson quoted by the New York Times reported, the services are coming back online, but he warned that it will take some time for them to stabilize. The fact remains that, as the downdetector that monitors digital disruptions reports, this is the largest breakdown ever recorded by the site.

Since shortly after 5.30 pm WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram have not worked, or have worked in fits and starts, in various parts of the world, including Italy. And the hashtags #WhatsAppDown, #FacebookDown and #InstagramDown began to climb the twitter rankings, quickly reaching the top. Within a few minutes, the joke and irony competition also started, where Jack Dorsey also intervened.

It would be an incorrect configuration of the Facebook servers, therefore an internal error, the cause of the total downtime of the social network and of the WhatsApp and Instagram apps. This was reported by the New York Times which collected the explanation of John Graham-Cumming, chief technology officer of Cloudflare, a web infrastructure company. The premise is that computers convert websites such as Facebook.com into numerical addresses (IP), through a system that the expert compares to the address book of a telephone.

Bill Gates teases Bezos and Musk: ‘Space? There is still a lot to do on Earth ‘

“Space? We have a lot to do here on Earth”, were the words of Bill Gates in response to a question from James Corden during the last interview. Corden questioned the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft about some billionaires’ interest in space travel, but it seems Gates is more interested in getting rid of diseases like malaria and HIV before thinking about building life on other planets.

Bill Gates

“I’ve become obsessed with things like malaria and HIV and getting rid of those diseases, and I’ve gotten to bore people at parties by just talking to them about diseases,” Gates said. The interview was conducted via Zoom as part of a special “Climate Night” edition of the “Late Late Show with James Corden” on Wednesday. During the interview, the comedian thanked Gates for “being the only billionaire who is not trying to escape from Earth in a spaceship”.

Gates’ comment comes at a time when Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are wasting much of their efforts to expand man’s presence in space. SpaceX has completed the first in-orbit mission composed exclusively of civilians, Inspiration4, Bezos and Richard Branson have made the first flights into space inside their respective private aircraft. But what does space have to do with climate problems on Earth?
Gates teases Musk and Bezos: it is better to fight malaria and HIV on Earth than to travel to space

In reality, there is a strong connection: both Bezos and Musk intend to use the consequences in space to compensate for the problems of climate change on Earth. Musk in this case plans to colonize Mars, Bezos wants to mobilize high-pollution industries on other planets. All in a context of strong opposition: in recent days, for example, the United Nations Secretary General António Guterres has criticized the huge expenses made for space travel, while “millions meet fame on Earth”.

Jeff Bezos

Both Bezos and Musk have responded in the past to strong criticism of what may appear to be billionaire whims. Bezos partly agrees with the opponents, but also stated that “we have to do both”: “We have many problems here on earth, we have to work on those but we also have to look to the future, we have always done it as a species and as a civilization” , her words.

Elon Musk

Musk has never traveled to space, at least until today, but he was critical of his SpaceX. His comment on this can be found in a Netflix documentary on Inspiration4: “I think we spend the vast amount of our resources to solve problems on Earth. For example, 99% of our economy should be dedicated to solving problems on Earth. But I also believe it is worth investing at least 1%, or even less than 1%, for life beyond the Earth. “

On the other hand, the equally billionaire Gates has shown a radical approach: years with the Gates Foundation he invests hundreds of millions of dollars in public health, risking to fight malaria and HIV, or even fighting diseases for equity on the anti covid-19 vaccine. .

Android, ‘billions’ of more secure devices within a few months: here’s how Google will do it

Google has announced a very important change regarding the privacy protection of users who are still using devices that are no longer supported by Nino Grasso published on 20 September 2021, at 11:31 am in the Telephony channel GoogleAndroid Google recently announced that it will implement a new privacy protection feature not only on the latest terminals, but also on older devices that are no longer supported. The feature, which will be integrated on “billions of devices” by the end of the year, allows you to automatically restore the permissions of apps that have not been used for months. In this way, the apps installed on smartphones and tablets will no longer have permission to access sensitive device functions (microphones, storage units, geolocation and much more) unless the user chooses to reactivate the permissions following the request. of the same app. The novelty will be implemented on all devices with Android 6.0 (API level 23) or later, and which have Google Play Services installed, up to devices with Android 10 (API level 29). Google explained that “starting from December 2021 the feature will be expanded to billions of devices”, and that it will be “automatically enabled” on all eligible models based on the specifications we have reported above. On these devices, users will be able to access the new settings on automatic permissions reset and enable or disable the feature on the basis of each individual app: “The system will automatically begin to reset the permissions of apps that are no longer used a few weeks after the feature is launched on the device “, explains Big G. Automatic reset of permissions on Android apps, what you need to know The automatic restoration of permissions on Android will be enabled automatically starting in December, with the distribution of the news that will go on until the first quarter of 2022 and should be completed by the second quarter. The new APIs of the “auto-reset” function have already been released to developers in Beta for a few days, and will be proposed – according to current plans – in a “stable” version starting from October. The automatic restoration of permissions on older devices is certainly a welcome change to improve the security of an obsolete device that could contain sensitive data in a minimally invasive way. Google is increasingly trying to tackle the problem – one of the oldest – of its mobile operating system, and in July it had begun to warn users of devices with Gingerbread and below (2.3.7) that they would no longer have access to their own. Google account. Android is now installed on over 3 billion devices around the world, at least based on data released by Google itself during the last Google I / O conference. Securing all Android 6 smartphones, which was released in late 2015, and later, may seem like an impossible task to complete, especially considering that older models are probably no longer supported by their respective manufacturers for some time. Google’s latest move is to eliminate security problems with these devices, or at least reduce them as much as possible.

SpaceX sends four civilians into orbit. The Inspiration4 mission has started

The SpaceX mission “Inspiration4”, the first space mission with a crew of only four private citizens without any previous astronaut training, started in the Italian night. For the next three days, the four “civilians” aboard the Crew Dragon will travel in low earth orbit, flying over 90% of the inhabited land of planet Earth

The Insiration4 space mission, the first in the world entirely civilized by SpaceX, left at 8 pm (2 am in Italy). On board the Crew Dragon “Resilience” that now orbits over our heads, in fact, there are four people who have never carried out any specific training as an astronaut, other than that given by SpaceX in view of the mission. Of the four people on board, only one is a billionaire, the venture’s financier Jared Isaacman. The other three are “normal” people (at least by the standards that astronauts have accustomed us to): geoscientist Sian Proctor, engineer Christopher Sembroski and Dr. Hayley Arceneaux (the first person in space with a prosthesis). Each of the four crew members was assigned a call sign for communications during the mission: “Rook” for Isaacman, “Leo” for Proctor, “Nova” for Arcenaux and “Hanks” for Sembroski “Hanks”.

Inspiration4 has left Earth from Kennedy Space Center’s historic Launch Complex 39A, the embarkation point for the Apollo and Space Shuttle missions, and for the next three days it will travel overhead flying in low Earth orbit, possibly even higher. of the International Space Station (which is about 390 kilometers high). The four crew members were selected by SpaceX on the basis of four different human characteristics that well represent the spirit with which the earthlings are facing the future of space exploration: leadership, prosperity, generosity and hope.

The mission’s goal is completely new in the space exploration landscape: not scientific research but charity. In fact, the purpose of Inspiration4 is to raise 200 million in funds for childhood cancer research conducted by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, one of the most advanced centers in the world. Anyone can somehow “finance” this space mission by sending their donation. Beyond the nice gesture, SpaceX revolutionizes space once again, no longer a frontier, but an absolutely familiar place for both those who leave and those who remain on the ground, which can feel much more involved in the new space age of humanity than it is. it could do so earlier with missions run by state space agencies.

Russia tightens control over the internet as elections approach

As the legislative elections that will be held between 17 and 19 September approach, Russia is increasing its control over the internet, as recent news shows. The last move in chronological order passes through a court.

On September 14, the Russian court in Tagansky imposed fines on operators of social networks and messaging apps for not deleting content that Moscow deems illegal, such as references to an app linked to the opponent of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Alexei Navalny, now in jail. The penalties amount to 21 million rubles ($ 287,850) and have hit Facebook, Twitter and Telegram.
Against the “smart vote”

Russia previously accused Google and Apple of election interference because they refused to remove the same app, called Navalny, from their stores. The application is an attempt to catalyze the “smart voting” of the opposition by suggesting which independent candidates have the best chance of winning in each election. Google would also be asked to ban references to the phrase “smart vote” in its search engine.

In Russia in the next few days 450 members of the lower house, the Duma, will be elected, as well as various local representatives. Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party currently holds 334 seats in the Duma, but the president’s popularity is waning.
The blocking of the network

The site dedicated to “smart voting” has been blacked out in recent days and the authorities are trying to make it unreachable in every way. The Russian telecommunications giant Rostelecom, the country’s main provider of digital services, has asked its subsidiaries in a letter to ban access to Google’s DNS servers and Cloudflare. Dns are databases of websites that allow you to bypass any domain blocks in some parts of the world.

The news circulated when the letter from Rostelecom appeared on the Telegram channel ZaTelecom. The authenticity of the note was then confirmed to the Russian media Rbk by a representative of the company. The official goal of this novelty would be to “organize stable internet access”. In practice, this is another way to prevent the bypassing of blocks on sites and apps that are banned from Moscow

WhatsApp under indictment, chats are not as secret as Facebook says

Conversations on WhatsApp are protected by end-to-end encryption, as are most of the shared items. However, according to a new long article written by ProPublica, not all messages exchanged on the client, now owned by Facebook, are safe from prying eyes. Facebook or third-party consultants hired by the company, in fact, can read some extracts of the conversations that take place on the platform.

The heavy accusation is brought by the source through a long article that reads how Facebook has been sponsoring for years the use of end-to-end encryption on WhatsApp as a fundamental tool to keep any data exchange that takes place on the service safe. Despite this, the company can gain access to certain parts of the conversation, and ProPublica can say this based on observations made of about a thousand firm’s contract consultants who have reviewed millions of data.
WhatsApp, the accusation: contractors paid to read parts of conversations

These contractors have access to a dedicated Facebook software that is used to monitor private messages on WhatsApp, images and videos, which have been reported by other users: “These contractors have the task of analyzing everything that is displayed on their screen – statements about anything like fraud, spam or child pornography, or even potential terrorist plots – in less than a minute, “an excerpt from the report reads.

It should be noted that the contractors do not have the possibility to read the conversations of the users in full, but only the last five lines of a one-to-one conversation that has been reported by one of the two participants. This modus operandi is also indicated on the client itself when trying to report a conversation as inappropriate. The workers contracted by Facebook to monitor WhatsApp conversations operate in Austin, Dublin, Singapore and Texas, and carry out the monitoring activity as the sole task for the giant of Menlo Park.

If on the one hand it is true that consultants paid by Facebook can access parts of the conversations, on the other hand it is also true that these are sensitive chats reported as inappropriate and potentially dangerous by users. This could clash with the “pro-privacy” narrative spread by Facebook regarding the fact that the company cannot in any way access the contents of the chats due to end-to-end encryption, but in this case the purpose is to make secure conversations for all users.

Carl Woog, communications director for WhatsApp, admitted that the different contractors also have the ability to identify and remove the “worst” abusers. The same monitoring is also done on Facebook and Instagram, since Artificial Intelligence alone cannot be 100% effective to protect the most defenseless users from inappropriate, dangerous or even annoying content.

Facebook promptly responded to the accusations made by ProPublica, and below is an excerpt from the note released:

"We have developed WhatsApp to limit the data we collect to obtain spam and threat prevention tools, thus being able to remove abusive users, even based on the reports we receive from users. This work requires extraordinary effort. from our security experts and the trusted teams we employ, who work tirelessly to help us provide the world with secure private communication. "

The company also specified that “based on the feedback received from users, we are sure that people understand that when a conversation is reported to us, we receive an extract from it to be able to analyze it”.