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Apple sends warning to looters: we track stolen gadgets

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Apple can track stolen iPhones (Twitter)

Apple stores in the US have become targets for looters in areas affected by riots following the death of George Floyd.

The tech company has made the decision to close some of its stores and has also issued a warning to anyone tempted to try and help themselves to some of its expensive gadgetry.

According to postings on social media, iPhones are loaded with special security tracking software that knows when the phone has been taken.

If taken, a message flashes up that reads: ‘This device has been disabled and is being tracked. Local authorities will be alerted.’

An image shared on social media shows an iPhone with the screen clearly saying ‘Please return to Apple Walnut Street.’

This message flashed up on a supposedly stolen iPhone (Credits: MailOnline)

This message flashed up on a supposedly stolen iPhone (Credits: MailOnline)

Both peaceful protests and rioting broke out in a number of US cities including Los Angeles, New York, Denver and Louisville.

Apple’s boss Tim Cook has responded to the death of George Floyd with a memo to employees in which he called it ‘senseless’.

The Apple Store in Los Angeles was targeted by looters (Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images)

The Apple Store in Los Angeles was targeted by looters (Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images)

He also explained what Apple will do to try and help the situation.

‘To stand together, we must stand up for one another, and recognize the fear, hurt, and outrage rightly provoked by the senseless killing of George Floyd and a much longer history of racism,’ he wrote in the memo, which was acquired in full by Fox.

‘That painful past is still present today – not only in the form of violence, but in the everyday experience of deeply rooted discrimination.

‘We see it in our criminal justice system, in the disproportionate toll of disease on Black and Brown communities, in the inequalities in neighborhood services and the educations our children receive.’

The Apple boss continued: ‘I have heard from so many of you that you feel afraid – afraid in your communities, afraid in your daily lives, and, most cruelly of all, afraid in your own skin. We can have no society worth celebrating unless we can guarantee freedom from fear for every person who gives this country their love, labor and life.

SAN JOSE, CA - JUNE 04: Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during the 2018 Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) at the San Jose Convention Center on June 4, 2018 in San Jose, California. The WWDC runs through June 8. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during the 2018 Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (Getty Images)

‘At Apple, our mission has and always will be to create technology that empowers people to change the world for the better. We’ve always drawn strength from our diversity, welcomed people from every walk of life to our stores around the world, and strived to build an Apple that is inclusive of everyone.

‘But together, we must do more. Today, Apple is making donations to a number of groups, including the Equal Justice Initiative, a non-profit committed to challenging racial injustice, ending mass incarceration, and protecting the human rights of the most vulnerable people in American society.’

He concluded: ‘With every breath we take, we must commit to being that change, and to creating a better, more just world for everyone.’



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Why You Should Remove Xiaomi’s Default MIUI Cleaner App?

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Two weeks ago, India banned 59 Chinese apps, citing that they “pose a threat to sovereignty and security of our country.” The list includes some of the most downloaded Android and iOS apps such as TikTok, UC Browser, ShareIT, and the app that concerns Xiaomi users — Clean Master by Cheetah Mobile.

The Indian government said Clean Master and other Chinese apps have been “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India.”

Clean Master, as the name suggests, is a cleaner app that promises to clear the junk files on the device and boost performance. Although Android cleaners ironically work against the device (more on this below), the bigger problem with Clean Master is that it is owned by Cheetah Mobile. Cheetah Mobile has been under the radar of privacy experts long before India noticed suspicious activity around its apps. The Chinese company has previously been caught in ad fraud and user data theft.

While CleanMaster has been removed from the Google Play Store and App Store in India, it is still being pushed as a default cleaner app in Xiaomi, one of the biggest smartphone manufacturers in India.

How to remove Xiaomi’s MIUI Cleaner app?

All Xiaomi and Redmi devices come with a cleaner app pre-installed known as MIUI Cleaner app. If you go into the app settings, you will notice that the app uses the Clean Master definition. Apart from that, the app brings up “Cheetah Mobile” a number of times in its privacy policy.

Unfortunately, Xiaomi doesn’t allow users to uninstall or even disable several default apps (also known as Bloatware), and one of them is MIUI Cleaner app. But here is a workaround to remove MIUI Cleaner app —

Prerequisite:
A Windows PC
USB cable to connect the device to the PC
USB debugging turned on the Xiaomi device

  • Connect your Xiaomi device to PC using the USB cable
  • Allow the USB debugging prompt on your device
    USB debugging Android Prompt
  • Download and extract ADB tools
  • Go to the extracted folder. Right-Click and choose “Open PowerShell Window here”
    How to use ADB tools
  • Type in the command “adb devices” and hit Enter
    ADB tools for deleting android apps
  • You will now see a number and “device” under the list of devices attached
  • Type in the command “adb shell,” press enter, then type, “pm uninstall –k —user 0 com.miui.cleanmaster” and hit Enter.
  • Remove the USB cable and restart your Xiaomi device

And that’s it, this process will remove MIUI Cleaner app. It is a universal process to remove pre-installed apps on any Android device. In other words, you can follow the same method if you have a Realme, Oppo, or any other Chinese smartphone.

Previously, Mi browser was accused of collecting data from users. You can use this method to remove the Mi browser or any default apps. What you need is the app’s package name and insert it in the “pm uninstall –k —user 0 <app package>” command. Use App Inspector to find out the exact name of the app.

Alternatives to Xiaomi MIUI Clearer

Over the years, Android has become extremely efficient in handling apps and background services. It intelligently allocates resources to apps and pauses apps that are not being used frequently. Most cleaner apps offer a performance boost which is simply force-quitting all background apps. While it may give a performance jump, it can create problems with Android’s way of doing things.

The only useful feature of a cleaner app is allowing users to delete unwanted apps and data under one roof. However, in return, it may collect user data. That being said, if you still want a cleaner app, you can start with SDMaid which does a pretty good job and keeps your data secure. Alternatively, you can also choose from our best cleaner apps list.

The post Why You Should Remove Xiaomi’s Default MIUI Cleaner App? appeared first on Fossbytes.



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Another big Galaxy Z Fold 2 leak spoils the phone’s specs

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  • Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 2 specifications and features have leaked once again in a comprehensive report from Korean tech news site ETNews.
  • According to the report, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 will feature a 7.7-inch AMOLED display inside the fold and a 6.23-inch AMOLED Cover Display on the outside.
  • Samsung will hold its next Galaxy Unpacked event on August 5th.

On July 7th, Samsung sent out invitations to its virtual Galaxy Unpacked event, which take place on August 5th and feature their “latest ecosystem of Galaxy devices.” Rumors and reports that have popped up over the last few months led us to believe that the “ecosystem” would include a Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Z Flip 5G, and Galaxy Z Fold 2, but it’s now being reported that the sequel to the Galaxy Fold could be delayed. Regardless, that hasn’t stopped the internet from attempting to spoil every last feature and specification of the foldable phone.

A recent report from South Korea’s ETNews claims the Galaxy Z Fold 2 (which is rumored to be the rebranded name of the phone that will follow the Galaxy Fold) will feature a 7.7-inch Youm On-Cell Touch AMOLED (Y-OCTA) display with a refresh rate of 120Hz and the same Ultra-Thin Glass found on the Galaxy Z Flip.

This isn’t the first time that we’ve heard about an even larger display for the Fold 2, but the leak doesn’t end there.

According to ETNews, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 will also feature a 6.23-inch Cover Display (a significant upgrade from the 4.6-inch outer screen of the original) and a biometric fingerprint scanner mounted on the side. As for the cameras, the Z Fold 2 is said to have two 10-megapixel selfie cameras — one on the inside and one on the outside — as well as a rear-facing triple-lens camera array. The primary array features a 12-megapixel camera with a wide-angle lens, a 12-megapixel camera with an ultra wide-angle lens, and a 64-megapixel telephoto camera.

As SamMobile notes, if this report is accurate, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 will have the same setup as the Galaxy S20.

As for battery power, ETNews says that the Z Fold 2 will support 15W fast wireless charging as well as 15W reverse wireless charging (which is when you charge another device with your phone). Previous reports have suggested that Samsung will put both a 2,090 mAh battery and a 2,275 mAh battery inside the Galaxy Z Fold 2, giving the phone a total battery capacity of 4,365 mAh. We also expect the phone to feature a Snapdragon 865+ processor, 12GB of RAM, support for 5G networks, and up to 256GB of storage. At this point, there’s very little we don’t know.

We still do not know when an official announcement from Samsung will arrive, but August 5th is still weeks away, so perhaps the company will sort out any issues and reveal the Galaxy Z Fold 2 at the Unpacked event.



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Government dumps Huawei from UK’s 5G network in massive U-turn

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The logo of Chinese company Huawei is on view at their main UK offices in Reading, west of London (Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP via Getty Images)

Huawei has been denied access to the UK’s 5G telecoms network just six months after it was given the all-clear by the government.

The dramatic u-turn was announced today following mounting pressure on Boris Johnson’s cabinet not to include the Chinese tech giant in Britain’s infrastructure.

In January the government said that Huawei could supply up to 35% of the equipment for the UK’s 5G plans but would be kept out of the core network.

But now it has been made clear the company will not be allowed to install any equipment at all from next year.

Oliver Dowden, the culture secretary, told MPs that the government will now no longer allow Huawei to supply kit for use in 5G networks operated by the likes of BT, O2 and Three.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr. Dowden said that telecoms operators will not be allowed to buy equipment from Huawei from the end of the year and that a complete removal of all Huawei kit will take place by 2027.

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‘5G will be transformative for our country, but only if we have confidence in the security and resilience of the infrastructure it is built upon,’ he said.

‘Following US sanctions against Huawei and updated technical advice from our cyber experts, the government has decided it is necessary to ban Huawei from our 5G networks. 

‘No new kit is to be added from January 2021, and UK 5G networks will be Huawei free by the end of 2027. This decisive move provides the industry with the clarity and certainty it needs to get on with delivering 5G across the UK.

‘By the time of the next election we will have implemented in law an irreversible path for the complete removal of Huawei equipment from our 5G networks.’

‘This has not been an easy decision, but it is the right one for the UK telecoms networks, for our national security and our economy, both now and indeed in the long run,’ he told MPs.

The decision comes after the United States moved to impose further sanctions on Huawei, which it believes is a tool for espionage used by the Chinese government. Last month the US Federal Communications Commission branded Huawei a threat to ‘national security.’

Huawei has long denied the accusations from the Trump administration but the latest round of US sanctions have had consequences. Huawei is no longer allowed to use American-made processor chips, forcing it to look elsewhere.

This, in turn, led the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to launch a review of the company’s involvement in national networks.

Technical experts at the NCSC reviewed the consequences of the sanctions and concluded Huawei will need to do a major reconfiguration of its supply chain as it will no longer have access to the technology on which it currently relies and there are no alternatives which it has ‘sufficient confidence’ in.

They found the new restrictions make it impossible to continue to guarantee the security of Huawei equipment in the future. 

Ed Brewster, a spokesperson for Huawei UK, said: ‘This disappointing decision is bad news for anyone in the UK with a mobile phone. It threatens to move Britain into the digital slow lane, push up bills and deepen the digital divide. Instead of ‘levelling up’ the government is levelling down and we urge them to reconsider. We remain confident that the new US restrictions would not have affected the resilience or security of the products we supply to the UK.

‘Regrettably our future in the UK has become politicized, this is about US trade policy and not security. Over the past 20 years, Huawei has focused on building a better connected UK. As a responsible business, we will continue to support our customers as we have always done.

‘We will conduct a detailed review of what today’s announcement means for our business here and will work with the UK government to explain how we can continue to contribute to a better connected Britain.’



The debate around Huawei

A woman walks by a Huawei retail store in Beijing. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

A woman walks by a Huawei retail store in Beijing (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

Here is a look at the key issues in the debate around Huawei.

What is Huawei?

Huawei is the Chinese telecoms giant which describes itself as a private company ‘fully owned by its employees’.

In recent years, its range of smartphones have become commonplace across the UK, and it is now established as one of the biggest smartphone manufacturers in the world, alongside Apple and Samsung.

In addition to making mobile devices, the firm also makes telecommunications networks.

Why is the company controversial?

Huawei has come under criticism over its alleged close ties to the Chinese state.

The country has a history of state censorship and surveillance, such as the ‘Great Firewall of China’ which blocks multiple internet services in the country and, under Chinese law, firms can be compelled to ‘support, co-operate with and collaborate in national intelligence work’.

As a result, critics of Huawei have expressed concerns that Beijing could require the firm to install technological ‘back doors’ to enable it to spy on or disrupt Britain’s communications network.

The US is a strong critic of the firm and last year President Donald Trump added Huawei to the Entity List, effectively blacklisting the firm and preventing it from trading with US companies.

Consequently, Huawei has not been able to use core Google apps on its newest smartphones as part of the Android operating system it uses to power the devices.

However the firm has always denied any suggestions of close links with the Chinese state or that it has ever been asked by Chinese authorities to help spy on others, insisting it fully abides by the laws of each country in which it operates.

How is it linked to 5G?

As well as its smartphone business, Huawei is one of the market leaders in telecoms infrastructure equipment, including that for 5G.

The next generation of mobile data communications, 5G has been rolling out to areas of the UK for the last year.

The new networks allow for larger amounts of data to be transferred at once, which could one day power new technologies such as autonomous car networks and remote surgery where specialist surgeons cannot reach a hospital physically.

As a result, a great deal of debate among telecoms firms and governments is ongoing over how to secure such a data-sensitive network, which has led to the scrutiny of Huawei.

Earlier today, former BP chief Lord Browne stepped down as the chairman of Huawei UK six months before his tenure was due to end.

‘The UK has had a very long relationship with China and I hope it’s not one that they simply throw away,’ he told Reuters last week.

A Huawei spokesperson said: ‘When Lord Browne became Chairman of Huawei UK’s board of directors in 2015, he brought with him a wealth of experience which has proved vital in ensuring Huawei’s commitment to corporate governance in the UK. He has been central to our commitment here dating back 20 years, and we thank him for his valuable contribution.’

Engineers from EE the wireless network provider, owned by BT Group Plc, check on 5G masts and Huawei Technologies Co. 5G equipment undergoing trials in the City of London, U.K., on Friday, March 15, 2019. Europe would fall behind the U.S. and China in the race to install the next generation of wireless networks if governments ban Chinese equipment supplier Huawei Technologies Co. over security fears, according to an internal assessment by Deutsche Telekom AG. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Engineers from EE the wireless network provider, owned by BT Group Plc, check on 5G masts and Huawei Technologies Co. 5G equipment undergoing trials in the City of London, U.K., on Friday, March 15, 2019 (Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Earlier this month, executives from Vodafone and BT told the Science and Technology Select Committee they would need at least five years to completely remove the Chinese firm’s equipment without causing disruption which could cause signal blackouts for several days.

‘Should the guidance become stricter it will have an effect, it will delay the rollout of our 5G, it will have cost implications and focus our investment in the removal of the existing equipment,’ Andrea Dona, Vodafone UK’s head of networks said.

According to Huawei, it employs about 1,600 people in the UK says it is one of the largest investments in Britain from China.

It doesn’t have publicly traded shares and it doesn’t provide any kind of regional breakdown of its revenue. However, it said that despite the US sanctions and the coronavirus pandemic it achieved a 13% rise in sales for the first half of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, totalling 454 billion yuan or £51.3 billion.

Huawei is also expecting similar decisions to be made by Germany later this year.

Meng Wanzhou, the company’s chief financial officer and daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, is currently under house arrest in Canada, in an extradition trial that could result in her being sent to the US to face charges that include bank fraud and a violation of trade sanctions.



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