Should you care about the BlackBerry Key2?

BlackBerry might not be making its own handsets anymore, but its parent TCL has released yet another BlackBerry – Android crossover, called the BlackBerry Key2. Or, as New Atlas calls it, an “otherwise unremarkable handset running Android 8.1”  Key2’s only claim to fame is that it has the classic BlackBerry QWERTY keyboard. If you’re interested in a physical keyboard on your smartphone, here is what New Atlas thought about the device. New Atlas states “Any appraisal of the Key2 really has to focus on that physical keyboard down at the bottom.” If the device’s best feature is the keyboard, is

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Facebook bringing Canadian children their own Messenger app

According to The Vancouver Sun, Facebook is bringing the adolescent version of its popular Messenger app to children in Canada. The app has proved controversial in the United States since it launched last year, with health experts worrying continued exposure to “digital devices and social media is harmful to young people.” Messenger Kids is an app which allows kids too young for a Facebook account – which means under thirteen years old – to video call and message with selected contacts. Parents can control the contacts their children access, and messages cannot be hidden or deleted. As The Vancouver Sun

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Switching wireless plans might mean having your credit checked

There always seems to be strings attached when it comes to your wireless plan. Perhaps one of the most frustrating is having your carrier perform a credit check. Now, some consumers are upset that they are being subjected to this process. Sprint customer Steve McLeod of Clearwater, Florida told WZZM13 and ABC news channel that he was surprised when he tried to sign up for Sprint’s Kickstart Unlimited plan, that the carrier would not allow him to join until he gave them permission “to get a full copy of his credit report.” As WZZM13 explains, this “detailed inquiry, often called

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Payfone and Enstream team up to eliminate passwords for good

Enstream (a Canadian telecom coalition) and Payfone  (the world’s “leading digital identity authentication company”) are partnering to “eliminate passwords, simplify login, and enhance online security and privacy,” according to Canada Newswire. EnStream is a joint venture between Canada’s leading telecom companies, and it will be working with Payfone to create the future of mobile-based authentication services that aims to increase “convenience for consumers without sacrificing security and privacy.” On June 18th, Payfone CEO Rodger Desai said in his announcement of the partnership that, “Consumers have too many passwords, or re-use the ones they have too many times, increasing the risk

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Is the digital divide narrowing in the United States?

The United States government – via the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), a division of the US Department of Commerce – has recently released a report making the claim that the digital divide within the country is narrowing. The NTIA came to this conclusion after surveying users across the United States. The NTIA’s report found some interesting statistics, such as the fact that, of people surveyed, “more had a mobile data plan than wired broadband service in 2017.”  And, “for users living in households with family incomes below $25,000 per year, internet usage increased to 62% from 57% in

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iOS 12 will share your location with first responders when you call 911

If you’re an iPhone user, the upcoming iOS 12 has a safety feature you might be interested in. If you’re ever in trouble and call 911, Apple has announced that your phone will automatically share its location data with first responders. According to CNET, this feature has been in the works since 2015 when Apple launched HELO, or Hybridized Emergency Location. HELO “uses a combination of cell data, GPS data and Wi-Fi access points to estimate the caller’s whereabouts.” The technology available via iOS 12 is called RapidSOS, and will securely share HELO data with 911 operators. Apple has promised

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Your Contacts Are Now Safe With Apple

According to a recent report from Bloomberg, Apple has changed the way its app developers gather, use, and share information about a user’s contacts.  If you have ever downloaded an app from the App Store, you might know that some developers will ask you to share your contacts. This information is typically used for information, marketing, or sold without the permission of the contact themselves. According to CNET, “the new App Store Review Guidelines prohibit developers from making databases with information taken from iPhone owners’ contacts, and restrict them from sharing such a database with third parties, or selling it.

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Android users are vulnerable to these scams

Every minute, twenty three American Android users will access a malicious URL. These are the statistics from Q1 of 2018 according to a report from PSafe’s dfndr lab, which analyzed 200 million digital files from more than 21 million active users of its security application. According to Tech.Co these URLs include “fake virus alerts to phony dating sites, [and] new Android scams.” Tech.Co put together a list of which scams Android users are most likely to fall for, based on the data PSafe released. If you’re an Android user, from the United States or elsewhere, keep an eye out for

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Yahoo! Messenger is officially a thing of the past

As of July 17th, 2018, Yahoo! Messenger – a twenty year-old instant messaging service – will cease to exist. According to SlashGear, the company will be scrapping the service in favour of a new medium that “better fits consumer needs.” If you were on the web in 1998, you might remember Yahoo Messenger as Yahoo! Pager. It offered an instant messaging, file transfer, and chat room platform to its users. But with services like Facebook Messenger, iMessage, Snapchat, Whatsapp, and countless others, Yahoo Messenger has become quite antiquated. This was obvious as early as 2016, when Yahoo dropped desktop support

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Online genealogy researchers may find their data has been exposed

Plenty of social media sites fall prey to data breaches. Recently, another victim has emerged. According to The Seattle Times, leading geneology and DNA-testing company, My Heritage, “disclosed that a researcher had found on a private server the email addresses and hashed passwords of every customer that had signed up for its service.” MyHeritage broke the news on Monday in a blog post, where it stated that the leak included 92 million accounts. The breach occurred on October 26th, 2017 – an entire seven months ago – and all accounts created before then are presumably at risk. “There has been

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