China’s Quiet Experiment Let Millions View Long-Banned Websites

(Bloomberg) — In a quiet experiment of just two weeks, China provided millions of people access to long-forbidden foreign websites like YouTube and Instagram. The trial appears to signal the Communist government is moving toward giving the country’s citizens greater access to the global internet — while still attempting to control who sees what.



a person wearing a hat: An attendee uses her smartphone ahead of the keynote speech at Tencent Holdings Ltd.'s WeChat Open Class Pro conference in Guangzhou, China, on Monday, Jan. 15, 2018.


© Bloomberg
An attendee uses her smartphone ahead of the keynote speech at Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s WeChat Open Class Pro conference in Guangzhou, China, on Monday, Jan. 15, 2018.

The Tuber browser-app, backed by government-linked 360 Security Technology Inc., appeared without fanfare late September and offered for the first time in years a way to view long-banned websites from Facebook Inc. to Google and the New York Times, albeit sanitized versions. Chinese users rejoiced in a newfound ability to directly peruse long-blocked content from a mobile browser without an illegal virtual private network or VPN.

Loading...

Load

Read More

New Nationwide Program Offering Phones to Millions of Low-Income Americans

Millions of Americans on low-income, including those receiving unemployment benefits amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, may qualify to receive a free smartphone, in addition to free cell service, under a new government partnership with TruConnect, a nationwide wireless service provider.

TruConnect has partnered with Lifeline, a government program offering affordable wireless service to low-income customers launched by President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, which most Americans don’t know about, according to the co-founder and chief executive officer of TruConnect, Matthew Johnson.

TruConnect’s free service includes “talk, text, and 3GB of data each month plus free international calling to select countries. You may even qualify for a free 5″ LTE Android smartphone,” the company website states.

Johnson told California’s KTLA: “Currently, there are roughly 30 to 40 million people who don’t have access to high-speed internet and that’s only increased recently with the issues due to COVID-19.

“Across the U.S., the

Read More

Pandemic Pushes Millions Of Shoppers Online In Latin America

Latin America’s e-commerce industry is booming as millions of shoppers across the region venture online during the pandemic, many for the first time, forcing traditional businesses to adapt to survive.

The sector has been one of the big winners of the coronavirus outbreak as fears of infection and lockdown measures keep people at home.

“Covid-19 has been an accelerator of trends, and in electronic commerce it has been very powerful,” said Oscar Silva, an expert in global strategies with the consultancy firm KPMG in Mexico.

“More than 10 million Latin Americans who had never bought online now do so regularly,” he told AFP.

The dominant regional force is not Amazon or eBay but Mercado Libre, which has a similar business model and is present in 18 countries.

Despite the economic turmoil unleashed by the pandemic, the Argentinian company doubled its sales in the second quarter of this year thanks to

Read More

Serious Google Photos Problem Impacts Millions Of Users

Google Photos is a great place to keep a backup of all your smartphone pictures, but some Samsung users have recently discovered that the service can no-longer be trusted to keep their images safe.

MORE FROM FORBESGoogle’s Pixel Smartphones Have Serious New Problems

According to a report by Android Police, images created in Samsung’s Motion Photos format are no-longer saving correctly on Google Photos, causing data to be lost. 

Motion Photos enhance regular still shots by adding a short video clip, and sometimes audio, each time the shutter is clicked. Unfortunately, these audio and video elements are apparently being stripped out by Google Photos, leaving only the still image.

It’s not clear at this point whether Google Photos is simply failing to display the video content or whether it hasn’t been saved at all. This means Samsung users can’t currently trust

Read More

Ambani’s Reliance Plans Millions of $50 Smartphones in India

Reliance Industries Ltd. has asked local suppliers to ramp up production capacity in India so they can make as many as 200 million smartphones over the next two years, according to people familiar with the matter, a potentially enormous boost for the country’s technology ambitions and a warning shot to rivals such as Xiaomi Corp.

India’s most valuable company is in talks with domestic assemblers to make a version of its Jio phone that would run on Google’s Android and cost about 4,000 rupees ($54), said the people, asking not to be identified since the plans are private. The inexpensive phones will be marketed with low-cost wireless plans from Reliance Jio, the parent company’s carrier, they said.

Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani is aiming to remake the country’s smartphone industry much like he did in wireless services, where his aggressive prices and simple plans quickly made him the dominant force. The

Read More