Apple Will Release macOS 12 Monterey Globally on October 25

Following the announcement of Apple’s next-gen macOS 12 update, dubbed macOS Monterey, at its WWDC 2021 developer conference earlier this year, the company seeded several betas of the desktop OS for beta testers. Now, after launching its latest M1 Pro and M1 Max MacBook Pro models, the Cupertino giant has announced the release date for the public version of macOS Monterey – October 25.

The new macOS update will come as a free OTA update for all compatible Mac devices on October 25 next week. You can check out our dedicated story on which Mac devices will receive the macOS Monterey update via the corresponding link.

Now, for those unaware, we have already seen various new features that Apple released for macOS Monterey in the developer and public beta of the update. Moreover, macOS Monterey will bring several features that will be exclusive to the M1 Macs.

The new features of macOS 12 Monterey include SharePlay for FaceTime, new Safari features, and Universal control that will enable Mac and iPad users to easily transfer files between each other. However, some of the features may not make their way at launch as Apple, in its official press release for the new MacBook Pro models, stated that features like SharePlay and Universal Control are coming “later this fall.” Hence, chances are Apple will roll out the missing-at-launch features via a later update.

So, if you own a macOS 12 Monterey-compatible device, you can check for the OTA update on October 25 (Monday). However, if you want to try out some of the new Mac features right now, you can check out our story on how to download and install the public beta of macOS 12 Monterey right here.


Google Says, Most Searched Word In Bing Is ‘Google’

Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has revealed that the most searched word in Bing, Microsoft’s alternative is ‘Google’. 

According to Google, this is a clear reference to the fact that the first thing users do when they end up in Bing is to search Google to find something else. However, the company has not done it just to mock its rival, but as part of a legal strategy. 

According to Bloomberg, the plan of Moutain View company is to use this type of data to avoid paying a millionaire fine in Europe. This news comes after Alphabet has been defending itself against a European Union antitrust fine, arguing that the company had been putting pressure on Google and Android users to force the use of Mountain’s company’s apps and services. 

According to a statistical compilation of Ahrefs, “Google” is effectively the most entered term globally in Bing, with 40.96 million monthly searches. This figure “represents 13.2% of the entire global search volume,” they explain. YouTube is in second place in the ranking, with 35.28 million.

The lawyer’s argument maintains that users seek to use Google as their alternative and that at no point do they force users to abandon Bing. In short, the idea is that users leave Bing on their own.

In addition, it is most likely that the search for this term is due to the fact that, when we first configure Windows and enter Microsoft Edge, it opens Bing by default. Many users search Google not only to use the search engine but to download Google Chrome.


GriftHorse Android Malware Distributed Through Play Store Infected Over 10 Million Devices

The Zimperium zLabs security team has discovered a new dangerous Android malware, named GriftHorse, that has already affected 10 million devices in 70 countries around the world. 

GriftHorse, a Trojan found in applications that appeared to be legitimate but silently subscribed victims to premium SMS services. According to the security experts, it has been active since November 2020, and GriftHorse operators are believed to “earn” between $1.5 million and $4 million a month. They even qualify GriftHorse as one of the most “widespread” malware campaigns of 2021.

This research has been made public on the Zimperium blog, with the collaboration of researchers Aazim Yaswant and Nipun Gupta. They have detailed the way that malware works.

The versions of GriftHorse noticed by experts were distributed through the official Google Play store and third-party application catalogs — disguised as other harmless applications. By installing itself on the victim’s phone, it fills the device with so-called popups that show forged advertisements and, above all, false notifications of prizes, offers, etc.

GriftHorse Android Malware

If the victim clicks on one of these notifications, they are redirected to a page where they are asked to verify their phone number, ostensibly to access the offer. In fact, here, users subscribe to paid SMS services, the cost of which sometimes exceeds $35 per month. This money ends up going into the pockets of the GriftHorse operators.

The campaign uses at least 200 trojanized mobile apps, making it one of the largest fraudulent transactions uncovered this year. Malicious apps fall into a variety of categories ranging from Tools and Entertainment to Personalization, Lifestyle and Dating, allowing attackers to scale up their attacks.

Like banking Trojans, GriftHorse does not exploit any vulnerabilities in the operating system but uses social engineering techniques to force users to subscribe to a premium service.

The researchers reported their discovery to Google, and the rogue apps were removed from the Play Store. However, they are still available in untrusted third-party repositories.


Samsung Wants To ‘Copy And Paste’ Brain Data On Chips

A new Samsung project aims to make the classic ‘copy and paste’ that we would see on a PC but with a human brain to neuromorphic chips.

The South Korean company introduced a new approach to reverse-engineering the brain on a memory chip in a paper co-authored with Harvard University researchers published in the journal Nature Electronics.

The idea, therefore, would be to create a method to ‘copy and paste’ the wiring map of neurons in our brain in 3D neuromorphic chips, based on an array of nanoelectrodes to record large volumes of neurons and thus record their connections and their intensity.

The objective is to copy the map of the neural connections of our brain using this array of nanoelectrodes and copy it into a high-density 3D network of SSD memories. 

Since the human brain has approximately 100 billion neurons and a thousand times more synaptic connections, the ultimate neuromorphic chip will require 100 trillion memories. The integration of such a large number of memories on a single chip would be possible thanks to 3D memory integration. Remember that Samsung has played a very important role in the development and distribution of this kind of memory.

If what Samsung wants to achieve, it would be possible to create a memory chip that is close to mimicking the “unique computing features of the brain” that until now have not been able to reach the artificial technology of the human being. This includes, according to Samsung, cognition, adaptation to the environment or easy learning.

This approach could allow a future in which artificial intelligence could behave like a real brain, adopting some of its main benefits such as adaptation or the ability to have genuine cognition. Thus, we would get extremely close to an artificial intelligence practically identical to human intelligence.

News Windows

Windows 11 Run Faster Than Windows 10 On The Same Hardware

Microsoft has unveiled some of the major new features when it comes to Windows 11 performance — which makes Windows 11 run faster than Windows 10 on the same hardware.

In a Microsoft Mechanics video, Microsoft Vice President Steve Dispensa detailed some of the enhancements and their implementation.

The new graphics, the redesigned Start menu, the activity center, the rounded windows, the new icons, the new system applications will be the first features that users will notice when they upgrade to Windows 11. However, an operating system for the general market such as Windows 11 also needs many changes “under the hood” that are much less evident than those related to the interface and user experience.

These “under the hood” changes make Windows 11 feel more agile and more responsive than Windows 10.

Dispensa explains that the Microsoft software engineers have done an amazing job in terms of memory management. “Microsoft has done a lot of work on memory management to allow applications running in the foreground to be prioritized with more use of CPU and other system resources.

Optimizations intended for foreground software also apply to the Windows shell itself as well as to open tabs in the browser. “After implementing the new code we immediately noticed an average resource saving of 32% for in terms of system memory, and 37% in CPU usage” , says Dispensa in the video. “All these optimizations combined between OS and applications, as you can imagine, will lead to longer battery life.” 

In addition, with the same hardware, Windows 11 will restore systems from hibernation much faster than it does with Windows 10. For that, Windows 11 has “an optimized instant-on experience as your PC resumes from sleep.”

During sleep, Windows 11 computers keep RAM “energized” while many other components are turned off. Microsoft has optimized the way Windows 11 accesses hardware and reduced resource constraints between processing threads. This speeds up sleep recovery by up to 25%.

The Windows Hello biometric authenticator should also be up to 30% faster, thanks to code optimizations.

Last but not least, Windows 11 software updates should be up to 40% smaller thanks to a new engine that will only download necessary files from Microsoft’s servers.

Windows 11 will arrive on October 5. From that date, the update will be distributed gradually. Microsoft has said that it expects that by mid-2022, Windows 11 will reach to all devices.


Are you done with Facebook and want to delete your account?

Are you done with Facebook and want to delete your account? Wait a minute! You can deactivate it instead. But what’s the difference between deactivating and deleting? Find the answer here. You will also learn how to deactivate or delete your Facebook account.

Deleting Your Facebook Account vs. Deactivation: What is the Difference?

Facebook offers two ways to eliminate access to your account if you want to stop using it: deactivate the account and delete the account. Deactivation is a temporary process that lets you hide your account from others. You will have to reactivate the account to use it. Deactivation comes in handy when you want to take a break from Facebook without deleting the account.

Deletion, on the other hand, is a permanent process where your Facebook account is completely removed. You will have to create a new Facebook account if you decide to use Facebook again.

Profile visibilityHiddenHidden
Data retentionData is retainedData is deleted after 30 days
MessengerAccessibleNo access
Facebook PagesDeactivatedDeleted
Oculus ProductsInaccessibleInaccessible

Now that you know how the two differ, it’s better to deactivate the account if you want to take a break from it or no longer like using Facebook. However, if you have decided that you no longer want to be in any relationship with Facebook, you can delete it.

What Happens When You Deactivate or Delete Your Facebook Account

Let’s see how various things change when you delete or deactivate your Facebook account.

Can People Search for Your Profile?

Your profile will disappear from other people’s view in both cases. However, it might still be visible in certain places like Messenger, old posts, etc., when you deactivate your account. Yet, nobody can click on your profile, as only your name will be visible. Deleting the account completely vanishes your profile without leaving any trace.

Does Deleting or Deactivating Facebook Delete Everything?

Your existing posts (photos, videos, etc.) will remain safe on Facebook when you deactivate the account. You can reactivate the account to access them at anytime. However, the same can’t be said about deleting the account, as everything related to your account gets deleted unless you download the data including chats as shown below.

How to Download Your Facebook Information

1. Log in to your Facebook account before deleting or deactivating it.

2. Click on the small down arrow at the top. Go to “Settings & privacy → Settings” from the menu.

Facebook Account Settings And Privacy

3. Click on “Your Facebook information” from the left sidebar and hit the View button next to “Download your information.”

Facebook Account Download Information

4. On the next screen, select the type of data, quality, and time period of the data you want to download. Hit the “Create file” button.

Facebook Account Download Data

Can You Use Messenger If You Deactivate or Delete Facebook?

Deactivating Facebook doesn’t deactivate Messenger. You can chat with others, and people can search for you on Messenger. You will have to manually deactivate Messenger if you want to. On the other hand, you cannot access or keep your Messenger account when you delete your Facebook account.

Can You Access Old Messages?

Deactivating or deleting the account doesn’t have any impact on messages that you have sent to other accounts. Such messages will still remain visible in another person’s inbox and in your inbox as well in the case of deactivating the account.

Can You Log in to Other Websites?

Deactivating the account doesn’t stop you from using Facebook login on some sites, such as Pinterest, Spotify, etc. However, you cannot use your Facebook login on other websites after deleting the account. You will have to contact the websites to recover your account.

What Happens to Oculus Information?

When you deactivate the account, you cannot access Oculus products or information, such as purchases and achievements, associated with your Facebook account. The same thing happens when you delete your account.

Can You Use Facebook Pages?

The pages associated with your Facebook account also bear the brunt of deactivating or deleting the account if you are the lone admin.

The pages you own will be deactivated or deleted when you deactivate or delete the account respectively. You can reactivate the pages when you reactivate your account. However, you cannot regain the deleted pages later if you are the only admin.

If you don’t want to lose your pages while deactivating or deleting your account, you can make someone else the admin of your pages. That way your pages will remain safe.

How Long Does It Take to Delete or Deactivate the Account?

Deactivation is a quick process and will happen immediately. On the other hand, Facebook gives you a grace period of 30 days after you submit the request to delete the page. During that period, you or others cannot view the Facebook account. After 30 days, your account and the associated information will be permanently deleted.

Can You Cancel Account Deactivation or Deletion

You can cancel the deactivation by simply logging in to your Facebook account at anytime.

Similarly, you need to log in to your Facebook account within 30 days of submitting the request if you want to stop Facebook from permanently deleting your account.

Now, let’s examine how to delete or deactivate your Facebook account.

How to Deactivate or Delete Your Facebook Account on Desktop

1. Open the Facebook website and log in to your account.

2. Click on the small down arrow at the top. Select “Settings & privacy” -> Settings.”

Facebook Account Settings And Privacy

3. Click on “Your Facebook information” in the left sidebar.

Facebook Account Your Information

4. Click on View next to “Deactivation and deletion.”

Facebook Account Delete Or Deactivate

5. Select the Deactivate or Delete option you desire and hit the blue button at the bottom to continue.

Facebook Account Delete Or Deactivate Confirm

How to Deactivate or Delete Your Facebook Account on iPhone

On the iPhone Facebook app, you can only deactivate the account. Deleting it is not an option. You will have to use the Facebook mobile website (as shown below) or a PC to delete your Facebook account.

1. Open the Facebook app on your iPhone.

2. Tap on the three-bar icon and go to “Settings & privacy → Settings.”

Facebook Iphone Settings

3. Tap on “Personal information → Manage account.”

Facebook Iphone Manage Account

4. Tap on the “Deactivate” option next to Account.

Facebook Iphone Deactivate

How to Deactivate or Delete Facebook Account on Android, Facebook Lite, and Mobile Website

1. Open the Facebook app, Facebook Lite, or from a browser on your phone. Log in to your account.

2. Tap on the three-bar icon at the top. Scroll down and tap on “Settings & privacy → Settings on Android.” On Facebook Lite and the website on a mobile device, tap on “Settings.”

Facebook Android Settings

3. Tap on “Personal and account information” followed by “Account ownership and control.”

Facebook Android Manage Account

4. Tap on “Deactivation and deletion” and choose the Delete or Deactivate option on the next screen, then hit the blue button at the bottom to continue.

Facebook Android Delete Or Deactivate

How to Deactivate Facebook Messenger

Once you have deactivated your Facebook account, follow these steps to deactivate Messenger.

1. Open the Facebook Messenger app on your Android, iPhone, or iPad.

2. Tap on the profile icon at the top. Scroll down and select “Legal and policies” on the next screen.

Facebook Messenger Legal

3. Tap on “Deactivate Messenger.” If you don’t see the option, make sure you have deactivated the Facebook account first.

4. Restart your phone if needed. Whenever you want to reactivate Messenger, just log in to Messenger.

Android News

MIUI Pure Mode Protects Users from Malicious Apps

Xiaomi is working on a new MIUI feature that aims to reduce the installation of malicious apps on its phones. Dubbed MIUI Pure Mode, the feature blocks installation of unknown apps to enhance user security.

MIUI Pure Mode on Xiaomi Phones

According to Xiaomi, almost 40 percent of apps installed on phones running MIUI have never passed the company’s security audits. Moreover, almost 10 percent of these apps are considered malicious. To prevent unsuspecting users from installing apps that might compromise privacy and security, Xiaomi is now testing Pure Mode in MIUI 12.5.

Pure Mode is an upcoming installation mode where users won’t have the option to sideload apps. This should help prevent malicious app installations from sketchy third-party sources. However, the company clarifies that it won’t force everyone to use Pure Mode. Hence, you can choose to turn off Pure Mode if you consider yourself a power user who often sideloads apps.

As of this writing, Xiaomi is accepting testers for MIUI Pure Mode in China. The slots will open from September 6 to 10. If the feature proves to be an instant hit among early adopters, we could expect future updates in the stable version to ship with Pure mode. While there’s no word on the availability of the feature outside China, it doesn’t seem like the company would restrict a safety feature to its home country.

MIUI’s Pure Mode seems like a promising feature to help users that are not tech-savvy, especially elderly people.


Apple Faces Antitrust Case in India for Its Mandatory 30% App Store Fees

While Apple has been facing criticisms for its mandatory 30% App Store fees in many global regions, a non-profit organization recently filed an antitrust case against the Cupertino giant for the same in India. The Rajasthani non-profit organization called Together We Fight Society reportedly filed the antitrust case against Apple for unnecessarily imposing the 30% commission fee to publish and distribute apps through its digital marketplace.

The report comes from Reuters that cites documents and anonymous sources with knowledge of the antitrust case against Apple. As per the report, the allegations that Apple s facing in this case in India are similar to those the company is facing in the European Union.

Apple, for those unaware, charges a 30% commission fee that app developers must pay to the company when they publish and distribute their products on the App Store. This mandatory App Store commission is the primary reason for the ongoing feud between Apple and Epic Games that started last year. Moreover, Apple has received a fair share of backlash from various authorities, developers, and public figures for its 30% fee in the recent past. In fact, Tesla CEO Elon Musk even termed the App Store fees as the “de facto global tax on the Internet” recently.

However, this is the first time that Apple is facing such an antitrust case in India. Although filings and details of cases managed by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) are not available for the general public, Reuters was able to acquire some details from the filings and relevant sources relating to the case.

As per a source, the CCI will review the case initially. Following the review, the authority might or might not open a wider investigation to further look into the matter. While chances for the latter are meager, another source suggested that it is highly that an investigation would be issued for the case. “There are high chances that an investigation can be ordered, also because the EU has been probing this,” one of the sources told Reuters.

The non-profit organization that filed the case says that it did so to protect the interests of app developers as well as consumers in India. The members of the organization state that Apple’s App Store fees pose a major barrier to market entry and hurts competition by increasing the cost of app development. This, in turn, affects the consumers as they need to pay more for downloading the apps from the App Store.

Apple, on the other hand, claims that it charges the mandatory App Store fees to keep its marketplace safe and secure from malicious apps. The company cites user privacy and states that it conducts a thorough review process for each and every app on the App Store to maintain a secure user experience. So, what do you think about Apple’s 30% commission policy on the Apple Store? Do you think it is right? Or do you think it is another capitalistic move to make more money? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Android News

WhatsApp Banned over 3 Million Indian Accounts During June and July 2021

WhatsApp has imposed bans on over 3 million Indian accounts during June and July this year. The messaging giant banned the accounts based on user reports on its platform, its Indian Grievance Officer, and reports of its automated tools. The company states that it took the steps to ban the accounts to keep its platform safe and spam-free.

The Facebook-owned company recently published its User Safety Monthly Report under the New IT Rules, 2021 of India. As per the report, WhatsApp banned 3.027 million accounts in India from June 16 to July 31. Although only 73 accounts were banned based on user reports, the rest were detected by WhatsApp’s automated abuse detection system on the platform.

The report states that out of the 3 million bans, WhatsApp received only 316 users appeals for bans through its appointed India Grievance Officer. Out of these, only 73 accounts were actually banned by the company for harmful behavior on the platform. Furthermore, amongst the total 594 grievances received from Indian users, 137 were related to account support. The rest were related to safety and product-related issues.

So, the majority of the bans were detected by the platform’s automated tools. As per WhatsApp, its automated system for abuse detection works at three stages of the life cycle of an account – at registration, during a chat session, and when the system receives any negative feedback from other users. The system is operated by a team of analysts to evaluate complex cases and further improve the system.

Plus, WhatsApp is also working on other features like calling to verify the legitimacy of user accounts. However, the company might also soon ease the ban review process for banned accounts on the platform.

So, if you have a grievance regarding the services and features of WhatsApp, you can send an email to [email protected] And if you are being harassed or spammed by accounts on the instant messaging platform, you can block those accounts on the app. WhatsApp will take it as negative feedback for the said accounts and will take necessary actions.


Apple Has Been Scanning iCloud E-Mails for Child Abuse Since 2019

As Apple prepares to scan users’ iPhones and iCloud backups for photos and videos relating to Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM), recent reports suggest that the Cupertino giant has been scanning iCloud emails of users for such materials for the past two years.

The company confirmed this in a statement to 9to5Mac, who started investigating the topic after a discreet iMessage statement by Epic’s anti-fraud head Eric Friedman. He reportedly said that Apple’s iOS is the “greatest platform for distributing child porn.” Following this, 9to5Mac reached out to the Cupertino giant for further comment.

Apple, in a statement to the above publisher, confirmed that it has been scanning iCloud mail of users for images or attachments relating to child sexual abuse content. As per the statement, the company scans both incoming and outgoing emails of users that are sent via iCloud. And as iCloud emails are not encrypted, it is not that difficult to scan them in transit.

Now, if you remember, back in early 2020, we saw a report that stated how Apple’s CSAM scanning process works through emails. So, as per the previous report, Apple scans the meta-data of images that have been already tagged as CSAM material. If the system detects such an image in a user email, it flags the mail immediately until a human operator checks the email. If relevant CSAM content is discovered in the flagged email, the name, phone number, and address of the guilty are delivered to Homeland Security.

At the time, a cyber-security expert at the University of Surrey said, “I think the balance that Apple has drawn is a good one. It allows for the search for known extreme imagery but also has safeguards to prevent abuse of the ability to search emails.”

So, the scanning process of iCloud emails is not against the company’s policies and Apple maintains a good balance between CSAM content discovery and user privacy. However, whether the company will use the same process for scanning images for a user’s iPhone and iCloud Photos is not known yet. We will get to know more about Apple’s plans to fight CSAM on its platform once the feature releases with the upcoming iOS 15. If you don’t want Apple to scan your email, check out mail service providers on iPhone.