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Caster
Other Secure Apps You Can Use If You Want To Delete Or Stop Using WhatsApp.
~6.1 mins read

Since it was founded in 2009, WhatsApp has become one of the apps you’re most likely to find on phones worldwide. 

Today, it has over 2 billion users in 180 countries – even more than users of its stablemate, Facebook Messenger, which is presumably why Mark Zuckerberg’s company were so keen to gobble it up for an eye-watering $19 billion in 2014.

A new privacy policy revealed in January 2021 has meant the app requires you to share certain personal details with Facebook to continue using the app.

To use WhatsApp past February 8, 2021, you'll need to agree to the new terms that allow Facebook to see data including your phone number, status messages, profile names, IP address and more.

Many are looking to switch to an alternative app to ensure they don't have to share this data with Facebook, and that's where this list comes in. Below we've listed a variety of the top alternatives you can switch to as an alternative to WhatsApp.

Telegram

Telegram is perhaps WhatsApp’s closest competitor in terms of functionality - and it even looks almost identical to the Facebook-owned behemoth. 

What sets it apart is that it doubles down on the promises over security: not only are messages end-to-end encrypted, but it is possible to set messages to self-destruct after a given period of time – leaving no trace of whatever important conversations you were having.

One other nice feature is that, unlike WhatsApp, it's truly multi-platform – with apps available for desktop, as well as mobile and on the web.

Signal

Many of these alternatives boast about their security credentials but if you’re really paranoid there’s only one option. Signal offers a similar suite of features to its competitors, as well as end-to-end encryption, but there’s one big difference: The app itself is open-source.

This means that all of the code for the app is publicly available to view, making it impossible for the creators to sneak in any backdoors that could give governments or hackers access to your messages. 

The app has also scored a major endorsement to bolster its privacy credentials even further in the form of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

iMessage

In response to the growth of WhatsApp, Apple has built out its own Messages app - iMessage - to be just as fully featured. Now, when messaging iPhone to iPhone, there are no character limits, you can send pictures, videos and… well, pretty much anything, thanks to a plethora of app integrations. 

Most notably, this includes Apple Pay in some countries, so that you can literally send money over text and, of course, Animojis. Hit a button and rather than type out your missive, you can perform it as a 3D animal puppet, with the fox, monkey or unicorn’s mouth movements matching your own. 

And yes, you can also be a talking poop emoji, but we recommend only using that when, say, dumping someone or telling a loved one about a death in the family.

There’s just one catch: iMessage is, by design, only available on Apple devices, so if you want to chat with your Android mates you’ve got to go back to using plain old 140-character SMS.

Google Messages

In response to Apple not playing nicely with iMessage, Google launched its own Android-only messaging service called…Messages. 

Available on the Play Store, this app also replaces your standard SMS app, and the big point in its favor is that it deeply integrates with all of Google’s apps and services. 

This means that you can easily share images from your Google Photos, or use Google Assistant to make a restaurant reservation with a friend from right within the app.

Facebook Messenger

This won't avoid the issue of sharing your data with Facebook, but it does pose a suitable alternative to WhatsApp for some. Facebook Messenger is an integral part of the Facebook experience, but a separate app enables private messaging between individuals and groups.

You may find this is more suitable for you than WhatsApp, especially as it works seperately from a phone number so you can use it across multiple devices at once without having to reauthorize the app.

Line, Viber, WeChat and others

There are a number of other messaging apps out there which have millions of users. Line, for instance, reportedly had 700m registered users in 2019 and Viber supposedly had 260m active users every month then too.

Some of these apps have some really interesting functionality too – for example, WeChat has an entire mini-app eco-system inside of the app, so that you can shop, order taxis and so on without leaving WeChat itself.

But we wouldn’t necessarily recommend making the switch to these apps as they may not be all that useful. Why? Because they’re mere minnows in the English-speaking world. 

WeChat dominates China, Line is the go-to messenger in Japan, and BlackBerry Messenger is the biggest in Indonesia (no, really) – which are great if you live there. If you’re in the UK, the United States, or Australia however, you’re not going to find that many of your friends on these apps.


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Franchesco02
Here's Why The Federal Government Wants To Block Your Phone Number Because Of NIN [Pulse Explainer]
~3.0 mins read
Your phone number could be blocked before Christmas for security reasons.

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, @DrIsaPantami demonstrating to management Staff of the Ministry some exercise tips during a 2-day retreat (Twitter: @FMOCDENigeria)

On Tuesday, December 15, 2020, the President Buhari-led federal government, through the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), announced that mobile phone subscribers who are yet to link their phone numbers or SIMS to their National Identification Numbers (NIN) will have their lines blocked.
In a press statement signed by Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, who is the Director, Public Affairs of the NCC, the commission said:
Telcos or network providers are required to get all their subscribers to provide valid NIN in order to update SIM registration records.

The submission of NIN by subscribers will take place within two weeks (from December 16 to December 30, 2020).

After the deadline, all SIMs without NINs will be blocked from the networks.

A ministerial task force, comprising the minister and all the CEOs (among others) will monitor compliance by all networks.

Violations of this directive will be met with stiff sanctions, including the possibility of withdrawal of operating license of the telcos.

In other words, the federal government is saying if you don't have a NIN, and if that NIN isn’t linked to your phone number between now and the end of the year, your phone line will be unable to make/receive calls or be used for internet purposes.
Isa Pantami is Minister of Communications and Digital Economy [Twitter/@FMoCDENigeria]

This directive is coming as Nigerians battle the coronavirus pandemic like the rest of the world.

A mad dash to National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) offices by Nigerians in a hurry to beat the government’s two-week deadline, could see Nigeria’s COVID-19 infections climb even higher, amid warnings of a second wave of the pandemic.
Exactly what a thinking government should be trying to avoid.

Why is the government doing this now?
The Senior Special Assistant on New Media to President Muhammadu Buhari, Bashir Ahmad, says this is being done for security purposes.
Government believes that harmonising all phone numbers through the NIN will help curb rising cases of terrorism and banditry because most of the bad guys would have no option but to link their phone lines to the NIN or lose their numbers.

“This will definitely help to curtail and checkmate the lingering security challenges in some parts of the country,”says Ahmad.

Bashir Ahmad is President Buhari's New Media aide (OlisaTV)

Even though NIN registration has been continuous and has been on for years, most Nigerians say there hasn't been enough awareness and a mass sensitisation drive concerning how the process works.

There have also been complaints that getting an NIN at the registration centers has been typically tortuous, frustrating and lethargic.

Imposing a deadline at Christmas
Imposing a two-week deadline for a process that is typically slow and tortuous at best, doesn't make plenty of sense either, especially because this is also holiday season in Nigeria.

Who wants to be running helter-skelter to register a phone number when you should be making merry with your family or traveling to make family thanksgiving?

The federal government has also been on a data harvesting spree for years, with not enough harmonisation of these plethora of data from agencies and organisations, into a single, reliable data base.

Since 2020, Nigerians have submitted biometric data information to the FRSC (Federal Road Safety Commission), mobile phone companies, the immigration service, the passport office, the electoral commission, to banks through the Bank Verification Number (BVN) and on and on it has gone.
That an NIN is still needed to harmonise biometric data for security purposes in Africa’s largest economy, speaks to the failure of government and the haphazard nature of government operations, analysts have submitted.

Gbenga Sesan, Director, Paradigm Initiative Executive Director

thescoopng

“This is a dumb move. It will be challenged,”says Gbenga Sesan, who is the Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative. "In July 2020, Nigeria had 198.9 million active lines. Guesstimate: 66.3million unique subscribers.
“By October 2020, 42 million Nigerians had been issued NINs. Even if NIMC increased enrollment from 500,000 to 2.5 million per month, current numbers will be 47 million NINs.

"Two weeks deadline? Make it make sense.”

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Chidexstar
Google And Mozilla Are Ready For Chrome And Firefox Version 100 To Break Some Websites
~1.6 mins read
Chrome, Firefox, and Edge are about to hit version 100, in a triple release that could break some websites. The move to version 100 in the coming weeks could result in bugs or compatibility issues on some websites not ready to read triple-digit user-agent strings. Google, Mozilla, and Microsoft are busy trying preempt any big issues.
Mozilla, Google, and Microsoft have been warning about the upcoming version 100 release for months, which is about to drop in March for both Chrome and Edge, followed by Firefox in May. Mozilla and Google have both been running experiments to test websites and report breakages. There’s a running list of issues, which is fairly small right now, and Engadget notes that the notable sites affected include HBO Go, Bethesda, and Yahoo.
“When browsers first reached version 10 a little over 12 years ago, many issues were discovered with User-Agent parsing libraries as the major version number went from one digit to two,” explains a team of web developers in a Mozilla blog. Much like the infamous Y2K bug that made the year 2000 indistinguishable from 1900 for some computers, browsers have different formats for user-agent strings, and “it’s possible that some parsing libraries may have hard-coded assumptions or bugs that don’t take into account three-digit major version numbers.”

While there are concerns around some websites breaking, a lot of hard work has been going on behind the scenes — much like what happened to avoid major headaches with the Y2K bug 22 years ago — to make the transition to version 100 go smoothly. Developers can enable a special flag in current versions of Chrome, Edge, and Firefox to make the browsers report as version 100 and aid in testing sites.

There are also plans in place if there are widespread issues. Mozilla says it will either hot fix broken websites or temporarily freeze Firefox’s major version at 99 if breakages are widespread and unmanageable. Google’s backup plan is to use a flag to freeze the major version at 99, and Microsoft hasn’t detailed a backup plan as far as we can tell.

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Franchesco02
Earn Money Easily Just Using Your Smart Phone
~1.2 mins read
*HOW DOES RAGP VTU BUSINESS WORK?*

Registering as a distributor with RAGP company gives you the privilege of using your VTU platform in these ways👇
1. Personal use
2. Commercially use
3. Sharing this business vision with others
_________________
1. *Personal use:* You will be getting commissions from the following VTU transactions
A.  Airtime 2%
B.  Data 10%
C.  Cable subscription #40 
D.  Electricity bill #40

2. *Commercial purpose:* Just like renting a shop, stocking it with good and then selling them. For any sale you make using your VTU account, you will be getting  the following commissions
A.  Airtime 2%
B.  Data 10%
C.  Cable subscription #40 
D. Electricity bill #40

3. *Sharing with others(Referral):* Just like am teaching you now, if you eventually decide to join, and does same thing am doing now with your friends, family, or with your social media contacts, (referral) you will benefit from their various VTU transactions in the following ways:
👇
A. 20% of their registration fee will be paid to you upon their account registration and activation. 

B. A point value attached to that particular registration fee will also be sent to your VTU account.
 
C. Every transaction your refferal do, you will get commission from them. 
i.  Airtime 0.35%
ii. Data 1%
iii. Cable subscription #10 flat.
iv. Electricity bill #10

*You will also earn from your indirect referral  10% -1% and also the point value attached to their various registration fees.*
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Chidexstar
Google Introduces Chrome OS Flex On Windows, Others
~2.2 mins read

Google has introduced Chrome OS flex on Windows, Mac and Linus that are manufactured over the last 10 or more years to enable users enjoy features available on Chrome OS device. According to Google’s blog post, the development would be available on certified model list to ensure a consistent and high-quality experience.

The new Chrome OS Flex is aimed at enterprises and educational users who aims to prolong the lifetime of their existing devices, it allows anyone with access to a USB device to use it to give an older PC a new lease on life.

Meanwhile, Google said that the development is still in the testing phase and is not necessarily available on all systems yet. It stated, “Chrome OS Flex is currently released for early access testing and is not suitable for production use. is available for immediate stable deployment. Google will automatically update CloudReady devices to Chrome OS Flex, when Chrome OS Flex is stable.”

It added that some models might not yet work at all, while others might have only minor issues – even models with no issues are potentially unstable and may not be deployed for production.

According to Google, model status verified to work are expected to work with Chrome OS Flex and these devices are only certified if their exact model name and number is included in the certified models list while models with minor issues expected are likely to support at least basic functionality, but are still being worked on by Google team, hence users may run into minor issues.

What you should know

Chrome OS and Chrome OS Flex share underlying technology and management tools. When you install Chrome OS Flex on Windows, Mac, or Linux devices, you get most of the features and benefits of Chrome OS. However, Chrome OS Flex has some important differences compared to Chrome OS, which is only available on Chromebooks, Chromeboxes, and Chromebases.

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Mafroosh12
How To Reduce Size Of Videos On Android
~3.2 mins read
Video files come in various sizes and most times they could be very large and can take up a lot of space on your phone. Other times the file size can be very large causing issues when you try to upload or host it. To avoid any of this from happening, you should know how to reduce video sizes on android.

It is also advisable that if you are not a professional that really needs the highest video resolution possible, it’s better to always reduce video sizes on android to create more storage space for other files. This is because when you reduce video sizes on android, you also reduce bandwidth usage and uploading time.  To reduce video sizes on android, do the following: 

Use camera settings

According to a telecom expert at CalCare Centre, Abuja, Jide Mbaka, video sizes could be reduced on android via camera settings but not with phone’s normal camera. You have to download Camera MX and use it to record your videos on android. Once you set it following these steps, it automatically reduces your video sizes.

Download and launch Camera MX

Tap on the three dots at the top right corner

Select the settings icon

Enable Alternative Resolution

Reduce video resolution to Bitrate

And that’s it!

To record videos with a small file size in android, use Camera MX. Now, what if you are not the one that recorded the video? You can still reduce these kinds of videos using video compressors.

Use of apps

You can reduce video sizes with the use of mobile apps too. One app that is famous is video compress. To use video compress to reduce video sizes on android easily, follow these easy steps;

Download and install video compress on your smartphone

Launch the app and open the folder containing the video you wish to reduce

Find and select the video

Tap on compress video

Choose a new resolution and size for your video at the top screen

The video compressing will start

Once the compressing process is completed, play your new video

The videos you compressed will save with the original name in a folder named Super Video Compressor. You’ll find the folder in your file storage and if you are wondering if your video will still maintain the same quality it had, here is another way you can reduce video sizes on android without losing quality on android.

How to reduce file size without losing quality in android

When you reduce video sizes on android, it usually speeds up your video creation and editing process as you don’t need to work with large video files that consume lots of space and time. But then, how do you reduce the file size without losing the quality?

There are two reliable ways to reduce video size without losing the quality in android. The first way is to make your video shorter. If you can trim footage off at the beginning or end, that will reduce the size of the file.

The second way you can reduce file size without losing quality in android is by removing audio from your video. Most videos will probably come with audio and background music, but sometimes, It’s unnecessary and can be removed. This will decrease the file size. Not forgetting you can do this too on the video compress app. Follow these easy steps to do so:

Launch video compress and open the folder containing the video you wish to reduce

Find and select the video

Tap on Trim Video

Trim your video

When done select Trim video

And your video size will be reduced

However, if you wish to mail the video, you will have to use another mobile app to reduce the video.

How to compress a video for email on android

It can be tricky to get videos from one place to another. You can make video files easier to handle by compre, as already stated this will reduce their file size and make them compact enough to send via email. So, to reduce video sizes on android, you will need a Video Converter. It comes in both free and premium versions. The free Lite version can help you compress the video manually.

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