Today’s cache | Facebook’s silence on President Trump’s post vexes some employees, and more

Today's cache is your daily download of the top 5 updates from the world of technology.

The day has been dominated by protests against George Floyd’s killing. Several tech firms have come in solidarity in support of diversity and Black Lives Matter themes. Spotify has made some changes on its streaming platform to amplify black people’s voice.

Sony PS5 event, scheduled on June 4, has been postponed. The company said it wants more important voices to be heard.

On social media, two companies are handling the same content coming from the US President differently. Twitter fact checked the President’s tweets last week, while Facebook stayed down. That hasn’t gone done well with the social network’s employees, who are now staging virtual walkout.

Extending battery power, enhanced Clock app and personal safety features are some of the new updates in Google’s Pixel.

Lastly, Apple releases an update to its iOS 13.5.1 after hacker group Unc0ver revealed jailbreaking vulnerability in its software.

Google updates new Pixel features

The latest updates to the Pixel phone will extend battery life and allow users to disconnect at night, among other changes.

The new features will also give users more options to keep themselves safe in an emergency.

Pixel’s adaptive battery setting learns the user’s app usage, and based on that, it controls power supply to the apps rarely in use.

With the update, for Pixel 2 and newer devices, the feature can predict when the battery will run out and in turn reduce background activity to save power.

Next, the Clock app has got a new bedtime feature to help users maintain a regular sleep schedule and change their screen time setting.

Users can set up calming music in the Clock app, so it starts playing before they go to bed. And based on the wake up time, the phone will gradually brighten up with a sunrise alarm.

The phone’s recorder app now allows users to use its functions with the Google Assistant. You can now simple say, “Hey Google, start recording my meeting.” Users can also save a transcript directly to Google Docs and share it with others.

Lastly, Google Pixel’s latest personal safety feature allows a user to schedule check-in time. This feature will make sure that users who step out for a hike or run, return home safely. And if they do not, the app will notify emergency contacts.

And in the event of the person being in a dangerous situation, the emergency sharing feature notifies all of the user’s emergency contacts and shares real-time location through Google Maps so they can be sent help or be found.

Sony postpones PS5 event

Last week, Sony said it will give its gaming community a first look at the games they’ll be playing after PlayStation 5 launches this holiday.

Sony claimed that the games coming to PS5 will be the best in the industry from across creative studios in the world.

But now, the technology company has decided to postpone the PlayStation 5 event, which was scheduled for June 4.

The event was supposed to run for a bit over an over on Twitch or YouTube at 1 p.m. Pacific US time.

“While we understand gamers worldwide are excited to see PS5 games, we do not feel that right now is a time for celebration and for now, we want to stand back and allow more important voices to be heard,” Sony said in a update note on its blog.

The update comes after a series of violent protests have rocked the US in the last few days.

Sony has postponed the event to highlight a more important issue that has sprung up in the US after the death of George Floyd, which has resulted in widespread protests against police’s use of brute force against African-American community.

Spotify comes out in support of Blackout Tuesday

Music streaming app Spotify on Monday said their platform stands in support of black creators, and that it will amplify their voices to accelerate meaning conversations and long-needed change.

To see that in action, users will notice some changes on the app starting Tuesday. They will see a black logo and headline image on over a dozen of playlists and podcasts listed on the streaming service’s app.

Spotify’s today’s top hits, RapCaviar, urban and R&B playlists and several podcast covers will run with a black logo.

The streaming service will also pause its social media publication in a gesture of solidarity to remind status quo can’t continue.

And some of the participating playlists and podcasts listed on the service will include an 8-minute-46-second track. George Floyd, the African-American killed by the police, was suffocated for that length of time.

Apart from this, Spotify will amplify black voices by further leveraging its Black History Is Now hub. The hub will serve as the home for music, playlists and podcasts like Code Switch, You had Me at Black, and Higher Learning with Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay.

The stream service has also encouraged its employees around the world to observe Black Out Tuesday by taking time to reflect and educate themselves.

“Now is not a time for silence, and Spotify stands with the Black community,” Spotify said in a statement.

“As our support continues to evolve, we hope that these initial steps and actions will help push these conversations forward, promote deeper allyship, and usher in positive and lasting changes.”

Facebook employees stage virtual protests

Last week, Twitter fact checked US President’s two tweet on mail-in ballots and violence, and added warning labels on them for inaccuracies and glorifying violence.

But Facebook was silent on the Trump’s posts on its platform. The message on both Twitter and Facebook were the same.

A lack of action from Facebook has made several employees at Facebook stage a virtual walkout, according to a New York Times report.

Employees of the social media giant staged a virtual walkout by setting up ‘out of office’ response showing that they were out in a show of protest. Some of them had also updated their digital profiles with automated messages to make their stance clear.

The virtual protest group is one of the small clusters of employees who want their company to take a tougher stand on President Trump’s post.

Some staff members have openly written about their displeasure, and some others have taken to Twitter to share their unhappiness.

“I work at Facebook and I am not proud of how we’re showing up. The majority of coworkers I’ve spoken to feel the same way. We are making our voice heard,” Jason Toff, Director of Product Management at Facebook, tweeted.

The unrest within Facebook poses a serious challenge to Mark Zuckerberg’s leadership at the social network.

Zuckerberg, in the past, had taken the position that his company will have a hands-off approach on posts, even if they are untrue, to ensure that the users take a call for themselves.

Apple releases patch to fix Unc0ver jailbreak

Last week a hacker group Unc0ver released a new tool to ‘jailbreak’ several versions of iOS from 11 to 13.5 in a blow to Apple’s secure iOS image.

That jailbreak was a so called zero-day vulnerability, meaning there won’t be a patch coming in the next few days to block the tool as Unc0ver did not disclose its findings to Apple in advance.

After a week, on Monday, Apple has released an update to its iOS 13.5.1. The patch includes security updates and bug fixes.

The company also made a mention that the “Unc0ver jailbreak no longer works on iOS 13.5.1.”

The update is designed to prevent jailbreaking in iOS 13.5.1. This means that the update will stop an application from executing an arbitrary code with kernel privilges.

The update is available for iPhone 6s and later, iPad Air 2 and later, iPad mini 4 and later, and iPod touch 7th generation.

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Printable version | Jul 12, 2020 6:48:46 AM |

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