Technology

Technology • Internet & Web
PayPal introduces annual fee for inactive users in some countries
PayPal introduces annual fee for inactive users in some countries
Credit: Courtesy of PayPal

With new usage guidelines coming into force on December 16 inactive users will be forced to pay a inactivity fee that will only be deducted from existing credit on the respective accounts.

If the available amount is not sufficient, then only the remaining credit is used up. Linked payment sources such as accounts or credit cards will not be accessed. The penalty will be twelve euros and it is not clear in which countries it will be introduced.

Regional News • Europe • European Union
EU to restrict spyware exports
EU to restrict spyware exports
Credit: unsplash.com / Rob Sarmiento

The European Union wants to introduce restrictions on the sale abroad of technologies used for espionage and surveillance. This is reported by "Politico" with reference to informed persons. In the future, facial recognition systems and hacking programs will require a license to be sold outside of the Union. Governments would also have to publish details of the exact nature of the licenses granted to individual companies.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Music
Spotify implements search using song lyrics on mobile apps
Spotify implements search using song lyrics on mobile apps
Credit: Courtesy of Twitter

Spotify has implemented a new feature for iOS and Android phones. Users can now search for song lyrics and Spotify will automatically show the matching songs. The new feature is called "Lyrics match" and according to Spotify designer Lin Wang has been shipped to the phones already.

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
Apple recommends resetting iPhones due to increased battery consumption by iOS 14
Apple recommends resetting iPhones due to increased battery consumption by iOS 14
Credit: unsplash.com / Arnel Hasanovic

Apple has published a proposed solution to a range of problems that include health apps that cannot be opened, missing fitness data, inaccurate reports on memory consumption and increased battery consumption on iPhones and Apple Watches on its website.

There the iPhone manufacturer advises users, who can detect "two or more" of the mentioned problems with their devices, to make a backup of their iPhone, to disconnect the Apple Watch and then to delete all data from their devices. Subsequently, users should restore their smartphone and Apple Watch from the backup. Apple recommends these steps to "prevent future data loss".

Business • Farming & Agriculture
Abu Dhabi: World's largest indoor farm to be built
Abu Dhabi: World's largest indoor farm to be built
Credit: unsplash.com / ThisisEngineering RAEng

Investor Rain Makers Capital Investment and farming technology company GrowGroup IFS are cooperating with the government of Abu Dhabi in order to build the world's largest indoor farm for "spinach, rocket, herbs and kale".

The project costs €150 million and is expected to produce 10,000 tonnes of fresh vegetables per year at 5% of the water costs that would normally be needed for conventional growth in Abu Dhabi.

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
New still in construction Berlin airport uses outdated Windows XP
New still in construction Berlin airport uses outdated Windows XP
Credit: Florian Schmidt courtesy Twitter

With a delay of almost nine years, the new Berlin airport is scheduled to be opened on the last day of October. A journalist from t-online has now spotted that parts of the IT systems at the Berlin airport still run on an outdated version of Windows XP that lost support my Microsoft latest in April 2019.

The system has been spotted in an elevator. Currently, it is unclear if the system is connected to the internet or to an internal network leaving the security implications unclear.

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
Japan's 'flying car' gets off ground, with a person aboard
Japan's 'flying car' gets off ground, with a person aboard
Credit: SkyDrive

Japan's SkyDrive Inc., among the myriads of "flying car" projects around the world, has carried out a successful though modest test flight with one person aboard.

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
Elon Musk announces presentation of "working" brain-computer interface
Elon Musk announces presentation of "working" brain-computer interface
Credit: Screenshot Twitter

With his company Neuralink, Elon Musk aims to establish technological interfaces to the brain. The goals is to improve the medical treatment of brain diseases and those of the central nervous system. Musk, who is best known for his other companies Tesla and SpaceX, has now announced on Twitter that a "working" neuralink device would be presented on Friday.

Technology • Internet & Web
Trump states he plans on banning TikTok in the United States
Trump states he plans on banning TikTok in the United States
Credit: unsplash.com / Kon Karampelas

During an Air Force One flight from Florida to Washington, President Donald Trump has stated that "as far as TikTok is concerned we’re banning them from the United States". He added that he has the authority to issue such ban through an executive order, but has yet to follow through on his statement.

Technology • Internet & Web
Japan likely to ban TikTok for alleged sharing of domestic user data with Chinese Government
Japan likely to ban TikTok for alleged sharing of domestic user data with Chinese Government
Credit: unsplash.com/visuals

According to the Japanese national broadcaster NHK, Japan is seeking to ban TikTok for the app's alleged sharing of domestic user data with the Chinese Government. A group of lawmakers has proposed the ban of several in China developed apps which will most likely be submitted to the government by September. Early this year, India banned several Chinese apps, including TikTok, WeChat and others.

Technology • Internet & Web
Slack files EU competition complaint against Microsoft
Slack files EU competition complaint against Microsoft
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler – Logo via Slack, Microsoft Teams (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The complaint details Microsoft’s illegal and anti-competitive practice of abusing its market dominance to extinguish competition in breach of European Union competition law. Microsoft has illegally tied its Teams product into its market-dominant Office productivity suite, force installing it for millions, blocking its removal, and hiding the actual cost to enterprise customers.

Regional News • World
Public records: UK has sold surveillance technology to 17 repressive governments
Public records: UK has sold surveillance technology to 17 repressive governments
Credit: Jonathan McIntosh

The Independent reports that public records show exports of security technology from the United Kingdom to repressive regimes despite rules to prevent it. Security technology such as wiretaps, spyware and other telecommunications interception equipment shouldn't be exported to regimes that might use them for internal repression purposes.

Public records show that despite the rules exports worth £75 million have been approved to 17 countries including China, Saudia Arabia, the United Arba Emirates and Bahrain. All 17 states have been rated "not free" by the Non-Governmental Organisation Freedom House.

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
Apple Worldwide Developers Conference kicks-off online on June 22
Apple Worldwide Developers Conference kicks-off online on June 22
Credit: Apple

Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, WWDC20, will happen from June 22 to 26. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, for the time, the event will be online-only. It will include the keynote address, Platforms State of the Union, more tha 100 engineering sessions, all-new Developer Forums, and 1-on-1 labs with more than 1,000 Apple engineers.

WWDC20 kicks-off, with the keynote address, at June 22, 17:00 (UTC).

Technology • Internet & Web
Dropbox has launched beta password manager
Screenshot of Dropbox Password
Screenshot of Dropbox Password Credit: Dropbox/Google Playstore

Dropbox has launched the beta version of Dropbox Passwords but hasn't made an official announcement yet. The app is currently in private beta, therefore only available via invite to some Dropbox users, but is already available in the Google Play Store. The app description reads: "Dropbox Passwords (beta) provides password security by storing all your passwords in one secure place, then fills in usernames and passwords so you can instantly sign in to websites and apps."

Technology • Internet & Web
Workspace and note-taking app Notion has been blocked in China
Screenshot of Notion's front page
Screenshot of Notion's front page Credit: Notion

Notion, the fast-growing workspace and note-taking app, has been blocked in China, according to a tweet by the company: "Notion is blocked by a firewall in China. We are monitoring the situation and will continue to post updates."