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Telegram keeps pesky groups at bay

Messaging app Telegram has added features to reduce notifications and sounds generated from the app – not only on the sender’s device but for the receiver as well.

Click below to read about the app.

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Telegram’s latest update is built to handle messages the way the sender would like them to be delivered. Users can now message friends freely when they know they are sleeping, studying or attending a meeting.

To enable a “silent notification”, a type of message that makes the receiver’s phone light up but does not make a sound, one needs to hold on the send button and select “Send without sound”.

The recipient will get a notification as usual, but their phone won’t make a sound – even if they forgot to enable the Do Not Disturb or Silent mode.

The message will show up with the bell with a line through it to show it did not make a notification sound.

This will also work for groups, should a user get an urgent idea at five in the morning – but not urgent enough to wake up everyone in the work chat.

Slow Mode has also been introduced to reduce the number of notifications received from spammers or double-texters. This enables admins to allow one message to be sent per person on an interval which they choose. A timer will show how group members have to wait before sending their next message.

The timer for slow mode.

Telegram says this feature can help group participants be more mindful of the messages which they send to groups, raising the value of each individual message, which can help create order in groups.

Custom admin titles have also been introduced to clarify a member’s role in the group, which may be Editor, Boss, Parent, or Meme Queen. This title will show up on messages sent from this person.

A full list of update features can be found here.

Telegram is available for download on Mac, PC, Android, and iOS.

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Firefox encrypts all web history in US

Firefox has received a serious upgrade to encrypt communications with the Domain Name System to stop other agents from tracking where users go on the web.

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Firefox has begun the rollout of encrypted DNS over HTTPS (DoH) by default for US-based users. The rollout will continue over the next few weeks to confirm no major issues are discovered as this new protocol is enabled for Firefox’s US-based users.

If you’re outside of the US and would like to enable DoH, you can do so by going to Settings, then General, then scroll down to Networking Settings and click the Settings button on the right. Here you can enable DNS over HTTPS by clicking, and a checkbox will appear. By default, this change will send your encrypted DNS requests to Cloudflare.

Users have the option to choose between two providers — Cloudflare and NextDNS — both of which are trusted resolvers. Go to Settings, then General, then scroll down to Network Settings and click the Settings button on the right. From there, go to Enable DNS over HTTPS, then use the pulldown menu to select the provider as your resolver.

A little over two years ago, Firefox began work to help update and secure one of the oldest parts of the internet, the Domain Name System (DNS). To put this change into context, a description of how the system worked before DoH is needed. 

DNS is a database that links a human-friendly name, such as www.mozilla.org, to a computer-friendly series of numbers, called an IP address (e.g. 192.0.2.1). By performing a “lookup” in this database, your web browser is able to find websites on your behalf. Because of how DNS was originally designed decades ago, browsers doing DNS lookups for websites — even encrypted https:// sites — had to perform these lookups without encryption. 

Because there is no encryption, other devices along the way might collect (or even block or change) this data too. DNS lookups are sent to servers that can spy on your website browsing history without either informing you or publishing a policy about what they do with that information.

At the creation of the Internet, these kinds of threats to people’s privacy and security were known, but not being exploited yet. Today, many know that unencrypted DNS is not only vulnerable to spying, but is being exploited. As a result, Firefox will now be performing DNS lookups in an encrypted HTTPS connection. This helps hide your browsing history from attackers on the network, and helps prevent data collection by third parties on the network that ties your computer to websites you visit.

Since Firefox’s work on DoH began, many browsers have joined in announcing their plans to support DoH, and major websites like Facebook have moved to support a more secure DNS.

Firefox says it will continue to explore enabling DoH in other regions, and is working to add more providers as trusted resolvers to its program. 

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Huawei’s MatePad Pro proves the tablet isn’t dead

In Barcelona yesterday, Huawei released a professional-facing tablet called the MatePad Pro, which directly competes with the Apple iPad Pro and Samsung Galaxy Tab S6.

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At a press conference in Barcelona yesterday, Huawei unveiled a new range of devices, including a foldable smartphone called the Mate Xs and a new professional facing tablet with a stylus, called the MatePad Pro.

The tablet has a strong resemblance to the 11-inch iPad Pro, but has slimmer bezels than that of Apple’s tablet. The MatePad Pro features a 10.8-inch AMOLED display at 2560 x 1600 pixels. It also has 540 nits of brightness and a DCI-P3 colour gamut.

It’s powered by the Kirin 990 SoC, and comes in two RAM configurations – 6 and 8GB variants. Storage also ranges from 128GB to 256GB.

The rear camera is a 13MP sensor, which is ideal for document scanning and shows Huawei’s research and development has paid off with this device. It also features an 8MP camera on the front, making it great for video conferencing.

The MatePad Pro 5G has Wi-Fi 6 and, of course, 5G built-in, which makes it a connectivity powerhouse for those who want to do latency-sensitive tasks like online gaming or video conferencing.

Like the professional tablets out there, it supports a stylus called the M-Pen, which performs on par with the Apple Pencil and S-Pen. It can provide a user with up to 4096 points of pressure sensitivity, so drawings made on the tablet will closely resemble drawings made on real-life media.

It houses a 7250 mAh battery with 40W Huawei SuperCharge, and it also supports 15W wireless charging. To top all of that, it features 7.5W reverse wireless charging, in case a user needs some extra battery life on their phone and doesn’t have a power source available.

The only thing missing is, you guessed it, Google Mobile Services. That means users won’t be able to use Google services like Gmail, Play Store, YouTube, among many others. What it does come with is Huawei Mobile Services, which runs most of the apps one would need anyway.

The MatePad Pro will be available in four colour variants: Black, Green, Orange, and White.

The Huawei MatePad Pro has a starting price of €549 for the Wi-Fi version with the 6 GB+128 GB configuration and ranges up to €949 for the 5G version with 8GB+512GB.

The tablet is set to go on sale on 12 December. However, this is only for China and there’s no information on international availability. 

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