Google cracks down on uncertified Android devices by blocking Google Services

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Last week, some users of Android phones reported that they were shown a message, blocking users out of using Google Apps. This was happening particularly to those who were using smartphones with unlocked bootloaders or running a custom ROM. Today, Google has confirmed to Android Police the statement in which it acknowledged this practice. Certified Android devices offer users consistent experiences when using apps from Google and the Play Store [. as well as Google Play Protect]. We acknowledge that some manufacturers are building and selling devices that have not been certified by…

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Google confirms it’s blocking Google Apps on “uncertified” Android devices – here’s how to deal with it

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Last week, we reported that Google had begun to lock users out of Google Apps on what it dubbed “uncertified” Android devices, by blocking sign-in of Google accounts during setup and displaying a “Device is not certified by Google” error message. Today, we confirmed with Google that this is an intended behavior. There’s even a website detailing what a “Certified by Google” Android device is now.

Here is Google’s official statement:

Certified Android devices offer users consistent experiences when using apps from Google and the Play Store, as well as various security benefits through Google Play Protect.

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Google confirms it’s blocking Google Apps on “uncertified” Android devices – here’s how to deal with it was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Google starts blocking its apps on uncertified Android devices

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If you're fond of loading custom ROMs on your Android phone, life just became complicated. Google has quietly started blocking access to its apps on uncertified devices whose firmware was built after March 16th. If you're affected, you'll get a war…
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President Trump signs executive order blocking Broadcom’s acquisition of Qualcomm

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Broadcom attempted to purchase Qualcomm back in November, in what would be the single largest takeover of a chipmaker ever. The initial offer was declined by Qualcomm’s board of directors, as was every subsequent counter offer. In response, Broadcom attempted to replace some of Qualcomm’s board, allowing the purchase to be finalized. After months of turmoil, the White House has officially blocked the acquisition with a new executive order.

According to Bloomberg, President Trump signed the executive order based on advice from the Committee on Foreign Investment.

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President Trump signs executive order blocking Broadcom’s acquisition of Qualcomm was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Microsoft reveals Sony is blocking Fortnite PS4 vs. Xbox One cross-play

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Fornite cross-play between consoles and PC, Mac, and mobile is coming soon, but PlayStation 4 owners won’t be able to play against Xbox One gamers. Epic Games revealed this weekend that Xbox One players will be able to play Fortnite with PC, Mac, and mobile players, but not PS4 players; similarly, PS4 owners will be able to play against all platforms except Xbox. In a new statement to Kotaku, Microsoft is directing the blame squarely towards Sony.

“We’ve worked closely with Nintendo to allow cross-network play between Xbox One and Switch and our offer to do the same with PlayStation players still holds,” says a Microsoft spokesperson. “For any other questions regarding Fortnite cross-network play between Xbox and PlayStation, please…

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Trump issues order blocking Broadcom takeover of Qualcomm, citing national security

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President Donald Trump issued an order Monday evening blocking any merger of the chipmaking giants Broadcom and Qualcomm, saying it was necessary to protect national security. There is “credible evidence,” the order says, that if the Singapore-based Broadcom took control of the US-based Qualcomm that the company “might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States.”

Broadcom has been trying to purchase Qualcomm for the last several months, but has continually been rebuffed. It’s since tried to stack Qualcomm’s board with friendly members. Trump’s order says that Broadcom will not be allowed to purchase or merge with Qualcomm in any way, and that all of the people Broadcom has proposed to Qualcomm’s board…

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Trump Should Mute People on Twitter Instead of Blocking Them, Says Federal Judge

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Silencing Dissent

Federal Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald has advised President Donald Trump to mute Twitter users instead of blocking them. Buchwald is presiding over a lawsuit filed by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University in 2017 on behalf of seven people Trump blocked on Twitter.

The lawsuit asserts that Twitter is a “designated public forum,” and according to White House staff, tweets from Trump’s personal Twitter handle, @realDonaldTrump, count as “official statements.”

Based on the First Amendment, the government cannot suppress or restrict citizens’ protests and opinions on a public forum, so Trump blocking Twitter users infringes upon their First Amendment rights, according to the lawsuit.

Trump blocking Twitter users prevents them following his feed or easily seeing what he posts. Muting is less restrictive than blocking, as muted users can still see Trump’s feed.

“We’ve said from the outset that muting would be a less restrictive alternative than blocking, so we were pleased the judge raised this possibility,” Jameel Jaffer, executive director of the Knight First Amendment Institute, said to Motherboard in a statement.

Judge Buchwald advised the two parties to work toward a settlement, but said she would issue a ruling if they could not.

Setting a Precedent

President Trump’s social media use is of particular concern not only because of his heightened status, but because it seems to exceed the boundaries set for all other government employees on social media platforms.

Government workers have to adhere to a strict set of rules in regards to social media. This makes sense if they are communicating from an official platform. However, many public figures have to continue operating under these restrictions throughout their careers and lives post-public office.

This is the first time that a president has used Twitter extensively to communicate government action to the public, and it is forcing the U.S. to look more closely at what is or is not constitutional online.

While muted Twitter users can still see President Trump’s feed, he will never see their responses. Though less restrictive than blocking, muting would still hinder citizens’ ability to fully voice concerns to Trump on the platform he seems to use the most.

This is murky new territory, but it is important that we explore it. Social media appears here to stay, and we must solidify how government employees can use these platforms and what actions on them do and do not infringe upon citizens’ First Amendment rights.

The post Trump Should Mute People on Twitter Instead of Blocking Them, Says Federal Judge appeared first on Futurism.

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Android P may introduce stricter call blocking

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According to some new commits that were discovered by XDA-Developers Android P might be bringing a new feature to the stock dialer app. This commit was part of a new set of commits that were added to AOSP from a Sony Engineer. This new feature would allow you to block all incoming calls from any number that isn’t in your list of contacts. Text strings found in the commits suggest there will be option to block numbers based on the following criteria. Phone number not in contacts list Phone number not disclosed by the caller (Private number) Phone number is from a pay phone …

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Google Chrome to Begin Blocking Annoying Ads Automatically

Google’s built-in ad-blocking initiative for its popular Chrome browser arrives tomorrow. Here’s everything you need to know.

What Is It?

This ad-blocking technology has been in the works for nearly a year, and it’ll finally launch across Google Chrome browsers on Thursday, Feb. 15. It is not, however, an “ad-pocalypse.” At least, not necessarily.

Basically, Google Chrome will begin automatically filtering out ads that don’t meet certain criteria or quality standards. Before today, we didn’t have much idea of what those “quality standards” would be.

In June 2017, Google first announced that it would implement some sort of ad-blocking technology into its proprietary browser. Gradually, the Mountain View company integrated ad-blocking-related features to its platform.

But now, Google has officially announced the full spectrum of blocked ads in a blog post on Wednesday.

Which Ads Will Be Blocked?

Google isn’t seeking to kill ads in their entirety. In fact, the company is arguably an advertising firm as much as it is a technology company. What Google seems to be hoping to do is to increase the quality of online advertising.

Google, along with Facebook and other juggernauts in the tech sphere, is a member of the Coalition for Better Ads. In the simplest terms, the group wants to mitigate advertising that annoys internet users — and it’s done research to identify those types of ads.

With this new initiative, Google actually seems to be taking an “ad enforcement” role across its own platform.

Beginning tomorrow, ads that will be blocked by Google’s built-in technology might include full-page ads, pop-up ads, ads with countdowns, and autoplaying-sound video ads, among others.

The initiative is notable because it’s built-in to the Chrome browser, and it’ll be enabled by default. Chrome is also the world’s most popular browser by most accounts.

Users will be able to switch “annoying ad mode” back on, in a way. But, presumably, most users won’t.

The Long-Term

You’ll undoubtedly see a different browsing experience if you’re a Chrome user. You’ll see fewer — if any — of the ads Google deems “annoying” or unqualified. But, beyond that, we’re not sure of the long-term implications of the move.

For one, we might see less use of third-party ad blockers. That’ll be good for all of the websites and online publications that you love to browse and read — the vast majority of which survive on ad revenue.

But, hopefully, the most positive outcome of Chrome ad policy is a “raising of the bar,” so to speak, for ad quality across the board. If annoying ads are being automatically blocked, it might push advertisers to stop relying on them — and to improve them for the future.

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Google’s Chrome ad blocking arrives tomorrow and this is how it works

Google is enabling its built-in ad blocker for Chrome tomorrow (February 15th). Chrome’s ad filtering is designed to weed out some of the web’s most annoying ads, and push website owners to stop using them. Google is not planning to wipe out all ads from Chrome, just ones that are considered bad using standards from the Coalition for Better Ads. Full page ads, ads with autoplaying sound and video, and flashing ads will be targeted by Chrome’s ad filtering, which will hopefully result in less of these annoying ads on the web.

Google is revealing today exactly what ads will be blocked, and how the company notifies site owners before a block is put in place. On desktop, Google is planning to block pop-up ads, large sticky ads, auto-play…

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