Google Maps v9.72 beta prepares to warn you about packed mass transit, improve road closure reports, and more [APK Teardown]

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A new version of Google Maps slipped out late last night, just in time for the weekend. While there are a couple of small cosmetic changes showing up, we haven’t spotted any big additions yet. A teardown tells a bit of a different story. The Google Maps team is getting ready to add a new form for reporting road closures, and another for creating new accounts with Uber. There will also be a new notification for confirming your mode of transportations during commutes, and best of all, you’ll soon be able to tell how full busses and subways are likely to be.

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Google Maps v9.72 beta prepares to warn you about packed mass transit, improve road closure reports, and more [APK Teardown] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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CIA, NSA, FBI chiefs warn against buying Huawei and ZTE phones

Huawei attempted to enter the US market by partnering with US carriers but the US government pressured AT&T and Verizon to drop the deal. Now CNBC reports that US security chiefs are recommending against buying Huawei phones but also ZTE phones. The heads of the CIA, FBI, NSA and other agencies unanimously expressed their concerns about the China-based companies. “We’re deeply concerned about the risks of allowing any company or entity that is beholden to foreign governments that don’t share our values to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks,” stated FBI…

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NSA, FBI and CIA Warn Americans Not to Buy Huawei, ZTE Smartphones

A handful of U.S. intelligence agencies have advised American citizens not to buy smartphones made by Chinese tech firms.

Six top intelligence officials, including the directors of the FBI, CIA, NSA and Defense intelligence Agency, gave the stern warning when testifying to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, CNBC reported.

The officials suggested that devices manufactured by firms such as Huawei or ZTE may pose a security threat to U.S. citizens who purchase them. Reportedly, a senator asked the agency chiefs to raise their hands if they recommended U.S. customers buy or use these products. None of them did, according to CNN Tech.

There’s a risk when letting any firm “beholden to foreign governments” into U.S. telecom networks, FBI Director Chris Wray explained during his testimony.

“That provides the capacity to exert pressure or control over our telecommunications infrastructure,” Wray added. “It provides the capacity to maliciously modify or steal information. And it provides the capacity to conduct undetected espionage.”

Huawei is the largest telecommunications equipment maker in the world, and more recently, it surpassed Apple as the world’s second-largest smartphone brand.

But while Huawei and other Chinese OEMs are dominant forces in their home market, they’ve mostly failed to gain any sort of traction in the U.S. Earlier this year, a plan to sell Huawei devices via AT&T fell through.

Largely, that’s because of U.S. government suspicion that the Chinese government could use smartphones and other devices made in China as espionage tools.

Congress has both introduced and passed legislation preventing government and federal agencies from buying from Chinese firms, or contracting them for other services. In 2012, Congress released a report saying Huawei and ZTE should be “viewed with suspicion,” CNN reported

For its part, Huawei said in a statement to CNBC that it “poses no greater cybersecurity risk” than any other tech vendor. Huawei CEO Richard Yu has also criticized American carriers and their “measured resistance” to Chinese firms, accusing them of diminishing customer choice.

It’s only the latest push by lawmakers to restrict foreign-made services or products due to intelligence concerns. Russia-based cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab, for example, has been banned from federal systems, CNN Tech reported.

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Apple CEO becomes latest tech bigwig to warn of social media’s dangers


Apple CEO Tim Cook is the latest in a series of tech entrepreneurs and c-level executives to warn of the potential risks of social media. Speaking in the UK on Friday, Cook said: I don’t have a kid, but I have a nephew that I put some boundaries on. There are some things that I won’t allow; I don’t want them on a social network. He didn’t stop at social media. Cook also said he didn’t believe in the idea that the best technologies are those we become obsessed with. “I don’t believe in overuse [of technology]. I’m not a…

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WhatsApp will warn you when you receive hoax messages

WhatsApp has begun testing a new feature that warns users when they receive a suspected hoax message. It should help users avoid common spam that may seem genuine at first glance. If you’ve been a WhatsApp user for a while, you’ve likely received a hoax chain message at some point. They often claim that WhatsApp […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

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