Light Start: WhatsApp rolls out backup encryption, LG is more attractive, Google goes dark and iPhones only laak gud vaabs

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WhatsApp will now keep your chat backups safe

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WhatsApp has been using end-to-end encryption on your messages since 2016, which is a great feature. But if your messages aren’t encrypted everywhere it kinda defeats the point. That was the case until now. Recently, WhatsApp began testing encryption for the chat backup feature it offers, using iCloud or Google Drive for storage. Now, it’s rolling out the update to everyone “in the coming weeks”.

Once your device has received the latest update, you’ll be able to opt-in to the encryption which will work a little differently than it does with your chats. For chat backups, WhatsApp will generate a random 64 character key that you’ll either need to store somewhere safe or protect with a password. Keep in mind, that if you lose that key or the password you used to protect it, not even WhatsApp nor the storage provider will be able to help you retrieve it. That’s the whole point. While this might seem like a good step forward for WhatsApp, it’s important to remember it doesn’t mean your messages are completely hidden from other eyes. Read more about ProPublica’s story on that here.

Source: Engadget

LG Innotek says it’s made an eco-friendly magnet

LG InnotekLG Innotek, one of the many subsidiaries of the LG Corp, said they have been able to make a new kind of magnet. Traditionally, magnets use quite a bit of heavy rare earth metals to make them attractive. LG Innotek says they have reduced the use of those metals in their magnet by 60%. If they’re not fibbing this could be a rather important development for most of the electronics industry. Potentially we could see use in vehicle motors, smartphone cameras, audio speakers and wind power generators to name a few.

According to LG Innotek, the new magnets will be able to use less heavy rare earth metals while producing the best magnetic force across different product and temperature ranges. Essentially, the new magnet can do all the things current magnets can do but it can do it better while being smaller and using fewer resources. The company said this is a step towards magnets that don’t use any heavy rare earth metals.

Source: TechRadar

Google is the next to go dark

Google Dark modeIn case you haven’t noticed, and at the risk of sounding dramatic, the dark mode revolution is upon us and will consume everything given enough time. Dark mode users rejoice as Google.com will soon offer a dark mode. If all of that went over your head, allow us to change your life for the better.

If you didn’t know, the advances in science and technology have allowed us to make our apps darker. Gone are the days of receiving a text a few minutes after turning out the light, going to read the text and your phone screen burning your retinas. You need not suffer anymore. Google.com is by no means the first implementation of a dark mode, but it is an indication that the practice is becoming more mainstream.

Google says the feature is rolling out from today. To check if you can enable it, head to the Google home page — in our case google.co.za — and look for the settings button in the bottom right corner. From the popup menu choose ‘search settings’. On the right, you should see a few options, one of which will be Appearance, you can enable dark mode in there. If you don’t see it yet (like us) then you’ll need to wait a bit longer.

Source: ArsTechnica

iPhones are all about the good vaabs, dude

iPhone camerasThis is for all the bikers out there that think those phone holders you attach to your handlebars make you look cool, or maybe you just think it’s practical. Stop it. For everyone’s sake but also for your iPhone’s sake. The folks with keen eyes over at MacRumors first spotted an Apple support post warning that the vibrations produced by high-power motorcycle engines transmitted through the handlebars can damage iPhone cameras. Apple has issued an official warning themselves, explaining why it’s not a good idea.

The company said that the camera’s optical image stabilisation (OIS) and closed-loop autofocus (AF) are the parts affected. OIS in your camera is the feature that mitigates small movements and tremors you might make when trying to take a photo. It uses the device’s gyroscope to detect movement and moves the camera lens according to those movements. If your device is constantly rumbling while attached to your bike, the gyroscope and OIS modules are going crazy trying to adjust constantly and over time could be damaged. Makes sense to us. Rather use the hands-free navigation mode with some earbuds.

Source: Engadget

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I've been interested in tech for as long as I can remember. A few facts about me; I learnt how to code when I was 5, I helped Mark Shuttleworth develop Ubuntu when I was 9 and now I write for a tech publication. Only one of those facts is true. I also have a drama degree, hence the writing.

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