Newsletter: Whatsapp Gets Walled In China & Google Glass Makes A Comeback

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“The most advanced machines are born from creative minds. But the thoughts of the end user, always lag behind” ~ Excerpt from Watchtower song: Technology Inaction

CHINA’S TIGHT LEASH ON WHATSAPP BlOCKS SEVERAL SERVICES

THE STORY

Services such as image, video and voice messages have been effectively blocked, only sparing text messages.

WHAT REALLY HAPPENED?

We already know how the ‘Great Firewall of China’ has literally taken a huge dump on internet privacy with VPNs being totally shut down in mainland China. It might sound surprising to many, but several popular websites and social media platforms including Google, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook etc. are already banned in the country. But now, the only remaining player Whatsapp has too been walled-in by Chinese internet authorities.

WHAT FEATURES HAVE BEEN BLOCKED?

Although Whatsapp is still lucky to survive crackdown from Chinese government, several of its features have been blocked including media sharing such as audio, video files, photos and voice messages. This means that Whatsapp users in China will now only be able to send text messages without any graphic-rich content.

Nevertheless, there is also a significant number of users who are unable to send any type of messages through Whatsapp messenger app. Facebook and Whatsapp officials too have refused to comment anything about this situation, indicating their powerless approval.

WHY DID THEY IMPLEMENT THIS BAN?

This ban is certainly a part of one of the largest internet censorship programs in history by the Chinese government. Led by President Xi Jinping, this movement has totally re-defined the term ‘internet sovereignty’ leading to various restrictions on cyber use in mainland China. This ban also coincides with a leadership change in the Communist Party of China.

However, this still doesn’t affect Chinese citizens as severely as it may seem. Compared to Whatsapp, a local chat app alternative WeChat enjoys far larger userbase. But since messages aren’t encrypted in WeChat


GOOGLE GLASS READY FOR SEASON 2

THE STORY

This time Google focuses its attention to businesses and enterprises rather than consumers to sell its pioneering Augmented Reality wearable.

WHAT IS GOOGLE GLASS?

We’re sure a lot of people didn’t notice, but Google did release an augmented reality wearable much before Pokemon Go was conceptualized. Google Glass was released back in 2013, where it didn’t really become a sensation, unlike Pokemon Go. But that doesn’t mean it was a bad product. It was just too poorly marketed and the virtual/augmented reality market was still in a nascent stage.  

SO WHEN CAN PEOPLE GET THEIR HANDS ON IT?

Probably never, unless you work in an industry or enterprise that utilizes Google Glass for work. Hence, its name Google Glass Enterprise Edition sounds pretty apt. According to an official announcement, the revamped gadget will focus on “workers in fields like manufacturing, logistics, field services and healthcare.” who would require instructions and information for work.

Mr. Jay Kothari who is the head of Google Glass project, also added ““We’ve spent the last two years working closely with a network of more than 30 expert partners to build customised software and business solutions for Glass for people in these fields. We first saw signs of Glass’ potential for businesses in the Glass Explorer days.”

ANY CHANGES IN THE NEW HARDWARE?

While Google Glass’ core design remains more or less the same, it now boasts a superior processor and a longer-lasting battery. As far as applications are concerned, it will be specific to the industry or business it’s used for and we cannot really comment on any public release as of now.

Akshay Peter

Akshay Luke Peters is a writer and blogger for Systweak Software. He likes to write about off-beat topics and technological awareness. He is also part musician who likes to explore the future of technology in entertainment and popular media.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *