NEWS

Yes, TikTok is now testing its own take on Stories too

Yes, TikTok is now testing its own take on Stories too 2698 1800 M. Laraib

Another platform enters the ring

TikTok is the latest platform to hop on the 24-hour Stories bandwagon now that Instagram, Facebook and even LinkedIn have brought out their own unique takes on the feature.

The feature was first spotted by social media consultant Matt Navarra and was later confirmed by TikTok from an email sent to The Verge, stating that it is indeed testing out the feature with a handful of users.

With the social platform exploding in use in the last two years, the company are looking to expand the app’s feature set even more, so that casual users and influencers can take advantage of new ways to interact with their followers.

However, with Twitter’s take on it with Fleets already no-more, one wonders if there’s really any need for Stories once more.

How does this take on Stories work?

TikTok has added a slide-over sidebar to house Stories in it and stories from the accounts that you follow can be seen on this newly added sidebar. To post a new story, users will have to tap the camera button on this sidebar. 

Users will also be allowed to post the content – images or videos they’ve already created from the phone’s library. Once the content is created, various elements like text, sound, stickers or effects can be added as well.

TikTok says, “Currently we’re experimenting with ways to give creators additional formats to bring their creative ideas to life for the TikTok community.” The feature will be simply called TikTok Stories and seems to have been running for quite some time already.

If launched, TikTok stories will be available alongside other features like Duets, Live, and Stitch and works exactly like stories on any other platform. Users will be able to see the number and the names of viewers of the story and TikTok will also let users read and respond to the comments left by the viewer.

Before TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, WhatsApp and Twitter all copied the feature from Snapchat. The latest one was Twitter with Fleets, and after toying with the idea of monetizing them, has axed it already

Twitter seemed to be confused with where Fleets could go, and after lower-usages from its users, it was decided to cut the feature, with Spaces taking the place of where Fleets would be in the app.

However, Stories on other platforms has given an easy way to users to share their thoughts and expressing themselves without the worry of the content being there on the profile forever.

Analysis: jumping the shark?

It’s no secret that TikTok has already seen huge growth in the last few years, thanks in part to the pandemic, which drove new users to the platform so they could document certain ‘hacks’ in the home and even brands advertising how their products are made on certain profiles.

However, the appeal with TikTok is the For You screen, where its algorithm can curate new videos based on others that you’ve either watched through, or flicked through in an instant.

Stories seems to be for the influencers and famous celebrities, where they can tell their fans what they’re up to. But it seems irrelevant with what TikTok offers, and already it could go the way of Fleets on Twitter.

TikTok is an app where you watch video with every swipe of your thumb, not one to look at Stories on. This could be a fleeting test from the company, and while curiosity may be the main reason behind this feature now being tried out by some users, that may be all it should be for the platform.

Why Canon, Sony and Fujifilm are driving the cameras recovery – for now

Why Canon, Sony and Fujifilm are driving the cameras recovery – for now 2000 1125 M. Laraib

New data suggests all three have a bigger share of the camera pie

Camera sales have started to recover from their pandemic-induced slump in 2020 – and new global market share data suggests that Canon, Sony and Fujifilm have been the driving photographic forces.

Some new stats from Japanese business publication Nikkei have revealed the global market share for digital cameras for 2020, and it makes interesting reading for photographers and camera fans.

Canon still leads the way by some margin with a 47.9% share of the global camera pie (up by 2.5% from 2019), while Sony has continued to pull away from Nikon in second place with a 22.1% share (a rise of 1.9% from the previous year). 

Only one other camera brand, Fujifilm, saw their market share rise in 2020 – the maker of X-series and GFX series cameras rose to 5.6% of global camera shipments, up by 0.9% from 2019.

By contrast, Nikon – which for so long sat in second place behind Canon and remained there until 2018 – saw its market share drop by 4.9% down to 13.7%. And Panasonic, which last year mainly focused on its full-frame S series, also saw a slight dip of 0.3% down to 4.4% of worldwide camera shipments.

Nikon Rumors - where there's smoke there's fire
(Image credit: Techno System Research)

All of the data is for 2020, a year when camera sales shrank by as much as 40% according to Japanese retailer BCN+R. But some more recent stats from CIPA (the Camera & Imaging Products Association) suggests that cameras have bounced back this year.

In June 2021, the shipment of digital stills cameras rose by 148.1% compared to June 2020, while shipments went up by 132.3% over the year. Of course, that’s mostly a case of camera manufacturers recovering from a torrid 2020 rather than a long-term spike in demand, but it’s an encouraging boost considering manufacturing issues have by no means been solved.

We don’t yet know what the market shares will look like for 2021, but last year’s data follows a trend that’s seen Canon and Sony emerge as the new ‘big two’ of the camera food chain – and recent camera launches give us a sense of how this might play out over 2021. 

Launch pads

Why exactly have Canon and Sony pulled ahead of their rivals, with Fujifilm also grabbing a slightly larger slice of the camera pie? While the emergence of a new ‘big two’ is a long-term camera trend, some of it comes down to the vagaries of release schedules, too.

Canon and Sony both had massive years for big launches in 2020. Canon, in particular, updated most of its entire range – alongside the headline launch of the Canon EOS R5 and Canon EOS R6 (with some stellar RF lenses), we saw the arrival of two new DSLRs (the Canon EOS Rebel T8i / EOS 850D and pro-focused Canon EOS 1D X Mark III), the (albeit slightly disappointing) Canon EOS M50 Mark II for hobbyists, and even oddities like the Canon PowerShot Zoom.

Sony, meanwhile, went all-in on video-focused cameras. Last year, we witnessed the arrival of the best vlogging camera you can buy, the Sony ZV-1 (above), along with the world’s best video camera in the Sony A7S III and its smaller Sony A7C sibling. Fujifilm’s boost is also partially down to its busy 2020 for new cameras: it trotted out the Fujifilm X-T200, Fujifilm X-T4 (which still sits top of our best cameras guide), compact Fujifilm X100V and the impressive Fujifilm X-S10 for hobbyists.

These trends have not all continued in 2021. The photographic elephant in the room is Nikon – despite being one of the most recognisable bywords for cameras, its global market share dropped by 4.9% to 13.7% in 2020. But the signs are looking more promising this year – last week Nikon released its financial results for the first quarter of 2021, which revealed that its revenue from mirrorless camera revenues nearly doubled compared to 2020 amid a major recovery in digital camera sales overall.

Naturally, factors like exchange rates and accounting nuances can cloud the picture when it comes to financial results, but it seems reasonable to expect that Nikon will recover some of the ground it lost in 2020 – and that’s backed up by interesting new launches like the Nikon Zfc.

Canon EOS R5 and EOS R6 get treated to big video upgrades | TechRadar
(Image credit: Canon)

Losing focus

What isn’t yet clear, though, is how big the overall camera pie is going to be by the end of 2021 – and there are big concerns for the future. In a recent Q+A for investors, Canon said that “although the EOS R5 / R6 is doing well, we do not expect the camera market to recover significantly”. 

Worryingly, it added that although the global chip shortage has had an impact this year, saying “we do not anticipate that the number of cameras sold will increase steadily in the future, and we will focus on maintaining the current market share and market size”.

In the short-term, then, camera fans could see a spike in new launches of mirrorless cameras like the Nikon Zfc, as the five big manufacturers battle it out for their slice of the camera pie. But there’s no doubt that the best camera phones are shrinking the size of that market – and the photographic buffet could ultimately have less choice, if today’s post-pandemic trends continue. 

Developing a security-first culture in a hybrid workplace

Developing a security-first culture in a hybrid workplace 1280 720 M. Laraib

Improving online security habits

Those in cybersecurity have traditionally held the role of maintaining network integrity close to the vest. However, by perpetuating a stereotype that only a select few at a company can handle that responsibility, they are doing a disservice to those of us who believe that building a security-first culture should be a company-wide initiative.

In a remote, mobile-centric world where everyone in your company is an endpoint, IT leaders must put some cybersecurity responsibility into the hands of the very people who may be the most vulnerable—their employees. We’ve all read about recent cybersecurity attacks against the Colonial Pipeline, the U.S. meat industry, EA, etc. and it proves security issues can happen in any industry. Companies with a security-first culture empower employees at every level of the organization with security tools that make employee’s lives simpler with great UX and supportive training tailored to specific remote user behaviors and skill sets.

To instill a security-first culture in any organization, we must change how we think about security in a corporate sense and influence how every employee implements security in their daily work environment (wherever that may be). Business leaders and IT leaders need to take a step back, acknowledge four distinct improvements to make in their cybersecurity landscape, and take tangible steps to respond accordingly.

1. Recognize that cybersecurity is as much about the people, as it is about technology

The vulnerability among remote users isn’t just malevolent foreign actors or high-tech network hacking schemes; it is human nature. When more than 1 in 3 remote workers admit they feel overwhelmed by the need to keep track of all their account credentials, it is easy to see how apathy, short attention spans, and bad cyber habits are the true adversary of a secure network.

If you’re an IT administrator, you likely need to shift some of your focus (and resources) away from protecting your endpoints and infrastructure with technology and invest in ways to change employee behavior, mindset, and security habits.

Communication is a huge factor in accomplishing this goal, and it needs to begin as early as your onboarding process. IT leaders should proactively partner with HR and/or Training to help instill good security habits before any employee ever logs into a network. Employees want to do the right things when given proper training and motivation.

Many organizations are gamifying their security training and rewarding those who demonstrate a security-centric attitude. This creates the opportunity to encourage and support those with poor scores and reward individuals or teams with good security habits. With regular updates, you can demonstrate progress toward implementing both individual and corporate security goals. When employees recognize that you are making security a priority, it is easier for them to do so.

2. Recognize the changing face of remote users and treat each one accordingly

While there is a significant increase in the number of employees working remotely, there is also a dramatic change in the skills and attitude of remote workers. In addition to the traditional power users (executives, road-warriors, IT, etc.) our research indicates that there are three other common remote user types that IT teams must identify, accommodate, and motivate to implement a true security-first culture.

The Desensitized User This largest group of remote users is dangerous not because they are incompetent but because they have grown too comfortable online. When faced with security challenges like remembering multiple credentials, they take the easy way out and use insecure passwords or simply reuse old ones.

To reach the Desensitized User, it is critical that you show them you are focused on solving their frustration and making their lives simpler. Don’t just give your bad-credential users a password manager and a user manual. Spend time in training to demonstrate how it streamlines their processes, stress the benefits of efficiency, and reinforce the messaging by reminding them that they play an essential role in cybersecurity for the whole company.

The Above it All User These are the power users that IT has traditionally focused on.

While they may be cyber-rockstars, you still need to introduce user-friendly security tools. A good way to counter potential objections is to remind The Above it All User that taking a security-first position is the only way to truly maintain the fluid boundaries of work and home life that they have become accustomed to.

The Out of Touch User These users are the opposite of your power users. They have relatively low tech-IQ and, if not for the pandemic, would not likely work remotely. They regularly leave their devices unlocked and are the type to have their passwords on a sticky note.

To motivate change among Out of Touch Users, you need to instill a sense of responsibility. There are countless real-world examples you can point to of how massive organizations have been brought down simply because one person was careless or “out of touch.”

But you can’t just scare them into compliance; you also need to recognize their limitations. So choose security tools with short learning curves, and provide ample and frequent training and support to remind them what they should be doing without calling out their lack of tech acumen.

The On Top of It User Your On Top of It Users rely on technology to help them accomplish their goals. Unfortunately, this need-it-now attitude often means they choose efficiency over security.

In-depth training isn’t as critical for the On Top of It User. They need to see that you understand their Type-A needs and that you have sought out tools that have seamless UX and won’t slow them down when using the platforms they depend on to succeed. IT staff, policy, and tools need to be seen as shortcuts rather than roadblocks.

3. Understand that a hybrid workspace requires more flexibility than a traditional work environment

As many as 42% of the U.S. labor force was working from home full-time during the pandemic. And that number isn’t changing anytime soon. Perhaps the scariest aspect of this phenomenon from a security perspective is the co-mingling of company-managed and personal devices.

Many companies were just coming to grips with implementing BYOD policies that allowed employees to bring their personal technology into the office. Now they are being thrust into an even more uncomfortable position of accommodating remote workers with unsecured home devices and networks. While a rigid stance made sense for BYOD, the new hybrid workspace will require a softer, more collaborative approach.

This means that IT needs to take the position that every device, browser, operating system, or network will become part of your corporate security profile. Therefore, you need security products that work consistently across all devices. The hybrid workspace requires more emphasis and investment into Identity and Access Management (IAM) tools, password training and management tools, and security first protocols to help simplify the security process for employees without intervening in their personal lives.

Employees need to see IT in the role of a facilitator rather than a gatekeeper by providing tools and support that make it easier for employees to do their job remotely.

4. Provide people with tools that make their lives easier, and they will utilize them

In even the best-built corporate cultures, there is a tendency to backslide into a comfort zone. We know that, left to their own devices (no pun intended), remote employees are prone to taking shortcuts that are not representative of a security-first culture.

Developing a security-first culture means achieving a better blend between technology and humanity, which ultimately requires tools that align employees’ beliefs about security with their online behaviors.

There are a few specific factors that IT teams must take into consideration when evaluating any security tool and IT leaders can apply those same concepts before implementing any new security product.

It must have a simple user interface. Security for all employees means being able to accommodate the lowest-common-denominator in technology experience and skill set. Tools with a simple and elegant user interface will be seen as easy by low-tech workers and streamlined for your power users.

It must easily integrate with a variety of personal technology products. Your employees likely didn’t consult corporate before making their at-home technology purchase. Security technology that works seamlessly with their home devices and networks will have a significantly better chance of broad-based adoption than those that do not.

It must provide a user experience that improves employee workflow. Adapting to remote work is challenging; security tools must help streamline employee’s workflow and make users’ lives easier during these difficult times. Endpoint security software automatically patches and installs updates on employees’ personal and business devices while a password manager eliminates the need to remember multiple credentials. These tools require less effort and deliver better performance.

Empowering people to be part of the solution

To instill a company-wide security-first culture, organizations must think of security as a human challenge, recognize the changing face of their remote user base, learn from the critical lessons taught by our collective COVID-19 experience, and strike a balance between securing their business interest and improving their employee’s workflow.

Successful organizations will ultimately thrive in the new hybrid environment because they will pivot how they think about cybersecurity. By seeking both advanced technology and human-centered solutions to security challenges, they will provide a simple and seamless user experience and empower employees to do their jobs wherever they are most productive and have peace of mind that their information and online identity is secure.

New Huawei phones launch without 5G, as company blames US sanctions

New Huawei phones launch without 5G, as company blames US sanctions 1462 820 M. Laraib

Would you buy a new Huawei phone without 5G?

Huawei has unveiled the P50 and P50 Pro, two premium smartphones running the company’s proprietary HarmonyOS platform – rather than the standard Android UI – but without 5G connectivity (via Financial Times).

We’d heard as much in specs leaks for the P50 earlier in the year. It’s something of a step back for Huawei, as an early adopter and cheerleader of 5G technology, but restrictions on trading with US companies has seemingly prevented it from accessing 5G version of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 processors (as Chinese competitor Xiaomi has done without issue in the Mi 11 handset).

In an online event, Huawei exec Richard Yu specifically called out “US sanctions” as the reason why “our new smartphones cannot run on 5G wireless connections even though we are surely the global leader in 5G technology.”

Yu paints a positive picture still, saying that “with 4G, Wi-Fi 6 connectivity and our AI computing algorithms, we still can provide as powerful a performance as all the 5G phones” – though there is certainly a sense of Huawei’s wings having been clipped, and the capabilities of the P50 and P50 Pro being less than desired by the Huawei and its customers alike.

Analysis: Falling at the 5G hurdle

Huawei’s 5G ambitions have been somewhat dampened over the past few years, as tensions between the US and China have risen, and countries around the world have grown more wary of Huawei as a trustworthy telecommunications partner.

In the UK, Huawei was initially positioned as a low-cost provider of 5G services – although the UK government followed suit with the US in 2020, banning the sale of new Huawei phones and ordering the removal of Huawei technology from national communication networks by 2027.

Huawei’s issues on the global stage have prevented it from accessing the parts and processors other companies are currently enjoying in their products, and even restricted its ability to offer services to existing customers – with the US banning it from offering Google-run services such as Gmail and YouTube.

5G is, while a relatively technology, becoming increasingly standardised on premium smartphones, and the loss of 5G connectivity for the P50 series will no doubt be a blow to the company – as well as any Huawei fans who will be making do with 4G on these devices. 

However, with no announcement yet of these phones shipping outside of China, it’s an uncertain future for the company’s handsets worldwide, especially if it can’t access the 5G chipsets needed to compete with Apple, Samsung and Xiaomi’s flagship phones.

The Tesla Cybertruck has been delayed, and that plays into hands of the Ford F-150

The Tesla Cybertruck has been delayed, and that plays into hands of the Ford F-150 2560 1440 M. Laraib

No Cybertruck deliveries until 2022

Another day, another delay in the automotive world, this time from Tesla. The all-electric automaker has quietly shuffled the production of its polarizing Cybertruck into 2022. 

Initial expectations for volume deliveries weren’t hopeful for a massive 2021 rollout, but this change moves the whole timeline back further than originally thought.

 Tesla did not make an official announcement on the shift, but heading to the Cybertruck configuration tool on the company website yields a vital tidbit. 

After choosing the model and opting for or against the available “full self-driving” feature, prospective buyers are required to place a $100 fully-refundable deposit. 

Before hitting the payment button, however, there’s a bit of fine print: “You will be able to complete your configuration as production nears in 2022.” 

That’s later than initially announced, though we did expect single-motor versions of the truck to arrive sometime after the initial rollout of the higher-spec models.

Analysis: no surprise

The delay comes as no surprise to most. In January of this year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk reported that there would be a few deliveries of the Cybertruck in 2021, but volume production would not start in earnest until 2022. 

Beyond Musk’s early skepticism on the vehicle’s production timetable, quite a bit has transpired in the auto industry since that time. 

A massive and brutal microchip shortage has crippled production lines around the globe, and the ongoing pandemic carries its own challenges relating to logistics, staffing, and the supply chain.

Regardless of the timing, it’s clear Tesla fans are excited about the Cybertruck. The automaker has collected north of one million reservations for the vehicle in the time since its debut, so even if a fraction of those people moves forward with an actual order, the truck will be a hit. 

That said, the timing of its production may have more of an impact on its initial sales than anything else. 

If moved to 2022, the Tesla will have to face off against the Ford F-150 Lightning, the Rivian R1T, and the GMC Hummer EV later on. Rivian is an extremely well-funded startup automaker, but Ford and General Motors have nearly unlimited funds in their respective war chests to make a dent in the EV market.

This latest delay calls into questions reports from last week which suggested we could see a cheaper Tesla (aka Model 2) arrive sooner than expected, but this may now be more wishful thinking rather than reality.

Google Pixel 5a leaked price is basically exactly what you’d expect

Google Pixel 5a leaked price is basically exactly what you’d expect 1280 720 M. Laraib

No surprises

In the world of smartphone news, there are surprises and there are non-surprises, and the latest Google Pixel 5a leak about its price is staunchly in the latter category.

As reported by Front Page Tech, the phone will apparently cost $450 in the US – that converts to about £320 or AU$610, though Google has confirmed the phone is only launching in the US and Japan.

It’s not clear where FPT got its information, but it’s a fairly reliable website, so only take the news with a medium pinch of salt. The site adds that apparently the phone will launch on August 26.

No alarms and no surprises

The Google Pixel 4a cost $349 / £349 / AU$599, while the Pixel 4a 5G sold for $499 / £499 / AU$799, so this new leaked price is firmly in the remit of our expectations.

Front Page Tech suggests the Pixel 5a will use the Snapdragon 765G chipset, which the Pixel 4a 5G also used, and we’d expect that to mean the Pixel 5a will also be a 5G phone. 

If that’s correct, the Pixel 5a price being cheaper than the 4a 5G is good news for people who want a low-cost 5G phone, which there aren’t too many of in the US.

If the recent news hasn’t scratched your ‘surprising Google pixel phone price leak’ itch – firstly, that’s a peculiar need you have there – secondly, perhaps the Google Pixel 6 news will help.

Apparently, the recently-revealed Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro could end up costing a premium amount, which would be way more than the Pixel 5, and it shows Google making up for the lack of a meaningful price difference between its 2020 smartphones.

Perhaps we’ll get clarity on this Pixel 5 price leak come August 26, but maybe we’ll have to wait longer (or get information sooner). We don’t have a solid Pixel 6 launch date either.

AMD claims it’s not scared of the Apple M1 chip – but should it be?

AMD claims it’s not scared of the Apple M1 chip – but should it be? 2560 1440 M. Laraib

Don’t get complacent

In a recent interview, AMD appears to dismiss the threat of Apple’s M1 chip, but underestimating Apple could be a costly mistake.

As you may recall, back in 2020, Apple stopped using Intel processors in its new MacBooks and Macs, and instead created its own M1 chip, that combines processor and graphics, and which is based on ARM architecture.

The move was – in our view – a big success. The new M1-toting MacBook Air, MacBook Pro 13-inch, Mac mini and iMac all impressed us with their performance – easily rivalling or outperforming previous devices running on Intel hardware. This was especially true when it came to battery life, with the MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020) offering the longest battery life ever seen in a MacBook.

It also gave Apple almost complete control over the hardware in its devices, rather than having to rely on third parties like Intel. And, as everyone knows, Apple likes complete control.

By losing such a big customer as Apple, this move also hit Intel hard – but what about other chip makers?

AMD shrugs off the challenge

In a chat with The Indian Express, AMD’s CVP of Product Management and Marketing, David McAfee, insists that the company has “a very competitive roadmap against what Apple is doing.” Not only that, but that “I don’t think that what Apple has done changes AMD’s strategy dramatically.”

This is a rather dismissive attitude regarding the threat that Apple’s M1 chip poses to AMD. While AMD didn’t make CPUs for Apple products, critically-acclaimed M1 MacBooks could tempt people away from buying an AMD-powered laptop, for example.

Also, AMD and Apple do work closely together, with AMD providing high-end graphic cards for many of Apple’s Pro products, including new workstation AMD Radeon Pro GPUs for the Mac Pro. 

However, while the Apple M1 chip uses integrated graphics that can’t rival AMD Radeon Pro dedicated graphics, rumors abound that the successor to the M1 chip, or even a more powerful ‘M1X’ variant for Pro devices, could come with much more powerful graphical capabilities. If that’s the case, the AMD/Apple partnership could be at risk.

Ionos adds AMD hardware to server roster | TechRadar
(Image credit: Christian Wiediger/Shutterstock)

So, Apple offers a threat to AMD that may not be immediately obvious, and AMD would be foolish to ignore this. To be fair, McAfee does hint at why AMD doesn’t feel too threatened at the moment, explaining that “what Apple has done is that they have taken a different approach to design a chip… [with a] strong, single-threaded CPU performance that is right there with the Zen 3 series processor.”

And, while the M1 chip is aimed at Apple devices only, AMD’s partnerships with Microsoft and Google on laptops, PCs and Chromebooks offers the company “an enormous amount of opportunity.”

McAfee also praised the M1 chip: “I would say the biggest innovation Apple has brought into the ecosystem is the battery life and power efficiency that comes from the heritage of the mobile handset space and kind of taking it into the PC space.”

This refers to the fact that while the M1 is Apple’s first chip for desktop and laptop PCs, it’s been making its own chips for its iPhones and iPads for many years now, and that experience has certainly paid off.

Even if AMD doesn’t view the M1 chip as a threat at the moment, we think the added competition is nothing but a good thing for consumers. For too long, Intel dominated the processor market, but now AMD is snapping at its heels, and that has forced Intel to become more innovative in response. If Apple’s M1 chip can challenge these two established titans of the CPU world, things could get even more interesting.

Amazon Halo fitness tracker now lets you share heart rate data with other apps

Amazon Halo fitness tracker now lets you share heart rate data with other apps 1603 897 M. Laraib

And also some supported devices

If you’ve got an Amazon Halo you might find it starts playing better with other devices and apps soon, because Amazon now allows you to share heart rate data from the fitness tracker with other supported peripherals and platforms.

It was spotted on an Amazon Help page, found by Slashleaks, that it’s now possible to share the heart rate data measured by the Amazon Halo with “supported fitness devices or apps”. We don’t actually know what devices and apps are supported just yet.

You can do so by heading into the Settings menu of the Halo app, and turning on ‘Share heart rate setting’, before following whatever process is needed on the respective app or device. Don’t expect this to work immediately – the other devices or apps will need to implement the feature on their end first.

So what does this change actually mean? Well, it’ll let you use a wider ecosystem of health-related apps. Maybe you’ll be able to share your heart rate with Strava, which is a popular fitness app, have your heart-rate pulled through on a specific exercise guidance platform so you can see how you’re performing, or get your heart beat figure displayed over video you record so you can monitor a workout.

Likewise, device compatibility might let you share this health data with smart trainers, your mobile phone, action cameras and other tools you may be using while exercising.

While the current news is that heart rate data can be shared, in the future possibly other metrics the Halo tracks could join that list. 

Amazon Halo is a useful mid-range fitness tracker, and this upgrade means it’ll function better as part of a wider ecosystem of smart fitness tech that you might use.

Now Samsung isn’t the world’s biggest smartphone seller, either

Now Samsung isn’t the world’s biggest smartphone seller, either 1280 720 M. Laraib

Now Samsung isn’t the world’s biggest smartphone seller, either

A new report has claimed that Samsung has lost its spot as the world’s biggest smartphone manufacturer to Chinese challenger Xiaomi.

The latest figures from Counterpoint Research believe Xiaomi has toppled Samsung for number one spot worldwide following an incredible period of growth over the past few months.

The firm’s research found Xiaomi’s sales grew 26% in June 2021 compared to the previous month, catapulting it past Apple and Samsung for the number one spot. The growth gave Xiaomi 17.1% of the global smartphone market, overtaking Samsung on 15.7%.

Xiaomi top spot

The news follows a great few months for Xiaomi, with multiple industry observers highlighting the company’s growth and success in 2021 so far.

According to a recent report from analyst firm Strategy Analytics, the company also overtook Samsung to become the largest smartphone firm in the EMEA region in Q2 2021 following a massive 67.1% increase in shipments compared to the previous year.

A separate report from Omdia also recently claimed Xiaomi was also now the second-largest smartphone vendor globally (behind Samsung) following a surge of shipments in 2021.

Its lead could only continue to grow over the next few months, as Xiaomi is currently gearing up for the launch of its new flagship smartphone lineup and other products including the Mi Pad 5 series on August 10.

Counterpoint Research noted that the decline of fellow Chinese firms Huawei and Honor had created a vacuum for Xiaomi to exploit, with the company seeing big gains in its native country.

Samsung’s output was not helped by a wave of Covid-19 cases across its key production plants in Vietnam, which disrupted supply and could have a longer-lasting effect for the company.

Newly-registered domain name tracking made easier with DomainTools’ new feed

Newly-registered domain name tracking made easier with DomainTools’ new feed 2560 1440 M. Laraib

The feed also monitors newly observed domains too

Domain name and DNS-based cyber threat intelligence DomainTools has launched a new service that tracks all newly-registered and newly observed domains identified by its globe-spanning detection network.

Named Domain Discovery Feed, the real-time list produces daily information in the form of a running feed and lists all new domain details.

The Domain Discovery Feed is designed in text file format for the observed domain names.

Domain feed 

Dan Fernandez, Senior Product Manager at DomainTools offered more details on the launch of the Domain Discovery Feed, saying: “With nearly 20 years of experience gathering, processing, and provisioning domain-related data, DomainTools has built unmatched capabilities for detecting the presence of new domains, as well as changes to existing ones, making Domain Discovery Feed the most accurate and complete industry feed for harnessing new domain intelligence.”

Fernandez added that the new IP Risk products, IP Hotlist and Hosting IP Risk Feed, are unlike traditional IP reputation lists as they use predictive assessments based on DomainTools Domain Risk Score to predict how likely a given domain is to be malicious, even before the domain has been weaponized.

This is so that those in need of the information will have the ability to pinpoint and characterize some of the most dangerous infrastructure on the Internet.

In the same breath, the company announced a new line of IP Risk products to identify potentially dangerous infrastructure based on hosted domains. 

This brings the total number of feeds DomainTools offers to three, the second and the third being IP Hotlist – designed to track the risky population of hosting IP addresses and Hosting IP Risk Feed – a daily feed of all IP addresses found to be hosting at least one domain.

The IP Hotlist, created daily, offers tracking of IP addresses on the Internet that have had traffic to malicious domains while the Hosting IP Risk Feed contains all IPv4 addresses hosting at least one domain.