After 4 years, Orkut founder to launch ‘Hello’ social network app in India

With hello, the aim is to create positive, meaningful, authentic connections and sustained social engagement

Facebook

A new social networking platform ‘hello‘, set up by the founder of the once-popular Orkut, has announced its entry into the Indian market amid the controversy surrounding user data breach at Facebook.

hello has been set up by Orkut Buyukkokten, who was the founder of Orkut that once was a leading social networking site in India and Brazil. Interestingly, Orkut shut down its services in 2014, having lost its sheen to rivals like Facebook. | Today’s Paper

“If you look at social media today, it has isolated people instead of bringing them closer. It has become more about broadcasting than sharing. We need a fresh start. Hello is built around interest-based communities where users with same interests can connect, leading to true connections,” Buyukkokten said.

He added that with hello, the aim is to create positive, meaningful, authentic connections and sustained social engagement.

“We started in Brazil in July 2016… About 35,000 users were a part of our beta testing in the Indian market. Orkut was huge in India and I’m delighted to say hello to India once again,” he said.

The hello app is available for download on App Store and Google Play.

Asked about the monetisation model, Buyukkokten said the company “does not have to sell user data to get revenues”.

“When a user signs up, they are asked about five things that they are passionate about and then get recommendations that are non-intrusive. We also ensure that every advertiser has a profile on hello (for greater accountability),” he said adding that no user information is shared with third-party apps.

After India, the company would look at rolling out its service in its home market the US as well as in countries like France and Germany.

Social networking giant Facebook, which has over 20 crore users in India, had admitted that nearly 5.62 lakh people in the country were “potentially affected” by its global data breach involving Cambridge Analytica.

The data mining firm has been accused of harvesting personal information of over millions of Facebook users illegally to influence polls in several countries.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said his organisation was committed to ensuring integrity of elections across the world, including India, as he testified before the US Congress yesterday.

Facebook’s data breach scandal had also sparked a furore in India, with IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad last month warning the firm of “stringent” action for any attempt to influence polls through data theft. He also threatened to summon Zuckerberg, if needed.

 

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Is your phone safe? Google detects Tizi app that steals FB, WhatsApp data

The company has removed the app from Play Store, notified all known affected devices and suspended the account of the app developer

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Today’s PaperGoogle has detected an app ‘Tizi’, which has been stealing information from call records and also from social media apps like Facebook, WhatsApp, and also take pictures from mobile phones without even displaying them on the screen of the device.

Tizi App is a fully featured backdoor that installs spyware to steal sensitive data from popular social media applications. The Google Play Protect security team discovered this family in September 2017 when device scans found an app with rooting capabilities that exploited old vulnerabilities,” a post on Google security blog said.

The company has removed the app from Play Store, notified all known affected devices and suspended the account of the app developer, the post dated November 27 said.

The post said that earlier variant of Tizi did not have rooting capabilities but it developed later on and thereafter started stealing sensitive information from devices.

“The rooting capabilities give an app full control of the device. It can bypass all restriction posted on it by the Android security system. An app with rooting is like a user using the device. Presence of such app on Google Play Store raises concerns about secure apps on the app store,” cybersecurity expert Jiten Jain said.

The post said that after gaining rooting capability, Tizi steals sensitive data “from popular social media apps like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Viber, Skype, LinkedIn, and Telegram.”

The backdoor capability of Tizi was common to commercial spyware, such as recording calls from WhatsApp, Viber, and Skype, sending and receiving SMS messages, and accessing calendar events, call log, contacts, photos, Wi-Fi encryption keys, and a list of all installed apps

“Tizi apps can also record ambient audio and take pictures without displaying the image on the device’s screen,” the post said.

The post said that in and after April 2016 vulnerabilities in devices which could have been affected by Tizi were fixed with new software codes.

“If a Tizi app is unable to take control of a device because the vulnerabilities it tries to use are all patched, it will still attempt to perform some actions through the high level of permissions it asks the user to grant to it, mainly around reading and sending SMS messages and monitoring, redirecting, and preventing outgoing phone calls,” the post said.

 

Egyptian national Eman Ahmed, world’s ‘heaviest’ woman, dies in UAE

Eman was admitted to the Abu Dhabi hospital in May and was under the supervision of over 20 doctors

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Today’s Paper : Egyptian national Eman Ahmed Abdelaty, once known as the world heaviest woman, passed away here on Monday, a media report said.

According to medical experts at Burjeel Hospital in Abu Dhabi, Eman died at 4.35 a.m. due to “complications from the underlying comorbid conditions, including heart disease and kidney dysfunction”, the Khaleej Times reported.

Eman Ahmed was admitted to the Abu Dhabi hospital in May and was under the supervision of over 20 doctors from different specialities, who were managing her medical condition from the time she arrived in the United Arab Emirates.

The 36-year-old, who initially weighed 500 kg, had undergone a drastic weight reduction surgery in Mumbai in March.

Eman had shed at least 300 kg since undergoing several medical procedures, according to reports.

She was brought to Mumbai from Alexandria on February 11 by an Egypt Air fully-equipped cargo flight. Eman underwent the weight reduction surgery on March 7 at the city’s Saifee Hospital and was put on oral fluids. | Readmore…

Guess who’s most followed Indian on Facebook after Modi: It’s Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli is currently leading the Indian team in West Indies for the limited-overs series

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Today’s Paper : Despite the ongoing controversy surrounding Anil Kumble’s exit from the post of the Indian cricket team’s head coach, swashbuckling skipper Virat Kohli‘s popularity continues to grow.

The 28-year-old has added one more feather to his cap as he has become the second most followed Indian on Facebook with over 35 million followers to his name.

Kohli, who is currently leading the Indian team in West Indies for the limited-overs series, is now just behind Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has 42.2 million Facebook followers.

He, however, is the most popular celebrity on Facebook in the country, surpassing Bollywood superstar Salman Khan by more than 6, 00,000 followers to surge to top of the list.

Fans have been supporting us, it is priceless.Keep supporting the team: Virat Kohli on becoming 2nd most followed Indian on FB after PM Modi pic.twitter.com/NaYm3OfRaC

— ANI (@ANI_news) June 26, 2017
Besides, the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper also has 16 million followers on Twitter and 14 million on Instagram to become the most famous cricketer of all times around the world.

After replacing Mahendra Singh Dhoni as skipper, Kohli guided India to Test series wins against New Zealand, England and Australia before leading RCB in the tenth season of the Indian Premier League (ISL).