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Slack files anti-competitive complaint vs. Microsoft in EU – The Record (New Westminster)

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Workplace chatting service Slack has filed a complaint in the European Union against Microsoft, accusing the software company of anti-competitive behaviour.

Slack said Wednesday that Microsoft illegally bundles its Microsoft Teams messaging product, which is similar to Slack, into Office 365, its package of email and other widely used business software. Slack says Microsoft forces companies to install it for millions and blocks its removal.

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Microsoft Corp. said in a statement Wednesday that it looks forward to providing the European Commission with more information and answering its questions.

San Francisco-based Slack Technologies Inc., which went public in 2019, has been growing rapidly. It reported $201.7 million in sales in its February-April quarter, up 50% from the same time last year. It also reported 122,000 paid customers, up 28% from when the company went public in April 2019.

Slack still faces tough competition, particularly from Microsoft’s Teams software. Slack last month announced an expanded partnership with Amazon’s cloud computing division, an attempt to join forces with Microsoft’s chief rival. It more recently announced it is buying Rimeto, which creates detailed staff directories.

Microsoft, which is based in Redmond, Washington, emphasized in its statement Wednesday that the competitive advantage of Teams has been connecting people on video.

“With COVID-19, the market has embraced Teams in record numbers while Slack suffered from its absence of video-conferencing,” Microsoft said.

The European Commission will review the complaint and decide whether to open a formal investigation.

If the European Commission decides to investigate, Microsoft could potentially face huge penalties. The European Union’s powerful competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, who has been at the vanguard of the global movement to rein in big technology companies, has slapped Google with multiple antitrust fines totalling nearly $10 billion, which the company is appealing.

Last month the commissioner opened twin investigations into Apple’s mobile app store and payment platform over concerns that its practices distort competition, following a complaint filed by music streaming service Spotify.

But critics say big fines haven’t had much of an impact on tech giants, and Vestager has been weighing up stronger measures to curb their anti-competitive behaviour.

Vestager was dealt a setback earlier this month, when an EU court ruled that Apple did not have to pay 13 billion euros ($15 billion) in back taxes to Ireland in a case dating back to 2016, dealing a blow to the bloc’s efforts to clamp down on multinationals’ ability to strike special tax deals with individual EU countries.

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Twitter says Android security bug gave access to direct messages

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Twitter says a security bug may have exposed the private direct messages of its Android app users, but said that there was no evidence that the vulnerability was ever exploited.

The bug could have allowed a malicious Android app running on the same device to siphon off a user’s direct messages stored in the Twitter app by bypassing Android’s built-in data permissions. But, Twitter said that the bug, patched in October 2018, only worked on Android 8 (Oreo) and Android 9 (Pie), and has since been fixed.

A Twitter spokesperson told TechCrunch that the bug was reported by a security researcher “a few weeks ago” through HackerOne, which Twitter uses for its bug bounty program.

“Since then, we have been working to keep accounts secure,” said the spokesperson. “Now that the issue has been fixed, we’re letting people know.” Twitter said it waited to let its users know in order to prevent someone from learning about the issue and taking advantage of it before it was fixed.

The notice sent to affected Twitter users. Image Credits: TechCrunch

Twitter said the vast majority of users had updated their Twitter for Android app and were no longer vulnerable. But the company said about 4% of users are still running an old and vulnerable version of its app, and users will be notified to update the app as soon as possible.

Many users began noticing in-app pop-ups notifying them of the issue.

News of the security issue comes just weeks after the company was hit by a hacker, who gained access to an internal “admin” tool, which along with two other accomplices hijacked high-profile Twitter accounts to spread a cryptocurrency scam that promised to “double your money.” The hack and subsequent scam netted over $100,000 in scammed funds.

The Justice Department charged three people — including one minor — allegedly responsible for the incident.

Source:- TechCrunch

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Samsung's Galaxy Note 20 series doesn't include USB-C earbuds in its box – MobileSyrup

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Though rumours indicated that Apple would likely be the first smartphone manufacturer to stop including wired headphones in its flagship smartphones’ boxes, Samsung has made the controversial move first with the release of the Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra.

In the box, the Note 20 series includes a charging brick, a SIM card removal tool, a USB cable, an S Pen and of course, either the Note 20 or the Note 20 Ultra — the AKG USB-C headphones that came with the Note 10 and Note 10+ are nowhere to be found.

Samsung’s Note 10 and Note 10+ were the first smartphones from the South Korean tech giant not to include a 3.5mm headphone jack. These devices were followed by the S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra a few months later.

While Apple stopped including standard 3.5mm earbuds and a headphone jack with the iPhone alongside the release of the iPhone 7 back in 2016, the tech giant continues to offer Lightning headphones in the box. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were also the first iPhones to not feature a 3.5mm headphone jack.

At the time, Samsung poked fun at Apple with its ‘Growing Up’ series of commercials. The ads showed an iPhone user getting increasingly frustrated with the smartphone’s limitations before buying a Galaxy device instead. One part of the commercial focuses on a 3.5mm headphone-to-USB-C adapter. Samsung has also made jokes about Apple ditching the plug at Unpacked events.

Unsurprisingly, following the release of the Note 10 and Note 10+, Samsung’s first smartphones that don’t feature a 3.5mm headphone jack, the tech giant pulled the ads.

With all that said, there are still rumours circulating that Apple could stop including both USB-C EarPods and a charging brick with its upcoming 2020 iPhones. In Samsung’s defence, at least the company hasn’t pulled the charger from the box — at least not yet.

The company is also offering the first 15,000 Canadians that pre-order or buy the Note 20 an ‘e-voucher’ that gives purchasers the option of three-months free of Game Pass Ultimate, an Xbox controller and a wireless charger, or free Galaxy Buds+. With Note 20 Ultra pre-orders, you’ll be able to select between the same free gaming bundle, or Samsung’s new Galaxy Buds Live earbuds.

Unsurprisingly, I’ve yet to see any “courage” jokes related to Samsung ditching including wired earbuds with the Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra.

The 128GB Note 20, which is available in new ‘Mystic Bronze’ and ‘Mystic Green’ colours, is also available in ‘Mystic Grey,’ and costs $1,399 CAD. The 128GB Note 20 Ultra costs $1,818, and the 512GB configuration costs $2,029. Ultra colours include ‘Mystic Bronze’ and ‘Mystic Black.’

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Canadian pricing and availability for Samsung Galaxy Note 20, Watch 3, Buds and Tab S7

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Below is the Canadian pricing and availability for all of the devices that Samsung unveiled at its 2020 Unpacked event, including the Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra, the Tab S7 and Tab S7+, the Galaxy Watch 3, Galaxy Buds Live and the Galaxy Z Fold 2.

Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra

The 128GB Note 20 is available in new ‘Mystic Bronze’ ‘Mystic Green’ and ‘Mystic Grey,’ and costs $1,399 CAD.

The 128GB Note 20 Ultra costs $1,818 and the 512GB configuration costs $2,029. The Ultra comes in ‘Mystic Bronze,’ ‘Mystic Black’ and ‘Mystic White.’

Pre-orders for the Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra launch on August 5th with the smartphone being available starting August 21st. With the pre-order of the Note 20 Ultra, you can get either the Galaxy Buds Live or an Xbox Game Pass Bundle.

Carrier pricing is available, here.

Galaxy Tab S7 and Tab S7+

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Tab S7 starts at $919 CAD for the 128GB model and goes up to $1,029 CAD for the 256GB storage option.

The Tab S7+ starts at $1,189 CAD and goes up to $1,299 CAD. It’s worth noting that both 256GB versions of the tablet are only available in ‘Mystic Black.’ The device launches on August 21st like the Note 20 series.

Galaxy Watch 3

The 45mm Galaxy Watch 3 costs $599 CAD and is available in ‘Mystic Black’ and ‘Mystic Silver,’ and the 41mm in ‘Mystic Bronze’ and ‘Mystic Silver’ costs $549.

The wearable releases on August 5th, and if you purchase the Galaxy Watch 3 between its launch and September 4th, you’ll get an e-voucher for a Wireless DuoPad at Samsung Experience Stores, Samsung.com or an authorized retailer.

Galaxy Buds Live

Galaxy Buds Live

Samsung’s new high-end Galaxy Buds Live earbuds release on August 7th online in ‘Mystic White,’ ‘Mystic Bronze’ and ‘Mystic Black’ for $249 CAD. The Galaxy Buds Live will be available in-store on August 21st.

If you’re among the first customers to purchase the Buds Live between August 5th and September 4th, you’ll get a free e-voucher for a wireless charger pad or Samsung DuoPad.

Galaxy Z Fold 2

Galaxy Z Fold 2

Not much is known about pricing for the Galaxy Z Fold 2, but pre-orders go live on September 1st in the United States. We’ve reached out to Samsung Canada for more information regarding Canadian pricing and availability.

Source:- MobileSyrup

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