Facebook launches app that will pay Android users in India, US to monitor phone usage

After facing flak for using unethical and discreet ways of collecting user-information, Facebook has decided to pay Android users in India and the US just to monitor how they use their phones.

To fulfil this purpose, the social networking giant has launched a new app called Study which is available for download on Google’s Playstore for Android users aged 18 and above.

The app would not only monitor installed apps on a person’s phone but also observe the amount of time spent on those apps along with details like the users’ location and additional app data which could reveal other specific features being used, The Verge reported on Tuesday.

“When analysing data from this app, we reference other information Facebook has about you, such as your age, gender and you use Facebook Company Products. This allows us to learn more about how participants use different services,” the Study app description on Google Playstore reads.

The company says it would not see any specific content, including messages, passwords, and websites the users visit, the report said.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that the social media giant was secretly paying people to install a “Facebook Research” Virtual Private Network (VPN) that was letting the company access user’s data.

It was also highlighted that, since 2016, Facebook was paying users aged 13 to 35 up to $20 per month, plus referral fees, to sell their privacy by installing the iOS or Android “Facebook Research” app.

Moreover, media reports also claimed that Facebook even asked users to screenshot their Amazon order history pages.

However, the launch of Study shows that Facebook clearly feels that it still needs this data on how people are using their phones, and that the company has learnt a thing or two from the last controversy, the report added.

The company has so far not disclosed the amount of money it is planning to offer the participants, who are required to have a PayPal account for receiving payments.

[“source=thenewsminute”]

OnePlus hasn’t forgotten OnePlus 3, will rollout Android Pie update very soon

OnePlus 3

OnePlus is one of the few brands in the world of Android that takes special care of its devices when it comes to software support. The company was amongst the first in the world to roll out the Android Pie update to its OnePlus 6 shortly after the Google Pixel phones got the update. The company also updated the older OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 5T to Android Pie later in the year. However, it was doubtful whether the company would give the Pie treatment to the two-year-old OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T. Good news is that OnePlus hasn’t forgotten the OnePlus 3 series altogether.

OnePlus community manager David Y took to the OnePlus forum to confirm that the company will roll out Android Pie for the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T very soon. However, before Pie comes to these older Android phones, OnePlus will roll out the latest security patch along with some bug fixes. Once the security patch comes out, OnePlus will give out the Android Pie update to both the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T.

“The next update will be a security patch update based on Android O, then Android Pie,” said David. “Can’t you guys just go and do something more meaningful than chasing the update…(facepalm),” he jokingly added.

If Android Pie comes to the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T, it will be one of the few phones in the current times that gets a third major Android OS update. The phone was launched originally with Android 6.0 Marshmallow and received the Android 7 Nougat update. OnePlus also updated the OnePlus 3 and OnePLus 3T to Android Oreo which was assumed to be last OS update the handset will get. However, OnePlus surprised everyone by announcing an Android Pie update for the 2016 flagship killer.

The OnePlus 3 was launched back in 2016 as the third flagship launch of the company. The OnePlus 3 was a breath of fresh air after the unsatisfactory OnePlus 2. The OnePlus 3 offered a modern metal unibody design and an AMOLED display. Underneath, it was running on a Snapdragon 820 chipset along with 6GB RAM. It came with a 16-megapixel rear camera and an 8-megapixel selfie camera. OnePlus rolled out the OnePlus 3T as a slight upgrade of the OnePlus 3 with a slightly more powerful Snapdragon 821 chipset and a 16-megapixel front camera.

[“source=indiatoday”]

Scientific societies worry Plan S will make them shutter journals, slash services

An existential threat. That’s what scientific societies supported by journal subscriptions call Plan S. Introduced in September 2018 by European research funders and endorsed by others since then, the plan will require that grantees’ papers be immediately available free of charge. All publishers that charge subscriptions will be affected, but scientific societies fear they could be hit especially hard. One, the Genetics Society of America (GSA) in Rockville, Maryland, predicts worldwide adoption of Plan S could cut its net revenue from publishing by a third. Less drastic impacts on societies’ bottom lines might still force them to sell their journals to commercial publishers and cut back on activities supported by publishing, such as professional training and public outreach.

“We’re not seeing a sustainable, viable, nonprofit open-access model” if all funders back Plan S, says Tracey DePellegrin, executive director of GSA, which publishes two journals.

After accepting comments through 8 February, the plan’s architects expect to firm up details this spring. But the bottom line is clear: By 2024, Plan S funders will allow grantees to publish papers only on platforms that offer immediate open access and cap the fee that open-access publishers can charge a paper’s authors. Many journals now follow a hybrid model, publishing individual papers open access for a fee but deriving most of their income from subscriptions.

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Scientific publishing needs “a radical program” to promote full and immediate open access because progress has been too slow, argues Robert-Jan Smits, the European Commission’s open-access envoy in Brussels, who is one of the architects of Plan S. The open-access movement began about 15 years ago, but by 2016, only about 20% of newly published research articles were open access.

Plan S’s requirements will disproportionately hurt the selective journals that many societies publish, says Fred Dylla, former executive director of the American Institute of Physics (AIP) in College Park, Maryland, who still advises AIP about its journals. Such journals typically have high costs per article, reflecting expenses for reviewing papers that are rejected; publishers worry Plan S’s fee cap, which has yet to be set, will be too low to cover the average cost per paper. What’s more, the societies typically have lower profit margins and a smaller economy of scale than do the commercial publishers that publish the majority of all journal articles. The largest, Elsevier, based in Amsterdam, publishes more than 2500 journal titles; scientific societies each publish at most a few dozen. (Science is published by a nonprofit scientific society, AAAS in Washington, D.C.; Science‘s news section is editorially independent of the journal and AAAS.)

Comprehensive data aren’t available, but a 2017 study by Universities UK, an advocacy group in London, estimated that for life science societies, publishing income funded about 40% of spending on other activities, whereas for physical science societies, the figure was closer to 20%. GSA’s two journals provide about 65% of the society’s total net revenues, financing other GSA programs that don’t make money. These include efforts to advocate for science funding and help early-career scientists, activities that could help researchers outside of the society’s members.

So far, 16 funders, most of them in Europe, have embraced Plan S, not enough to transform journal finances. U.S. government funders remain cool to the approach. But Plan S’s international momentum grew—along with the threat it poses to traditional publishing—in December 2018, when officials in China backed its open-access goals. If China follows through, Plan S could reduce publishers’ income by perhaps 15% under certain conditions, according to an estimate published last week by Delta Think, a consulting firm in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. That analysis doesn’t include the effect of the cap on author fees (also called article-processing charges), which could cut revenues further. The average fee for papers published in purely open-access journals in 2018 was about $1600, Delta Think has estimated.

GSA produces such a journal, G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics, and is “actively preparing for an eventual open-access publishing landscape” for all articles, DePellegrin says. GSA’s other journal, Genetics, is hybrid. The society has already reduced costs. The revenue loss from global adoption of Plan S would force GSA to cut its services or sell the journals to a commercial publisher, she says. “The trade-offs are hard,” adds Mark Johnston, editor-in-chief of Genetics and a molecular geneticist at the University of Colorado in Denver.

One way society publishers could adapt to Plan S’s requirements: Publish more papers to bring in more author fees. But that strategy may not succeed. The PLOS family of open-access journals, which published nearly 25,000 papers in 2017, reported a $1.7 million operating loss that year. Another prominent open-access journal, eLife, was also in the red in 2017 despite its author fee of $2500 and subsidies from foundations including the Wellcome Trust, a medical charity in London.

Besides, increasing the volume of papers inevitably decreases selectivity and lowers quality, some publishers say. “We and other societies are worried about where [Plan S] puts incentives,” said Brooks Hanson, an executive vice president who oversees publishing at the American Geophysical Union in Washington, D.C., which produces 20 journals, five of them purely open access. “It actually incentivizes publishers to go after more and more papers.”

Science‘s publisher, Bill Moran, says the journal doesn’t want to pursue what he calls “a volume play.” He wants Plan S to carve out an exemption for Science and similar selective journals that reflects their unusual circumstances and roles in scholarly communications. Science accepts only about 7% of manuscripts submitted and publishes, in addition, a variety of news, perspectives, and other nonresearch articles. The journal wouldn’t be sustainable if author fees had to cover all publication costs, Moran says.

Science is unique,” Moran says. “Not all journals are the same. If your goal is to maintain quality, there has to be an exception” to a one-size-fits-all approach like Plan S.

Still, if more funders demanded solely open-access publication, Science might have to make adjustments, he adds. An option might be to charge subscription fees only for nonresearch content, he says.

Smits places the onus on journals and societies to create new business models to adjust to Plan S’s requirements. But the Plan S funders also want to cooperate with societies to move away from subscriptions while maintaining quality. “We are very much interested in having an [author fee] that is fair enough to allow many organizations to flip their journals” to open access, he says.

The Wellcome Trust, one of the Plan S funders, and other groups have said they will publish a report by July on strategies and business models through which scholarly societies in the United Kingdom could make that transition. In addition, Smits met this month with representatives of the Royal Society, based in London, and 10 other midsize scientific societies to discuss how Plan S funders could help them switch. He says the societies are “keen to make the transition. They identified, however, a number of challenges.”

[“source=sciencemag”]

Moto G6 Plus Android 9 Pie Update Set to Roll Out in India, Will Bring December Security Patch

Moto G6 Plus Android 9 Pie Update Set to Roll Out in India, Will Bring December Security Patch

If the official Android 9 Pie changelog shared by Motorola on its official India website is any indication, the Moto G6 Plus ₹ 16,121 is all set to receive the Android Pie in the country. The new software update will bring all the core Android Pie features as well as the December 2018 Android security patch. It is also expected to include the navigation-based navigation system, which debuted on the Google Pixel models initially. The core features of the Android Pie update includes Adaptive Battery and Adaptive Brightness to enhance the user experience. The Moto G6 ₹ 9,699 Plus was originally launched in India with Android 8.0 Oreo. Aside from the Moto G6 Plus, Motorola recently released the Android Pie update to the Moto X4 ₹ 10,599 and Motorola One Power.

The official Motorola changelog shows that the latest update for the Moto G6 Plus brings all the core features of Android Pie. This means we can expect to see Adaptive Battery, Adaptive Brightness, and a refined Doze mode. The update will also bring a redesigned Settings app with colourful icons. Furthermore, the gesture-based navigation system is expected. The changelog was first spotted by users on Reddit.

Additionally, the Android Pie update for the Moto G6 Plus will come with the December 2018 Android security patch.

Motorola on the support page mentions that the users are recommended to install the latest Android update when the battery is at least 50 percent charged, and the device is connected to a Wi-Fi network. The update is likely to shortly begin rolling out in batches and will be notified through a push notification.

However, you can manually check the availability of the Android Pie update on your Moto G6 Plus by going to Settings > System > System updates.

To recall, the Moto G6 Plus was launched in India back in September with Android 8.0 Oreo. The smartphone debuted globally in April – alongside the Moto G6 and Moto G6 Play.

As we mentioned, the news of the Android Pie update for the Moto G6 Plus comes days after the Motorola One Power received the same update in India. The handset also recently got the December 2018 security patch. The Lenovo-owned company has also reportedly pushed the fresh Android experience to the Moto X4 in select regions.

[“source-ndtv”]