WhatsApp Opens An Official Play Store Beta Program

WhatsApp Opens An Official Play Store Beta Program

For more than a couple of years, WhatsApp has offered releases of its app on its own website atwhatsapp.com/android. Often times, those were small incremental changes over the public version available on the Play Store, but sometimes they had awesome features that were being seeded out as a test, on a limited scale, to those who were willing to live on the bleeding edge. That’s how we always got our first hands on whatever new thing WhatsApp was cooking behind the scenes, like voice calling, Material Design, new emojis, Google Drive backup, and more.

However, in order to stay up to date with these releases, you either had to go check the site for anything new or keep an eye on WhatsApp’s releases on APK Mirror to get the latest and greatest. And even then, you had to be willing to open up installations from untrusted sources on your phone, because you were technically manually installing an APK.

All of this long introduction is to say that it does make more sense to have an official Play Store beta program. Updates get delivered automatically, they’re incremental so you don’t have to download the entire APK each time (that matters when you’re on a limited connection and WhatsApp releases a new bug fix every couple of hours), and you don’t have to change the untrusted sources setting if that’s something you’re paranoid about.

So I’m quite happy to see that WhatsApp has officially opened up beta testing through the Play Store. There are no Google+ communities or Google Groups to join first, you just head over to thePlay Store’s WhatsApp testing page and choose to become a tester. You’ll then be switched over to the beta release channel and you’ll start getting the yet-unreleased versions on your device automatically.

Donald Trump versus ‘Game of Thrones’ in epic video mashup

Following Donald Trump’s convincing Republican primary win in South Carolina, pundits and political rivals are beginning to shift their view on the billionaire’s candidacy from unlikely outsider aberration to very real GOP challenger for the White House.

Fittingly, as some begin nervously considering how the U.S. might elect a reality TV star as president, a brilliant parody of Trump’s rise has appeared, deftly using the lore of Game of Thrones as the backdrop.

Titled “Winter is Trumping,” the clever clip uses real Trump footage and speech audio and merges it almost seamlessly with key Game of Thrones scenes. We get to see Trump negotiating with Littlefinger, facing down the queen of dragons, Daenerys Targaryen, and even preparing for battle alongside Tyrion Lannister. And yes, these people thought of everything, we even see Trump defending against invaders from atop The Wall.

Sure, comparing Trump to the characters in a world in which the good guys often get decapitated and no one’s innocence lasts for long is a bit harsh. But as this video shows, it’s hard to deny just how well the would-be president might fit into the ruthless world of The Seven Kingdoms.


WhatsApp voice calling starts rolling out to everyone

WhatsApp voice calling starts rolling out to everyone

Available to select users previously, WhatsApp has commenced rollout of its voice calling feature to all users on Android.

The feature is automatically enabled to all users updating to version 2.12.5 ofWhatsApp via the Play Store, which brings a revamped user interface sporting three tabs: Calls, Chats and Contacts. Initiating a voice call is as easy as tapping the dialer icon that is available in-chat, or heading to the Calls tab and selecting a contact you wish to call. Both parties need to be on the latest version of the app for the voice calling feature to work.

The update is in the process of rolling out, so if you don’t see it yet, just give it time. For users that have the voice calling option enabled, how are you liking the feature?

WhatsApp voice calling feature: here’s how to get it enabled [updated: beware of new scam]

WhatsApp voice calling feature: here’s how to get it enabled [updated: beware of new scam]

WhatsApp has finally integrated voice call functionality into the world’s most popular instant messaging app. The WhatsApp call feature has finally been made available to anyone with the very latest version of the app. Be warned though that there is a new WhatsApp voice calling scam going around. Here’s how to safely get WhatsApp voice calls on your phone.

How to enable WhatsApp voice calls

Important: Be warned that there is a new WhatsApp calling scam doing the rounds. Read up, be wary and spread the word.

The ability to activate voice calls on WhatsApp finally seems to be here for keeps. To get it, you need to update your WhatsApp app to at least v2.11.561. The official WhatsApp website now has v2.12.7 (versions before v2.11.561 failed to enable WhatsApp voice calls for us reliably, whereas v2.11.561 has worked first try on several devices, as has v2.12.7).

You’ll need to enable Unknown Sources in your Security settings first and get a call from someone you know that already has the WhatsApp voice calling feature enabled. You’ll then see three tabs at the top of your WhatsApp interface: calls, chats and contacts.

How to enable WhatsApp voice calls (with root)

In case none of this is still working for you, there is another way for rooted users to force the feature onto their phones, but it is a bit of a pain, as you’ll need to be connected to your PC and open a terminal every time you want to WhatsApp call someone (until it is enabled permanently for you).

Just open a terminal emulator and enter the following command:

su -c am start -n com.whatsapp/com.whatsapp.HomeActivity

Have you got the feature yet? Will you now turn to WhatsApp as your default dialer?

CloudFlare Rolls Out ‘Universal SSL’ Encryption to All Customers

CloudFlare Rolls Out ‘Universal SSL’ Encryption to All Customers

In the wake of revelations about NSA spying, not to mention the Web hacks that seem to occur on a daily basis, encryption is top-of-mind for Web users and webmasters alike.

Google recently said that it would favor encrypted sites in its search results, so it’s becoming a must for businesses that rely on search traffic. But encryption isn’t free, and not all sites have the extra cash required, so CloudFlare is offering a new service, dubbed Universal SSL, which will provide encrypted connections to its customers, including the 2 million that use the free version.

SSL, short for Secure Sockets Layer, is what puts the S in HTTPS, and signifies that a site is more secure than HTTP (and generally safe for activities like online shopping and banking). CloudFlare, a Web performance and security company, said in a blog post that it considered the fact that providing Universal SSL to free customers “may hurt our revenue given that SSL is one of the reasons people upgrade to a paid plan. But everyone on CloudFlare’s Board was unanimous: even if it does hurt revenue in the short term, it’s the right thing to do.”

“For all customers, we will now automatically provision a SSL certificate on CloudFlare’s network that will accept HTTPS connections for a customer’s domain and subdomains,” CloudFlare said.

The main difference between a free and paid CloudFlare Universal SSL account is that the free version will only work on modern browsers: it will not support Internet Explorer on Windows XP or Android pre-Ice Cream Sandwich. Site owners can, however, add a banner to their sites warning users that they are using an outdated browser.

“CloudFlare’s paid plans have always and will always support both modern and legacy browsers,” the company said.

Sites that do not have SSL will default to CloudFlare’s Flexible SSL mode, “which means traffic from browsers to CloudFlare will be encrypted, but traffic from CloudFlare to a site’s origin server will not.” As a result, CloudFlare recommends a certificate on Web servers “so we can encrypt traffic to the origin.”

CloudFlare will publish a blog post later today with instructions on how to set that up. “Once you’ve installed a certificate on your Web server, you can enable the Full or Strict SSL modes which encrypt origin traffic and provide a higher level of security,” the company said.

Existing customers should be provisioned for Universal SSL within 24 hours, though anyone who signed up via a CloudFlare partner will have to wait a bit longer due a technical limitation. New customers will have to wait 24 hours for the free version; paying customers get it automatically.

“Having cutting-edge encryption may not seem important to a small blog, but it is critical to advancing the encrypted-by-default future of the Internet,” CloudFlare concluded. “Every byte, however seemingly mundane, that flows encrypted across the Internet makes it more difficult for those who wish to intercept, throttle, or censor the Web. In other words, ensuring your personal blog is available over HTTPS makes it more likely that a human rights organization or social media service or independent journalist will be accessible around the world.”

In June, CloudFlare revealed Project Galileo, which offers its enterprise-level security system to help non-profits battle cyber criminals and distributed denial of service attacks. CloudFlare partnered with non-governmental organizations and groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Mozilla, and the Open Technology Institute to help at-risk public interest websites.



Another day, another violation of a human being in the name of celebrity. Nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence have been leaked, along with those of a startling number of other young female stars, from Rihanna, to Ariana Grande, to Aubrey Plaza, to the Olsen twins. This is hardly the first time naked photos of young stars have leaked, but there’s something we need to remember this time around and always: Don’t click on links to those pictures unless you want to be complicit in the violation they represent.

This particular mass leak came from a hacker on 4chan, who claims to have nude pictures of a long list of actresses, likely obtained from hacks to their private computers and cell phones. These pictures haven’t been authenticated or anything, so some may prove to be fake — Victoria Justice has already tweeted denying the ones purporting to be of her are real — but many are taking some of them as the real deal. And regardless, we need to rise above the sensationalism that stories like this are plagued by and behave like our best selves. And that means not looking at those pictures.

Look, I understand the basic human urge behind wanting to see celebrities naked: The vast majority of them are superhumanly beautiful, and huge segments of our culture revolve around the search for false intimacy between the masses and the people who entertain us. But links to these pictures are bound to be plentiful, especially as more “leak,” and clicking on them only plays into the horrid game being played by the hacker — and anyone who gets their jollies violating women’s basic privacy like this.

We don’t live in an age anymore — if we ever did — where we can claim that celebrities should know better than to ever allow themselves to be captured nude on camera in a non-professional capacity. Cell phones, the Internet, snapchat, and whatever else have made nude pictures on cell phones incredibly common, and celebrities like Lawrence, Plaza, Amber Heard, and whoever else did nothing to provoke this kind of blatant violation. This is probably a terrible day for the vast majority of them.

Let your basic human decency override your instinct to see hot people naked, and don’t let those hackers win.

*UPDATE: Lawrence’s spokesperson Bryna Rifkin issued the following statement to Buzzfeed:

This is a flagrant violation of privacy. The authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence.

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