Chinese ambassador: UK ban on Huawei would damage trust | Technology – Blog – 10 minute

China’s ambassador to the UK has said a ban on the Chinese tech company Huawei from playing a role in developing the UK’s 5G network would damage Chinese trust in the UK and its belief that the UK can run a foreign policy independent of the US.
Speaking at a virtual press briefing in London, Liu Xiaoming warned Boris Johnson “you cannot have a golden era if you treat China as an enemy”.
Liu also defended his country’s new national security law and derided the UK’s offer to provide up to 3 million Hong Kong people with a path to citizenship, describing the move as a gross interference in China’s affairs.
A ban on Huawei would have many consequences, Liu said, including damage to the UK’s reputation as “a business-friendly, open, transparent environment”.

Huawei is a Chinese telecoms company founded in 1987. US officials believe it poses a security risk because the Chinese government will make the firm engineer backdoors in its technology, through which information could be accessed by Beijing. Donald Trump has banned US companies from sharing technology with Huawei and has been putting pressure on other nations to follow suit.
The UK has accepted there is some risk in working with Huawei, but security services do not believe it to be unmanageable. It has designated Huawei a “high-risk vendor”, but the company will be given the opportunity to build non-core elements of Britain’s 5G network. The head of MI5 recently said he was confident the US-UK intelligence-sharing relationship would not be affected if London gave Huawei the nod.
Much of the doubt surrounding Huawei stems from founder Ren Zhengfei’s time as an engineer in the China’s People’s Liberation Army from 1974-83. His daughter Meng Wanzhou, a senior Huawei executive, was arrested in Canada in December 2018 over allegations of Iran-sanctions violations.
Huawei insists the Chinese government has never asked it to build a backdoor into its technology, and has offered to sign a “no spy agreement” with countries adopting it. The trade rivalry between the US and China has intensified in recent years and the firm believes the White House is simply using it as a weapon in that larger fight.
Kevin Rawlinson

Photograph: Mark Schiefelbein/AP

In a reference to US pressure on the UK to rethink on Huawei, he said: “When you get rid of Huawei, it sends out a very wrong message. You punish your image as a country that can conduct independent policy. It means you succumb to foreign pressure and you cannot make your own independent foreign policy. I always say Britain can only be great when it can have its independent foreign policy.”
Liu added that the whole Chinese business community was closely watching the Huawei decision.
Ministers are due to provide an update on Huawei to MPs before the summer recess. It is widely expected that US sanctions pressure has forced the UK into revising its previous decision to give Huawei limited access to the 5G network. Additional US measures announced in May make it nearly impossible for foreign chip manufacturers to sell semiconductors to Huawei using US-made equipment.
Liu said: “If the UK chooses to pay a high price for poorer quality, or less quality, it is up to you. We have to work for the best and prepare for the best. Huawei will survive and prosper. The more pressure from so called superpower and from its allies Huawei will grow stronger.”
Huawei was operating in 170 countries, and if it was excluded from the UK, it would still be active in 169, he said.
A security law imposed on Hong Kong by Beijing last week makes secessionist, subversive, or terrorist activities illegal, as well as foreign intervention in the city’s internal affairs. Activities such as shouting slogans or holding up banners and flags calling for the city’s independence is violating the law regardless of whether violence is used.
Although the Chinese government had threatened “corresponding actions” if the UK went ahead with plans to respond to the law by giving a pathway to British citizenship to up to 3 million Hong Kong citizens, Liu refused to spell out the consequences in detail, saying the government would wait to see the precise steps taken by the UK.

The British offer to Hongkongers, he warned, represented “a gross interference in China’s internal affairs and openly trampled on the basic norms governing international relations”.
“No one should underestimate the firm determination of China to safeguard its sovereignty, security and development,” Liu said. “Attempts to disrupt or obstruct the national security law will be met with the strong opposition of 1.4 billion Chinese people. All these attempts are doomed to failure.”
Later on Monday a spokesman for Johnson urged China not to interfere if Hongkongers sought to come to the UK. “We are currently assessing the national security law and its legal ramifications in terms of extradition with Hong Kong,” the spokesman said. “There are already extensive extradition safeguards in the UK. The courts are required to bar a person’s extradition to any country if it would be incompatible with their human rights or if the request appears to be motivated by their political opinion.”
Asked whether Johnson believed the UK was still in a “golden age” of relations with China, the spokesman said there was a “strong and constructive relationship” in many areas. But he added: “This relationship does not come at any price. It’s always been the case that where we have concerns we raise them and where we need to intervene we will, as we have done on Hong Kong.”

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Uplogix Supports Remote Network Management with Optimal Security | Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

During this global pandemic, network security and reliability is more critical than ever – IT managers need to know that their network is locked down inside and out, and be able to prove it. With the average cost of a security breach increasing annually, all organisations need reliable network security.
At the same time, there has been a global rise in cybersecurity incidents, including in South Africa, simply because more people than ever before have been working from home while practising social distancing.
Risna Steenkamp, General Manager: ESM at value-added distributor Networks Unlimited Africa, explains, “Employees around the globe had to transition from an on-premises work environment to remote working, and organisations had to adapt their networks accordingly – many of them in a relatively unplanned rush. This brought with it the twin challenges of network reliability and cybersecurity, as cybercriminals also moved quickly to take advantage of the situation by shifting their attacks to less-well-protected remote workers.”
“As we envisage remote working continuing into the future for many more employees than was previously the norm, it means that IT managers need to re-think many of their operations. In this regard, out-of-band management offers solutions to today’s networking requirements.”
Networks Unlimited Africa distributes Uplogix, which provides integrated remote management solutions, throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Its out-of-band management allows remote IT staff to handle remote networks as if they were onsite, with additional advantages such as reliability, monitoring and alerts, and quick reactions in the event of a network breach. Using out-of-band Uplogix solutions, a remote admin can use the connections to the network infrastructure to continuously monitor the gear over the console port – not the network.
“The security features of the Uplogix platform were initially developed for customers in finance and the military,” explains Steenkamp, “but many enterprises also found that they needed similar functionality. Now, as the world continues adjusting to a COVID-19 reality, security and reliability will remain of paramount importance for everyone. Additionally, for any company, downtime brings tremendous cost implications, whether it is caused by malicious threat actors, simple maintenance, or human error reasons. 
“When the network and dependent systems are down, orders can’t be placed, employees are less productive, and costly resources have to be diverted to fix problems. Understanding the business case for remote network support is based on a risk/return calculation that takes into account the cost of downtime compared to the mix of resources spent to avoid downtime. Networks Unlimited Africa has prepared a comprehensive Uplogix business case that sets out comparative costs of network downtime.”
Steenkamp says that with its automated remediation, more connectivity options and high security – Uplogix is a closed appliance, meaning the underlying operating system is locked down – Uplogix provides secure access on a closed platform, ensuring reliable network operations with the highest security. 
“As a result, businesses can continue operating remotely with minimal disruption even during these challenging times,” she concludes.
Staff writer

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Vodacom Nigeria Appoints New MD | Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Vodacom Business Africa announced that it has appointed Valentine Chime as the new managing director for its Nigeria operations.
Chime joins the Company from Aruwa Capital, a private equity company investing across West Africa. Prior to this, he was at Kaizen Venture Partners, a private equity company focused on distressed assets. He has held various C-suite positions in a number of portfolio companies in different sectors.
As MD, Chime will drive the Company’s vision of becoming Africa’s leading cloud and digital service provider, bringing to market a very relevant suite of next-generation technology solutions in the fields of Edge AI, SD-WAN/NFV and Cloud.
“Vodacom Business Africa is well-known and very respected in the industry, and I look forward to taking up this mission. COVID-19 has accelerated digital transformation, and we are perfectly positioned to deliver intelligent connectivity through seamless delivery of cloud and digital services and technologies to our clients. We are about simpler, seamless solutions. I look forward to building on this and growing the business.” says Chime.

How to RICA a Sim Card Using Vodacom’s ChatBot TOBi
With social distancing as the new norm, one of the most innovative and convenient ways to Self-RICA is through TOBi – Vodacom’s chatbot and trusted self-service team member – which allows existing Vodacom customers to RICA prepaid SIMs from the comfort of their own homes.
Traditionally customers would have to visit a store and present some form of identification, proof of residence and the SIM card. Now customers simply need to take a picture, scanning a new prepaid SIM card, an ID document or passport for foreign nationals and then record a video with a unique PIN as proof that they are the correct person.
All these identities are compared using AI and biometrics and then verified with the Department of Home Affairs. Once verified, the customer can insert the SIM in any cellphone where they will receive a welcome message from Vodacom with their new cellphone number.
During the Self-RICA process, TOBi will assist with capturing and validating personal information against external trusted sources including the Department of Home Affairs, biometrics and AI – creating ultimate convenience for the customer.
According to Vodacom, TOBi is solving between 10 000 to 20 000 customer queries a day via SMS, WhatsApp, the My Vodacom App and on the Vodacom website.

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Managed Threat Detection and Response Made Easy – Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Lately, we can’t help noticing an endless cycle where the more enterprises invest in threat prevention; the more hackers adapt and continue to penetrate enterprises.
To make things worse, detecting these penetrations still takes too long with an average dwell time that exceeds 100 (!) days.
To keep the enterprise protected, IT needs to figure out a way to break this endless cycle without purchasing complex security and data analysis tools and hiring the right (skilled and expensive) security professionals to operate them.

Enter MDR

An advanced security service, Managed Detection and Response (MDR), provides 24/7 threat detection and response, leveraging AI and machine learning to investigate, alert, and contain threats.
MDR is becoming popular and gaining traction. In fact, Gartner forecasts that by 2024, 25% of organizations will be using MDR services, up from less than 5% today. And by 2024, 40% of midsize enterprises will use MDR as their only managed security service (source: Gartner’s Market Guide for Managed Detection and Response Services Published 15 July 2019 – ID G00367208).
MDR is the industry’s hope to break the cycle of adding more and more threat prevention tools, as hackers continuously increase their attack capabilities. Yet, to gain visibility into all network traffic – critical for effective detection and response – traditional MDR services require installing dedicated software and hardware across an enterprise’s network.
This deployment model is expensive and complex, causing many companies to put off implementing MDR services while leaving their network at risk.

Houston, we have a triple problem

1 — Every enterprise is a target for hackers, regardless of its size or type of business. According to Verizon’s 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR), 43% of breaches involved small business victims; 10% were breaches of the Financial Industry, and 15% were breaches involving Healthcare organizations.
2 — On top of that, enterprises need always to assume the worst, as Gartner states clearly, “The assumption must be that the organization will be compromised, that the hacker’s ability to penetrate systems is never fully countered. Continuous monitoring of systems and behavior is the only way to reliably detect threats before it is too late.”
3 — As a result, enterprises must continuously stand guard, presenting a huge challenge for IT in terms of resources and in-house skills. Furthermore, according to the DBIR, “56% of breaches took months or longer to discover,” which during this long dwell time the malware distributes itself, spreads throughout the enterprise, and when activated, the damage caused is multiplied.
In short, if all enterprises are targets, and must always assume they’re under attack, then IT needs to be watching 24/7. Hmmm, does this sound impractical to anyone else?

Okay, we’ve had a problem – meet Cato MDR

Cato MDR is incorporated into Cato’s SASE platform, overcoming the complications of traditional MDR. Cato aims to break the endless cycle of increasing threats and lurking hackers. How? By enabling customers that use Cato Cloud, to offload the resource-intensive and skill-dependent process of detecting compromised endpoints, to its SOC team. The team has instant, clear visibility to all traffic, and there’s no need for customers to deploy any additional network probes or software agents.
Cato automatically collects, indexes, and stores the metadata of every WAN and Internet traffic flow traversing the Cato Cloud. Data aggregation and machine learning algorithms mine the full network context of Cato’s huge data warehouse, detecting any malware indicators across customer networks. Cato’s SOC team assesses the traffic flaws and alerts customers on any active threats.

A sneak peek behind the scenes

Cato claims that its MDR service stands guard for customers, and dwell time is reduced from months to just 1-2 days. We had to get a closer look to understand, if and how this is possible. Here’s what we found.
Cato’s MDR service delivers these key capabilities:

Zero-footprint data collection: Cato can access all relevant information for threat analysis since it already serves as the customer’s network platform (remember, Cato MDR is integrated into Cato’s SASE platform). This eliminates the need for any further installations, and all that’s left for customers is to subscribe to the service.
Automated threat hunting: Cato uses big data and machine learning algorithms to mine the network for suspicious flows, which are based on the many flow attributes available to Cato. These include accurate client application identification, geolocation, risk assessment of the destination based on IP, URL category, URL name structure, frequency of access, and more.
Human verification: Cato’s SOC team inspects suspicious flows on a daily basis, closing the investigation for benign traffic.
Network-level threat containment: Cato alerts customers in case of a verified threat, and based on a predefined policy, will apply network-level threat containment by blocking the network traffic.
Guided remediation: Cato provides the context of threats for IT’s further reference and recommends the actions to be taken for remediation.

Additional cool capabilities

Multi-dimensional approach:Cato has full visibility into all network traffic. From each network flow that passes through its MDR service, Cato extracts and collects metadata on the following:

Source – Cato distinguishes between human and non-human traffic, client type, OS data,
and more.
Destination – Cato sees the popularity, category, and reputation.
Behavior – Cato knows the traffic patterns, such as frequency and volume of data.

Cato then stores all this metadata in its big data repository.

Cato’s unique multi-dimensional approach

Threat hunting:

We zoomed into Cato’s threat hunting technology and learned that Cato reduces a daily quantity of millions of flows down to only 10-20 flows, which need actually to be investigated by its SOC team. The team then reviews the list and makes sure customers are only notified of confirmed threats that need attention. This eliminates what we all dread – false positives.

Threat hunting – from millions of events to a meaningful, actionable item

Service walkthrough

The Cato MDR portal is where customers handle all requests and activities. The portal includes an online ticketing system, through which all threats are reported, and their remediation status is tracked. We found the portal to be intuitive and self-explanatory; we’re happy to take you through a quick walkthrough:
Once you log into the portal, you’ll be able to view your company’s activities’ detailed status.

View all company activities and requests

For each request category, you can see a summary of all active tickets that include: the ID number of a specific request, the name of the requestor, the time of the last activity performed on the request, and the status of the ticket.
Clicking on any of the requests enabled us to drill down into its specifics. Each threat incident includes the following detailed information:

Name and IP of the site on which a threat was discovered.
Type and name of threat.
Risk level of a specific threat type.
Internal/external IP address that is the target of an attack.
Domain name that refers to a server’s IP address.
Destination port number of a communication channel.
Reference and link to Cato’s event discovery (Instant Insight).
Action taken by Cato’s SOC team.
Further reference to a specific threat or attack.
Recommended action for customers to take for removing a threat.

Drill down into any request

Cato MDR generates monthly reports that list all previous and ongoing investigations and include an executive summary section, which we found especially beneficial for easily sharing with relevant peers and managers.

Monthly audit reports of all events

Wrap-up

Cato MDR won us – and ) over with its sophisticated capabilities on the one hand, and easy-to-use portal on the other. But mostly we were impressed by the peace and quiet it provides enterprises and their IT teams.
Customers – over with its sophisticated capabilities on the one hand, and easy-to-use portal on the other. But mostly we were impressed by the peace and quiet it provides enterprises and their IT teams.
Cato supports Gartner’s four stages of an adaptive security architecture. Cato’s integrated security stack addresses the Prediction and Prevention stages, and Cato MDR concludes with the remaining stages of Detection and Response.

Cato MDR adds Detection and Response to Prediction and Prevention already delivered by Cato Cloud

Big LIKE Cato Networks!

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New Malware Steals Facebook Credentials from African Mobile Users | Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Sourced from Republic Title

Anti-fraud firm, Evina has revealed that a certain malware uses javascript to retrieve the login credentials of Facebook users. The company confirms that social media users in Africa are amongst those who have been targeted.
This malware launches a browser that loads Facebook at the same time a mobile user is trying to open the platform – by displaying in the foreground, the user believes the fraudulent browser is legitimate.

Malware and ransomware that targets hundreds of millions of mobile users worldwide can have devastating personal, productivity and financial consequences.

“This new malware is particularly dangerous as it could effectively ruin your online and offline life by making off with the credentials of one of your most valued pieces of digital real estate,” says Evina CEO, David Lotfi.
“Worse still, it is embedded in a whole range of applications commonly available for app store download and these include everything from flashlight to wallpaper, pedometer, file manager and video maker apps.”
Internet-based fraud has become so pervasive that sometimes it seems as if everyone you meet has, at some time or another, been a victim of digital fraud.
“Fraudsters are everywhere and they are not confined to the DCB sector. Let’s remember once again that victims are not culprits. The app developer, the app store and all other legitimate players involved are simply innocent victims of fraudsters and their malware. Fortunately, firms like Evina exist to take the battle to the fraudsters themselves,” concludes Lotfi.

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‘The pinnacle of storytelling’: reader reviews of The Last of Us Part II | Games – Blog – 10 minute

‘A phenomenal follow-up’
Beyond being one of the most visually and technically stunning games, the story forces the player to face the consequences of choices made in the first game and refuses to shy away from the pain of those choices. The main character and the player come to the realisation that a cycle of perpetual violence is the result of vengeance and only forgiveness can help us heal. While focusing on issues like transgender rights and homophobia, PTSD, loyalty, and survival, the game also gives representation to a multitude of different women, with varying personalities, motives, and dimensions. A phenomenal follow-up to its iconic original. Erin McDonagh, 26, student and retail associate, Toronto
‘A tremendous accomplishment for LGBTQ representation’
Rather than taking a safe and ‘predictable’ route with the story, Naughty Dog has sought to do something special by taking huge risks on a big AAA game. The main character (Ellie) is a lesbian in a relationship with a bisexual woman (Dina). This is a tremendous accomplishment for LGBTQ representation in the largely straight cis male dominated gaming world. Couple this with the fact that the game also features a transgender character and was released during Pride month? Ground-breaking. Antonio Navarrete, 26, accountant, California
‘It broke me’
I grew up loving the first game. I was 13 when I played it and I used to fall asleep to the main menu music because it was so peaceful. That’s how the whole game felt; even in a world of distraction and death, the deaths meant something. But the second game was just death, upon death, upon death. It was genuinely depressing to watch all the characters I loved – like Ellie, Joel and Tommy – lose everything, for it to be all in vain. In the end we’re just left with two broken, soulless girls fighting each other, and for what? It broke me. Elena Mekhtieva, 20, student, London
‘The game became a boring slog’
The graphics, acting and gameplay are first class. But about 20 hours in, when the game reaches what seems to be a devastating and realistic climax, Naughty Dog loses the plot and, without warning, I found myself playing as the character I had just spent the last 20 hours trying to kill. All the emotion and tension drained away and the game became a boring slog through all the same sort of stuff I’d been doing for the previous twenty20 hours, just now playing as a character I neither cared about or particularly liked. From then on the story just became tedious and increasingly unbelievable. The Last of Us Part II could have been Game of the Year but the second half ruins it. Anonymous, 69
‘It’s the pinnacle of storytelling in video games’
A perfect sequel and a masterpiece on its own. Despite Joel’s early death, this game is still about him and Ellie. Their relationship is as complex and heart-warming as ever. There is also new depth in the themes – vengeance, violence and hate are delivered in a powerful way – as well as in the character development. Playing as Abby added a lot to the experience, and I still can’t believe I went from hating Abby for killing Joel, to being happy about her surviving. An intriguing story, complex characters, rock solid combat mechanics, and gorgeous graphics, as well as an immersive world and atmospheric music – Part II is the pinnacle of storytelling in video games. Pauliina Kivistö, 28, student, Finland
‘I have never felt so let down’
It was disappointing to see the game shift from the relationship between Joel and Ellie, to some bleak revenge story that doesn’t get fulfilled. The gameplay is boring, and the story is not at all immersive. I don’t think the creators of the game did our characters any justice. Ellie feels completely different and is not the same girl so many fell in love with in the first game. . It feels very unreal, and the emotions and moods don’t make much sense, neither does the narrative. I have never felt so let down. Noor Randhawa, 19, pre-med student, Montreal
‘It will be impossible to forget’
I was blown away several times in the first couple of hours; gripping, emotional and often shocking, but this time the execution is almost flawless. Gestures, expressions and body language are more detailed and convincing than any game I’ve played. Enemies are people, with names and friends who care about them. The killing is graphic and inescapable, and it’s never easy. There are consequences. One perfectly crafted detail that sums up this game is the little hiss as your stealth kill’s last breath escapes the wound in their neck. The Last of Us Part II will be impossible to forget. Nordin, 51, musician, Glasgow

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Extend US Facebook boycott to Europe, campaigners urge | Facebook – Blog – 10 minute

Campaigners are calling for an advertising boycott of Facebook in the US to be extended to Europe, after its chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, dismissed the effects of the campaign in a meeting with staff.
A growing number of companies have halted advertising on Facebook after criticism that the platform was not doing enough to counter hate speech on its sites.
Imran Ahmed, the chief executive of the British nonprofit the Center for Countering Digital Hate, said: “There’s a very strong argument to be made that advertisers should be boycotting Facebook in Europe as well.
“In the US, I think the question of Facebook’s role in spreading hate is highly party political, but in Europe it’s generally accepted on all sides as being a serious problem.
“Perhaps that’s taken some of the fire and energy out of calls for Facebook to change its behaviour. But most of the polling shows that in Europe there is an even stronger desire for Facebook to be held to account for the hate speech and misinformation that spreads on its platform.”
In response to criticism, Zuckerberg last month announced a raft of changes to the platform’s hate speech policies, banning content that demonises immigrants and further restricting posts that make false claims about voting.
While some advertisers, including Patagonia and Ford, have pulled spending internationally as part of the campaign, others such as Unilever have only taken action in the US. The UK-headquartered conglomerate, which owns brands including Ben and Jerry’s and Marmite, explained its decision with reference to the “polarised election period in the US”. Unilever has not responded to requests for comment.
In the past week, many of the companies that joined the boycott announced they would pull all spending globally. Lego’s chief marketing officer, Julia Goldin, said the company would “take immediate steps to carefully review the standards we apply to advertising and engagement on global social media platforms”, and would pause all spending for 30 days. “We are confident solutions exist but urgent action is needed,” Goldin added.
But the lack of a truly global response, particularly from the largest advertisers, has come under fire from campaigners and emboldened Facebook’s senior leadership. According to a report by the tech news site the Information, Zuckerberg sees the boycott as a PR issue rather than a serious threat and is not planning a major response.
“We’re not going to change our policies or approach on anything because of a threat to a small percent of our revenue, or to any percent of our revenue,” he said, according to the site. “My guess is that all these advertisers will be back on the platform soon enough.”
Advertisers needed to ensure their message was clear, Ahmed said. “If you’re a large company and you’re pulling your advertising from the US but not the rest of the world, that puts into question your commitment.
“It is by now clear that legislators are dithering around the world on taking robust legislative or regulatory action so it’s on the rest of us in civil society, which includes businesses, to send a clear message to social media companies.”
Ahmed’s call came after a group of 37 UK charities, including Barnardo’s, Mind and Parkinson’s UK, threatened to curb spending on social media engagement if platforms such as Facebook did not tackle hate speech.

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Top 10 Most Popular Android Apps in Nigeria | Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Sourced from Gadgets Now.

In this tech-reliant world, smartphones and apps have become essential. Whether it’s to make communicating with remote-working colleagues more convenient or keeping up with friends and family on social media – apps play a huge role in our day-to-day interactions with the world.
Here’s a closer look at the top 10 android apps used by Nigerians:
10. WhatsApp Business
WhatsApp Business enables users to have a business presence on WhatsApp, communicate more efficiently with customers and ultimately help grow business.
9. Telegram
Telegram is a communication tool with over 400k users – it connects users via a unique, distributed network of data centres around the globe.

8. Opera Mini
Opera Mini is a ‘light-weight’ web browser that blocks annoying ads and includes a powerful download manager with offline file sharing.
7. Likee
Likee (formerly LIKE) is a video creation and sharing platform where users can create original videos, music videos and funny clips.
6. Instagram
Instagram is a social platform where users can share images and videos from their daily moments to life’s highlights.
5. Facebook Lite
Facebook Lite is a faster and less data-consuming version of the popular networking app, Facebook. It allows users to save space on their devices while still keeping them connected (even on 2G networks) to friends and giving them the option to sharing to a Timeline, like photos, search for people, and edit profiles and groups.
4. ZOOM Cloud Meetings
ZOOM Cloud Meetings helps roughly 500k users stay connected to their colleges through its video conferencing, online meeting and group messaging platform.
3. TikTok Lite
TikTok Lite is a creative platform where users can create short videos showcasing their incredible talents, precious moments and knowledge.
2. WhatsApp
WhatsApp is a communication tool that lets users message and call friends and family. Unsurprisingly, the app has seen a huge surge in use since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. MORE 
MORE is a social app where users can share videos, images, opinions, join tribes, post personal blogs, share funny moments and make friends.

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Through the Darkest of Times review – join the anti-Nazi resistance | Games – Blog – 10 minute

The full and final exposure of atrocities perpetrated by the Nazi regime during the second world war inoculated Europeans against fascism’s treacherous appeal. “Lest we forget” became a pledge to not only remember the dead, but to also remain fiercely vigilant for the creeping circumstances that led to those deaths. Four score years on and, with fascism rising across Europe and totalitarian-adjacent behaviour from western leaders (the undermining of the free press; the villainising of immigrants; a government rich on spin, poor on meaningful accountability), it seems the vaccine is weakening. Through the Darkest of Times, a strategy game from a Berlin-based indie studio, seeks to provide a top-up dose.
The game opens in Berlin in 1933, a socially, politically and culturally progressive city laid low by the Great Depression, now the seat of Hitler’s power. You gather a small group of concerned citizens from different economic and political backgrounds, united by their disgust. The game advances in weekly “turns”, in which you must allocate team members to a range of activities – recruiting supporters, gathering funds, buying illicit supplies from sympathetic shop owners or daubing anti-government slogans on the city walls – according to their skills. You then watch as each action plays out. Success will increase your clandestine group’s power and influence, but if you’ve chosen poorly there’s a good chance your members could be spotted, followed and killed.

Watch as each act of resistance plays out: Through the Darkest of Times. Photograph: PR
At the start of each turn, you receive the latest newspapers, which lay out, with meticulous historical accuracy, the party’s inexorable corruptions of society, from book-burning to the boycotting of Jewish businesses, and their effects on the populace. Key historical scenes weave into the narrative, enabling you to play eyewitness to various key moments leading up to the second world war and the Holocaust.
Some comparisons to today’s political events are clumsily pointed (one headline claims that Hitler wants to “drain the swamp”), and there’s an inevitable simplification involved in quantifying the effects of activism and protest into spreadsheet-ready columns. But, by slowing the story to the weekly pace of developments in Nazi Germany (each chapter jumps forward to a new time period, but subsequently progresses in almost real time), the game shows, with sobering clarity, how fascism stepped to the line, crossed it, then marched forward into depravity. The result is the rare kind of essential playing that inspires deep reflection.

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Final Fantasy VII Remake’s creators on updating one of the world’s most-loved games | Games – Blog – 10 minute

Square Enix’s modern transformation of the 1997 classic Final Fantasy VII had players marvelling earlier this year. In addition to the graphical glow-up and modern-feeling changes to the game’s systems, Final Fantasy VII Remake added substance and emotional depth to much-loved characters such as Cloud, Tifa and Aerith, and left fans puzzling over the meanings of protagonist Cloud’s cryptic visions and the game’s thoroughly baffling ending.
All will hopefully become clearer when the next episode of the Remake project arrives – for despite lasting a good 30-40 hours, April’s instalment covers just a small section of the original game, and Square Enix still hasn’t specified just how many instalments are still to come. But while we wait, Final Fantasy VII Remake’s co-director Naoki Hamaguchi and producer Yoshinori Kitase answer some burning questions about their approach to the remake, conveying emotion through gameplay, and unexpectedly releasing the game into a global pandemic.
What did you hope to achieve by expanding the city of Midgar for the remake?
Kitase: When we began working on the Remake project, I went back to the original game and played it again, and the sections of Midgar were far shorter than I remembered from memory. I did feel that the Shinra company executives and the Turks who will appear again in later parts of the story needed to be portrayed in greater detail, the same way as the three members of Avalanche.
Our vision was to dive much deeper into the world and its characters than ever before. In doing this we have expanded upon the eclectic city of Midgar, building upon the structure of the city, and showing the lives of the residents in greater detail … I loved being able to show the city of Midgar and its unique structure in full 3D. The technical limits of the original game fixed the camera to a top-down view, but in the remake you can move through it like never before. The sense of immense weight and oppression that you get when looking up from the slums really allows you to experience the feeling that the slum-dwellers get from living there first-hand.

Final Fantasy VII Remake’s reimagined Midgar. Photograph: Square Enix
Were there any new ideas for Midgar that you tried, but eventually rejected?
Hamaguchi: Final Fantasy VII Remake contains many mini-games that pay homage to the original, and there was one that I really wanted to include, but ultimately I was not able to do so. Fans might remember the basketball shooting mini-game in the Gold Saucer, but we also put a basketball hoop in the park that you find on the way to Jesse’s family home in the slums, and I wanted to make it playable there, too. However, we felt that the noise of rebounding basketballs really did not work with the atmosphere at that point in the story, when the team were moving covertly in the dead of night, so we removed it. We still wanted to leave a little homage in there though, so we left an abandoned basketball.
There has been much speculation about the significance of Cloud’s visions of Sephiroth. What can you say about their relationship?
Kitase: In the original game, Sephiroth did not make an appearance in the section of the story told here, but we changed it to have him appear from the start, in order to position him playing an important role over the whole of the Remake project. Sephiroth plays a major part in the ongoing story of the next game, so I am unable to reveal any more information about him here. However, seeing this kind of lively debate between fans on social media gives us huge motivation for the next instalment.
On the ending: will future instalments veer away from the original Final Fantasy VII’s story?
Kitase: I am not able to tell you the answer to that now. I understand that there is a lot of speculation among the fans; that is what we wanted and we’ve really enjoyed seeing these theories and guesses of what the ending means. We wanted the fans to keep the discussion going on social media and keep their excitement high as we head towards the next game.
What was your approach to remaking the game’s iconic cutscenes?
Hamaguchi: There were various hardware limitations on the original Final Fantasy VII, meaning that the way the characters expressed themselves had to be stylised and overexaggerated in order to communicate their emotions. With the remake there is naturally a voice-over for the dialogue, and we are able to portray characters’ emotions in a more realistic manner, allowing us to communicate without resorting to dialogue.
[But] portraying character emotions through cutscenes is already done in film, and the biggest new challenge that we took on with Final Fantasy VII Remake was to foreshadow and frame the protagonists’ emotional states through the gameplay experience as well. For example, the depiction of the devastation in Sector 8 after the Mako Reactor 1 bombing mission was important in conveying the internal strife that the characters were experiencing towards their actions, and all the dialogue spoken by NPCs [non-player characters] in that section served to create the right atmosphere for later story developments.

Final Fantasy VII Remake’s Naoki Hamaguchi and Yoshinori Kitase at a recreation of in-game bar Seventh Heaven. Photograph: Square Enix
How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected the game’s release and ongoing development?
Kitase: I am pained and saddened to see so many people around the world suffering with the virus and even losing their lives. When we set the release date for the game, nobody could have predicted a global pandemic like this, and the release of the game happening during this unprecedented situation has blindsided us.
At this current time, the team are still making the next game via remote working. Our performance will temporarily drop below 100% efficiency because of this, but I do not think there should be a big impact in the long term. I sincerely hope that Final Fantasy VII Remake can provide those who are forced to endure the stress of living under lockdown a moment of relief and enjoyment in these trying times.

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