Friday, August 12, 2022

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How To Download Videos From YouTube


Youtube has been making moves for years to restrict the ability for 3rd parties to download video from their service. However, there are still methods available that work. Additionally, many of these options will allow you to download from several different sites including Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube alternatives like Bitchute or Odysee, etc.

Official Way To Download YouTube Videos

Youtube Premium offers the capability to download most videos via mobile but unfortunately that doesn’t extend to the desktop version.

Websites To Download YouTube Videos

9convert – Multiple video and audio only download options available.

Video Solo – MP4 and WebM downloads available in multiple resolutions as well as audio only downloads in MP3 and the ability to include subtitles.

YMate – Not as many features as Video Solo but has a simple interface that works as intended

Plugins For Downloading Youtube Videos

AddonCrop – Feature rich plugin with many different format and resolution options. However, it’s limited to converting videos less than 180 minutes.

DownloadYoutubeChrome – Google blocks this extension by default but you can follow the instructions on their website to bypass the restrictions.

Desktop App For Downloading Youtube Videos

jDownloader – This application is the cream of the crop when it comes to downloading videos online. It will allow you to download videos on almost any website. You’ll also be able to select any resolution available for the particular video you’re attempting to download.

Vivo Commits to Three Years of Updates to Flagship Phones


Vivo has announced it will provide Android and security updates for its flagship devices for at least three years.

Vivo is a company that makes a brand of smartphones popular in Asia, Australia and Europe. Like most smartphone makers, Vivo phones run the Android operating system (OS). Unlike iOS, which is controlled exclusively by Apple, there is a great deal of variance in the levels of support the various Android vendors provide.

Vivo is working to differentiate itself from rivals with the announcement that its upcoming Vivo X flagship line will receive OS and security updates for three years — with some caveats. The policy will only apply to users in Europe, Australia and India, and only includes the X line of smartphones.

“Featuring top of the line hardware, the X series flagship phones are built to last — and we want to make sure that our customers get software support that lives up to their expectations,” said Vivo senior vice president and CTO Yujian Shi, via ZDNet.

“We always innovate with the user in mind. With this pledge, we are making a promise to our customers that they will be able to enjoy a premium smartphone experience for an extended period and continue to benefit from the latest software features.”

The announcement puts Vivo in greater competition with Samsung, which recently announced its own extended support plans. While Vivo’s announcement will likely help it in its core markets against other competitors, Samsung is still more widely available, and now offers four years of support, instead of Vivo’s three.

Germany Bans WhatsApp/Facebook Data Sharing

Germany has banned WhatsApp data from being used by Facebook, in yet another blow to the social media giant’s plans.

Facebook angered users and lawmakers with its plans to share WhatsApp user data with other Facebook-owned companies. Many users started closing their accounts and moving to more secure alternatives, such as Signal. The backlash was so severe that Facebook pushed back the deadline, and ultimately changed the scope of the plan — from locking out users that refused to accept the terms to limiting their functionality.

At least one jurisdiction is trying to stop Facebook altogether, with Hamburg data protection commissioner Johannes Caspar, banning the company from moving forward. 

“The order aims to secure the rights and freedoms of millions of users which are agreeing to the terms Germany-wide,” Mr Caspar said in a statement, via The Irish Times, when issuing a three month emergency order.

“We need to prevent damage and disadvantages linked to such a black-box-procedure.”

Needless to say, Facebook is pushing back, saying the order will have no impact on its plans.

“Our recent update explains the options people have to message a business on WhatsApp and provides further transparency about how we collect and use data. As the Hamburg DPA’s claims are wrong, the order will not impact the continued roll-out of the update. We remain fully committed to delivering secure and private communications for everyone.”

Handheld Holographic Comms: iPhone May Get 3D Images With No Glasses


A new patent shows the direction Apple may be taking with augmented reality, displaying 3D images without special glasses.

It’s no secret Apple CEO Tim Cook prefers augmented reality (AR) to virtual reality (VR). He has expressed his belief that AR is more social and inclusive, keeping people connected to the world and people around them. Another advantage of AR is the lower technical requirements, although it doesn’t offer the same impressive level of immersion as VR is capable of.

A newly-granted patent, first spotted by AppleInsider, indicates Apple may be working on addressing those issues, with an iPhone screen that will display 3D images — without the need for special glasses. Titled “Split-screen driving of electronic device displays,” the patent describes using a flat screen, such as an iPad or iPhone, to display 3D images.

Like many tech companies, Apple files many patents, some of which never see the light of day. The patent also doesn’t show how Apple intends to overcome the challenges of creating a 3D image without glasses or headset, which work by sending separate images to each eye.

If Apple’s plans come to fruition, however, a future iPhone may be the closest thing yet to science fiction-style, handheld hologram communicators.

Majority of States Oppose Instagram for Children

Attorneys general for 44 states and territories have come out in opposition to Facebook’s plans for a version of Instagram for children under 13.

Facebook has been planning to roll out a version of the popular social media platform for children under the age of 13, a group that enjoys special protection under the law. Facebook is believed to be in the early stages of planning, with no concrete timelines having been announced.

Nonetheless, AGs for Massachusetts, Nebraska, Vermont, Tennessee, Alaska, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming are voicing their opposition.

In a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the AGs outlined their concerns, not the least of which was the impact early exposure to social media has on young minds.

First, research increasingly demonstrates that social media can be harmful to the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of children. “In the last decade, increasing mental distress and treatment for mental health conditions among youth in North America has paralleled a steep rise in the use of smartphones and social media by children and adolescents.” Research shows a link between young people’s use of social media and the “increase in mental distress, self-injurious behavior and suicidality among youth.” In fact, an online-monitoring company tracking the activity of 5.4 million children found that “Instagram was frequently flagged for suicidal ideation, depression and body image concerns.”

Another major concern was the risk of cyberbullying, with the letter highlighting that 42% of young Instagram users had experienced cyberbullying, the highest rate of any social media platform.

The AGs also took Facebook to task for its track record protecting young users and their privacy.

Third, Facebook has a record of failing to protect the safety and privacy of children on its platform, despite claims that its products have strict privacy controls. Reports from 2019 showed that Facebook’s Messenger Kids app, intended for kids between the ages of six and 12, contained a significant design flaw that allowed children to circumvent restrictions on online interactions and join group chats with strangers that were not previously approved by the children’s parents. Just recently, a “mistake” with Instagram’s algorithm promoted diet content to users with eating disorders, where the app’s search function recommended terms including “appetite suppressants” and “fasting” to vulnerable people who were at risk of relapsing. These alarming failures cast doubt on Facebook’s ability to protect children on their proposed Instagram platform and comply with relevant privacy laws such as the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.

It remains to be seen if Facebook will change course or continue with its plans. If it does continue, it may face significant legal challenges given the opposition it is already experiencing.

Google Escalates Roku Dispute, Adds YouTube TV to YouTube App


Google is escalating its conflict with Roku, adding YouTube TV streaming to the standard YouTube app.

Roku pulled the YouTube TV streaming app at the end of April, following a dispute with Google over contract terms. Roku was not asking for any additional money, only asking that Google respect its data practices, not require more expensive hardware and not engage in anticompetitive behavior. When an agreement could not be reached, Roku pulled the YouTube TV app from its platform.

It appears Google is determined to go around Roku, rather than working with them, and has bundled the streaming service with the standard YouTube app. The company detailed its plans in a blog post.

Today, we’re introducing a new feature that gives you access to YouTube TV from within the YouTube app, making it easier to enjoy all the content you love. Existing members can easily access YouTube TV by clicking on “Go to YouTube TV” in the main YouTube app. This update will be available to all YouTube TV members on Roku over the next few days, and we will expand to as many devices as we can over time.

The company says it is continuing to negotiate with Roku, and that this measure is simply a way to ensure its customers continue to have access to its content. Similarly, Google says it is working to make sure Roku’s devices meet its technical specifications.

In the event no agreement is reached, it appears Google is working on a long-term solution.

We’re also in discussions with other partners to secure free streaming devices in case YouTube TV members face any access issues on Roku.

Twitter Introduces Tip Jar for Contributing to Favorite Tweeters

Twitter has unveiled Tip Jar, a new featured designed to allow users to financially contribute to their favorite tweeters.

The social media platform has been exploring ways of increasing engagement and driving growth, especially as it has been eclipsed by some newer rivals. Tip Jar is a new feature aimed at doing just that, albeit in a tangible way beyond following or retweeting.

Senior Product Manager Esther Crawford made the announcement via a blog post.

Tip Jar is an easy way to support the incredible voices that make up the conversation on Twitter. This is a first step in our work to create new ways for people to receive and show support on Twitter – with money. 

Starting today, everyone using Twitter in English can send tips to applicable accounts on Twitter for iOS and Android. For now, a limited group of people around the world who use Twitter in English can add Tip Jar to their profile and accept tips. This group includes creators, journalists, experts, and nonprofits. Soon, more people will be able to add Tip Jar to their profile and we’ll expand to more languages. 

Accounts with Tip Jar enabled will have a Tip Jar icon next to the Follow button. Twitter currently supports Bandcamp, Cash App, Patreon, PayPal and Venmo, and will not take a cut from the tip.

At the same time, there is a need for caution, as some users are warning that using PayPal with Tip Jar could lead to a person’s home address being revealed.

Ignoring WhatsApp’s New Privacy Policy Will Limit Functionality

Facebook is backtracking once again, saying it will not lock WhatsApp users out if they don’t accept new privacy terms.

Facebook sparked international furor when it announced in January that it would start sharing WhatsApp user data with other Facebook-owned companies. As part of the change, Facebook said users would be required to accept the new privacy policy or be locked out of their account. In response, users started abandoning the platform in favor of alternatives, and counties started coming out in opposition to the plans.

After pushing the deadline back, Facebook is charting a new course — although one that will likely still leave many users unhappy. According to a post on the company’s site, users that don’t accept the new terms won’t be locked out, but will be hampered by limited functionality.

You won’t be able to access your chat list, but you can still answer incoming phone and video calls. If you have notifications enabled, you can tap on them to read or respond to a message or call back a missed phone or video call.

After a few weeks of limited functionality, you won’t be able to receive incoming calls or notifications and WhatsApp will stop sending messages and calls to your phone.

While WhatsApp won’t be closing individuals’ accounts, the limited functionality may not be much of an improvement for many users.

Google Bringing Its Own Version of Privacy Labels to Play Store

Google is adopting a major feature from iOS, implementing its own version of app privacy labels.

Apple introduced privacy labels late last year, requiring developers to disclose what information they collect and link to a user. The feature has shed a spotlight on the data practices of popular apps, with Facebook and Google drawing sharp criticism for the amount of data collected.

Google appears to be following Apple’s lead, informing developers it is rolling out a safety section in the Google Play Store, designed to help consumers understand an app’s data and security practices. The information presented includes an app’s security features, such as encryption; whether an app follows Google’s Families policy; whether data collection is required or optional; if the app’s safety section has been verified by an independent third-party; and whether the app allows users to request data deletion upon removal.

Google makes it clear its own apps will be subject to the new safety section, along with third-party apps.

All apps on Google Play – including Google’s own apps – will be required to share this information and provide a privacy policy.

We’re committed to ensuring that developers have plenty of time to prepare. This summer, we’ll share the new policy requirements and resources, including detailed guidance on app privacy policies. Starting Q2 2022, new app submissions and app updates must include this information.

Google’s announcement is good news for Android users, and should be a significant step forward in protecting their data and privacy.