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The Motivator

3 Things To Do Stay Safe On Houseparty App

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Following the novel coronavirus pandemic that has forced many countries across the globe to announce a lockdown, people have been exploring different ways to keep in touch with friends and family.

One of the apps that have come to the rescue for many is the Houseparty app. Houseparty is owned by Epic Games, the company behind popular battle royale game Fortnite.

Houseparty is a social networking service that enables group video chatting through mobile and desktop apps. Users receive a notification when friends are online and available to group video chat. On average, users spend approximately 51 minutes a day on the app in a group or one-on-one chats.

Recently, accusations surfaced on social media that the platform has led to other online accounts being hacked. Many uses alleged that their other online accounts including NetflixeBayInstagram and Spotify were being hacked thanks to the Houseparty app.

When signing up to Houseparty, users are able identify friends using phone contacts, as well as connect to Facebook and Snapchat to find and invite people on the platform.

The thing that really sets Houseparty apart from other apps is hinted at by its name. Anyone who’s friends with someone else in a chat can join – meaning that you’re likely to run into strangers – and it is not necessarily easy to lurk without being noticed.

Reacting to the hacking allegations, Houseparty put out a tweet to users saying all accounts are safe and that it does not collect passwords for other sites.

In a statement, the service said it has found “no evidence” of such a breach.

“We’ve found no evidence to suggest a link between Houseparty and the compromises of other unrelated accounts,” a spokeswoman said.

“As a general rule, we suggest all users choose strong passwords when creating online accounts on any platform.

“Use a unique password for each account, and use a password generator or password manager to keep track of passwords, rather than using passwords that are short and simple.”

In case you are one of those using Houseparty to stay social during this period of the coronavirus lockdown.

Lock sensitive chats
You are instantly on and live the moment you open your Houseparty app. With the way the app is structured, it means that anyone can join your for a conversation. The idea is like wandering into a houseparty and trying to see who is willing to have a chat. This same structure applies to everyone you are chatting with too so you could be in a serious conversation and without changes, another friend opts into that chat too.

To avoid this, the first thing you should note is to be careful of who you add on the app. Secondly, it is important to lock any conversation that you don’t want unexpected people jumping into. You can do this by clicking the little lock icon at the bottom of the chat once everyone you want to be online is available, but you need to remember to do that every time.

Turn off your notifications
As stated earlier, the minute you log on the app, Houseparty sends out a notification that you are online. As a user of Houseparty, you will both be sent plenty of notifications and have plenty of notifications sent about you and both can be very annoying. You can control your notifications by opening the app and clicking the smiley face in the corner of the screen – there, you’ll see the option to “Manage Notificatications”, and clicking that gives you the ability to stop them being sent when you open the app or being sent to you when somebody else does the same.

Another option to explore is to turn off notifications completely. You do this on both Android and iOS, but that will mean that you won’t even receive a notification if someone calls you, and you’ll still be sending out notifications to other people, too.

You can also change these settings on a per-person basis. If you scroll down a little on the notifications screen, you’ll see the option to “mute” or “ghost” any given person. Ghosting them means that they won’t see when you come online while muting somebody means you won’t get notifications when they come online.

Sneak in
Many people are unaware of this feature but one of the most useful features on Houseparty is that you can choose to sneak in. If you hold down the app icon, you’ll get the option to “sneak in” to Houseparty, meaning that you’ll open it up and be on the app without sending a notification to everyone.

Source: https://guardian.ng/life/life-features/3-settings-to-stay-safe-on-houseparty-app-during-coronavirus-lockdown/

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The Motivator

Spotify finally gets this most-wanted feature – and real music lovers will be relieved

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Music lovers rejoice – Spotify has removed the cap on how many songs you can add to your personal libraries, meaning you can save as many tracks and albums as you wish. 

Previously, users has to adhere to a 10,000 song limit when saving songs to their ‘Your Music’ collections – a cap that could be quickly reached if you like to collect full albums and compilations. 

If you did hit that 10,000 track limit, you would receive a message saying: “Epic collection my friend. There’s no more room in Your Library. To save more, you’ll need to remove some songs or albums”.

According to The Verge, Spotify users have been requesting an end to the cap for years, although the company had argued that “less than 1% of users” reached that cap. 

That 1% is clearly important to the streaming platform however, and the ability to save an unlimited number of tracks to their personal library will surely appease Spotify’s most dedicated users. 

There are some caveats, though; in its announcement, Spotify points out that you’ll still only be able to download 10,000 songs on five different devices for offline listening, and that playlists are still capped at 10,000 tracks. 

You may still find that ‘epic collection’ message pops up for the time being; Spotify says that if this happens, “you’ll get the new experience soon”. Presumably it will take the company a little while to roll this out to its 286 million regular users (as of March 2020).

Source: https://www.techradar.com/news/spotify-finally-gets-this-most-wanted-feature-and-real-music-lovers-will-be-relieved

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The Motivator

4 Things to Consider When Choosing Video Conferencing Software

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If you run a small business, then you may have already considered getting video conferencing software. For remote workers especially, staying engaged with colleagues and peers is essential to maintaining work relationships and staying productive.

Considering the major changes currently taking place around the world, businesses are looking for convenient ways to connect to their teams and keep operations moving. On a regular basis, 55 percent of organizations allow their staff to work from home. Now more than ever, the demand to connect is at an all-time high.

However, it’s important to know what to look for when searching for video software. Otherwise, you may end up using an application ill-suited for your business and its employees.

In this article, we’ll go over some of the things you need to consider before choosing conferencing tools to guarantee success for your small business. Let’s get started.

Cost

Perhaps the most important concern for most businesses is what certain technologies will cost them. Unexpected costs are responsible for 56 percent of all cart abandonment, which makes it a pressing issue for many businesses. Luckily, many video conferencing tools are available for free if your company is small or doesn’t have strict requirements.

Before committing to anything, estimate how much you may need to spend on software so you can budget for it. The worst thing you can do is purchase without planning, which may leave you paying for something you don’t need. Keep in mind that 95 percent of marketers plan to increase their video spending next year, so it may be worth it to pay more for what you need.

Group Size

Take a look at how many people you expect to attend online meetings and how much space you’ll need. If you run a small-to-medium-sized business, then most video tools will work for you. However, if you need something that will seamlessly host hundreds, or even thousands, of attendees, then you’ll need to do more research.

Consider how big your conference sizes will be. If you think you can get away with hosting smaller sized meetings, try to organize it. If not, there are options available for larger gatherings.Hosting a meeting you aren’t prepared for makes your company look unprofessional. You want to show your team that you’re a competent leader, and choosing the right tools will keep all of them on track.

Features

Do you know what features are non-negotiable for your company? Some can’t do without the ability to chat while others want to record their live sessions for future use. It’s important to identify what features you need and which ones you can do without. That way, when it’s time to make a decision, you’ll make the best one for your company.

Some popular features you may want to consider include:

  • Recording: Many companies prefer to record their meetings, especially longer ones, so people can rewatch it and continue to learn from it. It’s also resourceful for those who couldn’t attend certain meetings but want to learn the information.
  • Chatting: Speaking up can waste valuable meeting time and steer you away from the main topic, which is why chatting is useful for video conferences. It also reduces interruptions as people can simply type what they’re thinking.
  • Screen sharing: Many companies hold internal webinars and quarterly reviews that require them to show attendees their screen. It’s much easier than navigating users through words and instructions alone.
  • Background images: Recently, companies like Zoom have implemented the ability to upload custom background images. This makes for a fun environment during meetings.
  • Emojis: Some software lets attendees use emojis to express their feelings and avoid interruptions.

Support

If there’s an issue using video for you or your team, you want to make sure you have a backup to find a solution. Most businesses can’t afford to skip conferences where they exchange essential information that keeps their operations afloat.

So, the software you choose must come with excellent customer support. In most cases, you get what you pay for, so if you opt for a free service, you may not receive the help you’re looking for.

Research your software’s ratings and reviews to gauge how well it takes care of its customers. Seeing recurring complaints is a good sign to steer clear and find other options.

Back to You

You want the best for your business and that includes its tools. When it comes to video software, considering things such as cost and customer service ensures that you pick the right fit for your company. How will you decide what elements are most important for your brand?

Source: https://www.business2community.com/communications/4-things-to-consider-when-choosing-video-conferencing-software-02314004

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The Motivator

Wearable device can tell if your cough is the coronavirus

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Researchers in Chicago have developed a new wearable device that can track a person’s coronavirus symptoms, possibly alerting health authorities of new cases before patients are confirmed to be sick.

The small, soft patch adheres to a person’s throat and can monitor a person’s cough, breathing patterns, heart rate, and body temperature, among other factors. It transmits the data to what the developers have called a “HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act )-protected cloud” for monitoring.

Researchers said the device could be used to detect COVID-19 symptoms from home, identifying sick patients before they ever step foot in a hospital.

“These sensors have the potential to unlock information that will protect frontline medical workers and patients alike — informing interventions in a timely manner to reduce the risk of transmission and increase the likelihood of better outcomes,” said Arun Jayaraman, the research scientist at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab who led the algorithm development, in a press release.

Northwestern University's wearable tracker
Northwestern University

“This opens up new telemedicine strategies, as we won’t have to bring in patients for monitoring,” Jayaraman said. “Physicians can potentially review the patients’ data for hours, days, or weeks immediately, through a customized graphical user interface to a cloud data management system that is being set up for this purpose, to see an overall image of how the patient is doing.”

Researchers said the device was developed to sit at a place on the body — the dip in a person’s throat called the suprasternal notch — where it can track the maximum number of COVID-19 symptoms at once.

“Nobody has ever collected this type of data before,” said John A. Rogers, a faculty expert at Northwestern University’s Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science who led the technology development, in the press release. “Earlier detection is always better … for patients who have contracted the disease … the data [is] a mechanism to track the progression and/or the effects of treatments.”

Researchers said they are already making dozens of the devices each week at an in-house production facility in Chicago, and are working to expand deployment of the trackers through a company set up by the team.

Source: https://www.digitaltrends.com/news/covid-health-wearable-tracker/

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