Gmail Becomes Safer, Will Now Warn You About Unsecured Emails

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Starting today, any messages that Gmail users send or receive from email providers that don’t support TLS encryption will be flagged with a tiny unlocked padlock icon. Clicking the padlock brings up a dialog box warning the user that if their message contains “confidential information” they may want to advise their contact to use a different email provider.

Here’s how it looks:

NewSaferGmail

In addition to this, Gmail will flag up email contacts whose identity can’t be verified. Any emails from unauthenticated sources will have their profile photo replaced with a question mark, and although Google notes that not all emails flagged in this way will be dangerous, it’s a good reminder to be extra careful.

SaferGmail

If you receive a message that claims to be from your bank, for example, but has an unauthenticated sender, it’s almost certainly malicious, and you should delete it immediately before it steals your money or your identity.

Gmail Security

Note that Gmail has always supported encryption in transit using TLS, and will automatically encrypt your incoming and outgoing emails if it can, and there are tons of other security measures running behind the scenes to keep your email safe.

Happy Safer Internet Day!

Google parent Alphabet is now the most Valuable Company!

New Google Logo Sept 2015

Shares of Alphabet opened nearly 3 percent higher Tuesday, pushing the technology giant’s market capitalization past Apple to become the world’s most valuable public company.

Alphabet has a market cap of $547.1 billion, higher than Apple’s $529.3 billion as of 9:45 a.m. ET.

Apple’s massive market cap is still trailed by Microsoft ($425.7 billion),Facebook ($326.2 billion) and Exxon Mobil ($310.1 billion) to round out the list of the world’s five biggest companies.

Alphabet was already set to take the title Monday night, before sealing the deal Tuesday morning. At Monday’s after-hours levels (which technically reflect an indication, but not the real-world value), Alphabet’s market cap hit roughly $570 billion, eclipsing Apple’s market cap of about $535 billion. Shares of Apple opened Tuesday down nearly 1 percent.

Market cap: Apple vs. Alphabet (USD, million)

Chart source: FactSet

The last time Google was more valuable than Apple was in February 2010, when both companies were worth less than $200 billion. At the time, Apple had yet to release its first iPad, the newest iPhone on the market was the 3GS, and the Mac was the company’s biggest product line, accounting for one-third of revenue. Steve Jobs was still at the helm.

Google was being guided by Eric Schmidt, who would hand control back to co-founder Larry Page the following year. The company was a little more than half its current size.

Apple and Google actually flip-flopped multiple times between 2008 and early 2010, before Apple went on a historic tear, jumping from $180 billion in value to over $650 billion in September 2012. At that point, the two companies were separated by over $400 billion. In 2011, Apple passed Exxon to become the world’s most valuable company.

Source

Google Chrome will soon run much faster thanks to Brotli!

New Google Logo Sept 2015

Chrome is about to load web pages a lot faster than you’ve experienced up until now. A new compression algorithm called Brotli will help making this possible. Google introduced Brotli last September, with it Chrome will be able to compress data up to 26% more than its existing compression engine, Zopfli, which is an impressive jump.

According to Google’s web performance engineer Ilya Grigorik, Brotli is ready to roll out, so Chrome users should expect to see a bump in load times once the next version of Chrome is released in the coming days or weeks.

Google also says Brotli will help mobile Chrome users experience “lower data transfer fees and reduced battery use.” The company is hailing Brotli as “a new data format” that Google hopes will be adopted by other web browsers in the near future.

Firefox seemingly next in line to adopt it. But for now, expect to notice your web pages loading a bit faster in the coming weeks.

Samsung’s Galaxy S7 will reportedly come in two new sizes!

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Samsung’s Galaxy S7 smartphone will be released with two different screen sizes, according to a report from South Korea’s ET News. One version will reportedly have a flat, 5.2-inch display, while the second — the “Edge” variant — will incorporate a curved, 5.5-inch screen. It’s previously been rumored that the Galaxy S7 will include a 5.7-inch display, the same size as the screen on the S6 Edge+.

Launching the S7 with two different screen sizes would be a change in strategy for Samsung, which released this year’s S6 in flat- and curved-screen variants, but with the same size 5.1-inch screen. The rumored approach would be more comparable with Apple’s tactics with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, released with 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screens respectively. (The S6 Edge+ has a larger screen too, but was released months after the original S6 and S6 Edge.)

iPhone 6s Rose Gold

Citing unnamed sources, ET News also reports that Samsung is planning an initial production run of approximately 5 million units for the new Galaxy (split between 3.3 million for the S7 and 1.6 million for the S7 Edge) with mass-production rumored to start in February. A previous report from The Wall Street Journal suggested a March release date for the S7, as well as claiming that the phone will look “largely similar” to the S6 and will feature a pressure-sensitive screen like Apple’s 3D Touch feature.

Source