Facebook Messenger to receive VOIP upgrade for European versions of the software

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Date: Monday, March 25th, 2013, 08:14
Category: iOS, News, Software

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If you’re across the pond, this’ll come in handy.

Per AppleInsider, Facebook Messenger users on iOS in the U.K. and other parts of Europe will get a software update on Monday enabling Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) calling within the app.

The update comes after Facebook already rolled out the feature in the United States and Canada in January. Facebook Messenger users will now be able to call each other directly through the service instead of passing voice messages to each other.

The Messenger VOIP feature in the United States was soon followed up with Facebook bringing the feature to its flagship Facebook app, and this may soon be the case in the UK and Europe.

Facebook Messenger for iPhone is available as a free download on Apple’s iTunes App Store.

If you’re in the United Kingdom and have had a chance to test Facebook Messenger’s new VOIP feature, please let us know how it goes in the comments section.

Apple purchases WifiSLAM, attached “indoor GPS” technology for $20 million

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Date: Monday, March 25th, 2013, 07:12
Category: News, Software

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Well, Apple had to buy SOMETHING…

Per the Wall Street Journal, Apple recently closed a deal worth about $20 million to acquire WifiSLAM, a Silicon Valley firm focused on building technology that affords users positioning data while indoors.

The news paper was able to confirm the acquisition with an Apple spokesman, though the company did not give details of the deal or what it plans to do with WifiSLAM’s “indoor GPS” technology.

“[Apple] buys smaller technology companies from time to time,” the spokesman said, declining further comment.

In the report, the publication cited people familiar with the acquisition as saying Apple paid some US$20 million in the recently closed deal.

WifiSLAM is a developer of indoor positioning technologies, which extends location data to the inside of buildings and other structures using Wi-Fi signals. The data can be used by third-party apps to accurately grant handset users positioning data where GPS signals are absent.

The indoor positioning startup is two years old and has already raised funding from angel investors, though the exact amount is unknown. WifiSLAM has a number of ties to Google, including the company’s co-founder Joseph Huang, who was a software engineering intern at the search giant. Current Google employee Don Dodge is also listed as an angel investor.

Apple could implement the positioning assets into its much maligned iOS Maps app as an answer to Google’s Indoor Maps initiative, which leverages crowdsourcing to deliver indoor location information for a number of sites worldwide.

While Apple’s first-party mapping service has seen improvements since stumbling out of the gates in September 2012, many users still prefer to use the Google Maps iOS app, which offers features like Street View and a more robust set of satellite imagery.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple includes Yontoo trojan on XProtect.plist database

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Date: Monday, March 25th, 2013, 07:37
Category: News, security, Software

With any luck, the Yontoo trojan won’t be around on the Mac OS X platform for long.

Per the Intego Security Blog and MacRumors, shortly after news emerged of a new adware trojan targeting OS X web browsers, Apple updated its malware and adware detections list to block Yontoo.

The company has apparently updated its “XProtect” anti-malware system. XProtect.plist will now recognize Yontoo and warn users that attempt to install the software on their computers.

Intego’s post notes that the XProtect detection “is very specific and potentially location-dependent.” The extra specificity, Intego supposes, may be there in order to stop only indirect installations of the file.

News of the Yontoo trojan emerged recently when a Russian anti-virus company pointed out its existence. Yontoo asks users if they want to install a browser plugin, media player, download accelerator, or other video-oriented program. Upon agreeing to the download, the plugin begins transmitting browsing data to an off-site server. User browsing data is processed, and the server sends back a file embedding third-party code into webpages visited by the user. The viewing or clicking of embedded ads then generates ad affiliate network profits for the criminals behind the adware.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Dropbox 2.1.3 beta out the door

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Date: Monday, March 25th, 2013, 07:59
Category: News, Software

An update’s an update, even if it’s just a beta.

Late Friday, Dropbox released the public beta 2.1.3 of its cloud-based storage client for Mac OS X. The new version, a 27.4 megabyte download (via MacUpdate), which adds the following fixes and changes:
- Fix an issue preventing Dropbox from starting on Mac.

- Fix an issue when clicking on notification bubbles.

- Fix an issue with Camera Uploads.

- Fix some issues with the right click context menu on Mac.

- Minor translation fixes.

- Other minor fixes.

Dropbox 2.1.3 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new beta and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.