Recently, QR codes have firmly entered our daily lives, whether we like it or not. But QR codes can also pose a security risk, as the user may not always be able to immediately see which website they are being directed to. While dedicated scanner apps usually show you which URL is hidden inside a QR code, Google Camera seems to try to automatically correct addresses it thinks are wrong, which is more trouble than it’s worth.
According to the German edition of Heise, after an investigation, the Google Camera app on Android 12 regularly issues at least three types of erroneous addresses.
The first type of erroneous corrected addresses most commonly occurs when an address is hidden behind a QR code using country code top-level domains (ccTLDs). Google Camera inserts an extra dot in such cases. For example, https://fooco.at becomes https://foo.co.at. As Heise discovered, the problem affects not only the Austrian .at domain, but also .au, .br, .hu, .il, .kr, .nz, .ru, .tr, .uk and .za.
The second issue concerns addresses with top-level domains that are longer than two letters (such as the Catalan .cat). In this case, Google Camera can “swallow” the rest of the address, turning the Catalan independence referendum address https://referendum.cat into a non-existent Canadian address https://referendum.ca. The same problem exists for .int, .pro, .travel, .apple, .bet, .beer, and .amex, with almost all of them abbreviated to the first two letters, with the exception of .apple, which becomes .app). The issue also affects new top-level domains such as .army, .art, .arte, .arab, .audio, .audio, .auto, and .autos.
Another problem concerns addresses with numbers in the subdomain (usually in the www part). Here Google Camera randomly adds a period again, turning working addresses like the Royal Bank of Canada https://www6.rbc.com into non-working https://www.6.rbc.com. Moreover, errors can be combined. As a result, https://www2co.at will become https://www.2.co.at.
The problems appear not only in Chrome, but also in other browsers, even if they are set as the default application on an Android 12 device. For example, when using Firefox, users will still be redirected to the wrong link when scanning a QR code using Google Camera.
Google Camera only reads QR codes when the user activates Google Lens suggestions in their settings. At the same time, according to Heise, the standalone Google Lens app itself works fine with all types of QR codes and does not cause any errors.
Heise was able to confirm their findings with Pixel 3 XL, 3a, 4, 4a, 5, and 6 Pro running Android 12. Pixel 3a running Android 11 did not experience the issue, but appeared after updating to the latest OS version.
One of Apple’s mixed reality headset prototypes required a small crane, while others ran Windows.
Apple may introduce its mixed reality headset as early as the end of this year or next. But, as you can see from a fresh source report, the company began work on the project back in 2015.
Apple planned to release the headset much earlier than 2022-2023, but during the development process, the company encountered a number of problems due to which the release was constantly delayed.
Already in 2016, the team responsible for the project demonstrated very early prototypes to management. There were a certain number of them, and they were quite different from each other. Some were running Windows, some were modified HTC Vive models or some other converted serial products from other companies. One prototype was so heavy that a “little crane” was required to hold it on the head. As a result, the management decided to support the project, although Facebook partially contributed to this process. More specifically, Apple’s concerns about a similar company project.
Technical issues have been a major cause of delays, as has been the case in the past with Apple’s most ambitious new products such as the iPhone. But the Apple smartphone also had an exceptionally powerful figure in Steve Jobs.
While current Apple CEO Tim Cook is backing the headset project, he hasn’t been as active as Jobs in iPhone development, according to five people familiar with the project. For example, according to these people, he rarely visited the project’s development team at its offices away from Apple’s main campus. People say the lack of an authority like Cook, who championed the headset codenamed N301, has at times made it difficult to compete with other products like the Mac and iPhone in terms of staffing and engineering resources.
At the same time, another influential figure in Apple – chief designer Jony Ive – was generally against the project, as he believed that users would not want to wear such a device on their heads for a long time. Also, the Quince team believed that virtual reality separates people. Apparently, this was the reason why the headset eventually evolved from a virtual reality device to a mixed reality headset.
In addition, the project team came up with one curious detail: to equip the headset with an external screen. It was supposed to display an image from the internal camera of the device. Thus, people around the user could see his eyes. For a long time, only a few people knew about this feature of the product under development.
The authors of the article also say that they will later talk about a turning point in the development of the device, which took place in 2019. Presumably, the point is that then Ive decided to abandon the project, which provided for the headset to have a separate external unit with a computing platform. Instead, it was decided to opt for a less productive, but more independent device.
Whatsapp allows you to “quietly” leave a group
The WhatsApp team is working on a new feature that will allow users to “silently” leave group chats.
Currently, when someone leaves a group chat, WhatsApp announces it to all members of the group. Now it is impossible to quietly leave the group so that all members do not know about it. But soon this may change.
The thematic resource WABetainfo drew attention to the innovation in the beta version – when a user leaves a group, only group administrators receive a notification. When a group member opts out, a dialog box appears that says “Only you and the group admins will be notified that you have left the group.”
Apple Allows Apps to Raise Subscription Prices Without Users’ Permission
Apple has changed its policy for apps and services in the App Store that offer a paid subscription with auto-renewal.
Until now, when a developer increased the price of an auto-renewing subscription, users had to confirm that they agreed to continue paying for the subscription at the new price. Otherwise, the subscription was automatically cancelled. Now, with the update, the increased cost of the subscription will be charged even without the consent of the user.
Of course, Apple has provided some restrictions to avoid abuse. For example, developers are still required to notify users of a change in the cost of a subscription, and re-charging the new cost is not possible without the consent expressed by the user.
In addition, price increases cannot occur more than once a year, and the maximum price increase is $5 for regular subscriptions or $50 for annual subscriptions. Users will also be able to easily cancel their subscription if they wish.
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