Stories about WhatsApp

Will WhatsApping the Rangers help restore security in Karachi?

The Pakistan Army has been carrying out much needed action against terrorists in a coordinated and systematic manner since General Raheel Sharif took charge. Instead of going for an all-out clean-up operation against criminal elements, the Army higher-ups have taken a cautious approach (keeping the aftermath of the 1992 military operation in mind), taking every step with great care. This time around, there seems to be a genuine effort by the Sindh Rangers in order to establish a connection between the armed forces and the citizens of Karachi. Karachiites can now send a text or audio/video message to the Rangers via WhatsApp to ...

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WhatsApp end-to-end encryption: Should our information really be hidden from the authorities?

Amidst the battle between Apple and FBI over accessing one’s private phone, WhatsApp decided to take a bold step and began encrypting all of its user messages. This encryption has recently been the topic of heated debates, especially after Apple’s refusal to comply with FBI’s demand of letting it access the phone of a terrorist involved in the San Bernardino shooting in December 2015. Tim Cook, after succumbing to the Bureau’s demands, issued a statement pointing out that hacking an individuals iPhone would require a software to that could potentially become, “A master key, capable of opening hundreds of millions of locks.” [caption ...

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Does the company actually think people will upgrade to ‘newer’ phones just to install WhatsApp?

Nowadays, WhatsApp is the most installed app on our mobile devices. It is easier and less costly to WhatsApp message a friend than to send a text message. However, recently the brainchild of the messenger has decided to take a step which is quite alarming. As of now, all we know is that WhatsApp has decided to drop support for Blackberry and some Nokia and Android phones. The disowning will go into effect in 2017. The Facebook owned application has decided to shockingly discontinue the use to aforementioned brands in order to push its own growth. In its blog post, the company stated that the mobile ...

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No, I don’t think my body or my complexion needs to be “fixed” to meet a guy

Born in a country with a colonial past, the light skin fetish has been ingrained in us from time immemorial. My existence was like the biggest curse – I was a girl in a patriarchal society, dark-skinned and slightly overweight.  “2016 is your year,” typed a close male friend of mine on a WhatsApp group of around nine people. The intention for this group was to coordinate my sister’s wedding dance practices but ended up becoming a crazy corner where we all discussed each other’s daily struggles and laughed on lame jokes. The conversation continued, “I am going to give you a makeover.” I replied thanks ...

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Why Eid in Dubai does not even compare to the Eid in Lahore

Having been raised in two Muslim countries, UAE and Pakistan, Eid has always been the festival of the year for me. I won’t lie, but from childhood till date, my favourite Eid has always been Eidul Fitr, in other words, Choti Eid. In Dubai, Eid was all about henna. Trust me, if you know the art of henna painting, cash in on your strengths and rush to Dubai. All the salons will be packed. In a country like UAE, where no one in their right mind can imagine having heaters, on the eve of Eid, you’ll find Arab women drying their henna painted ...

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We will remain a generation of idiots, unless we get it together

During my holiday in Singapore, I had the chance of seeing the world-renowned show Songs of the Sea at Sentosa Island. In between the show, I noticed a teenager sitting beside me. I turned to him and said, “You could have watched this on Youtube if you had to watch it through an artificial lens.” He was a tourist, just like me, except he was recording the entire show on his iPhone from the moment it commenced till the end. He looked at me as if I were a disinhibited moron, talking nonsense to strangers. With the advent of digital photography, the opportunities to take infinite pictures ...

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Don’t want to pay for a hotel while travelling? Find a couch!

“Hello Azhar. Yes, I will be available to host that weekend. Regards, from Germany.” This was the reply I received from Markus, my to-be host, with regards to my couch-surfing request that I had sent, for a two day night-stay in Heidelberg. I was nominated by my employer to attend a week-long seminar in Frankfurt, Germany and after the five-day sponsored-stay was over, I had decided to stay back and explore other parts of Germany on my own. I searched on the internet for tourist attractions in the country and picked Heidelberg, for its scenic beauty and diversity. But for this two-day stay, I chose not to ...

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Does David Cameron want to spy on the companies spying on us?

David Cameron recently pledged to potentially block encrypted online messaging platforms such as Whatsapp and iMessage. He claimed that the British government should not have to tolerate companies that encrypt their users’ data to the extent that even the national security agencies could not access user communications. While this proposed idea by Cameron might seem radical at first, it is more of a tactical ploy out of frustration in an effort to gain bargaining power over the companies. And this is not exclusive to England alone. Commercial entities such as Whatsapp currently take information from consumers without knowledge or meaningful voluntary consent. These companies ...

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Is cheating only physical?

Cheating on a partner or having an affair whilst being in a steady, committed relationship has been an area of interest to people for as long as one can trace back the history of humankind. Since the last decade, social scientists have been trying to understand the phenomenon of online affairs or ‘digital cheating’. Several studies focus on what they call the ‘AAA engine’ of online affairs – Affordability, Accessibility and Anonymity. Social media makes it more comfortable for people to share their fantasies and problems while sitting in the protection of their home or workplace. Several studies also show ...

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WhatsApp is killing me, one message at a time

For those of us who grew up in the 70s, 80s and even the early 90s, the internet just wasn’t there. If we had to find some information about, let’s assume, something as mundane as the lifecycle of a butterfly or the nutritional requirements of a pregnant woman, we actually had to go to a library, search the card catalogue, go through several relevant, and not so relevant, books and then finally succeed in finding the desired information. With the arrival of the World Wide Web, suddenly the dynamics changed dramatically. The arrival of both Yahoo and Google search engines further ...

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