UK Will Ban Locked iPhones in 2021; SpaceX’s Starlink Net Service Price Revealed; Zoom Rolls Out End to End Encryption; Twitter to Preemptively Debunk Election Misinformation

In a move that will be cheered by users, and cause gnashing of teeth by carriers, the UK Ofcom regulatory body has used that ALL phones will have to be sold unlocked from late 2021. Appleinsider.com reports that the agency had given intention to institute the ban about 11 months ago in a published report. The Brits want to eliminate the intense frustration of switching carriers. It should save people time, effort, and money. With any luck, and a possible new administration in the USA, perhaps this type of ban will come to the US. The carriers have argued that locked phones help prevent fraud. Right now, 4 of them already sell unlocked phones, though…as that is required by existing EU rules.

SpaceX is expanding it’s beta test of its Starlink satellite internet service. According to cnbc.com, they call it the ‘Better Than Nothing Beta.’ The initial service is priced at $99 a month, with a $499 up front cost to cover ordering the Starlink Kit. The kit includes a user terminal to connect to the satellites, a mounting tripod, and a wifi router. There is also now a Starlink app listed by SpaceX on the Google Play Store and iOS App Store. They are touting speeds varying from 50Mb/s to 150Mb/s, with 20 ms to 40ms latency. They will be working to enhance these parameters over the next several months. 

Zoom has started rolling out end-to-end encryption. That’s the good news. The bad? 9to5mac.com says some features get dropped. Those include: join before host, cloud recording, streaming, live transcription, Breakout Rooms, polling, 1:1 private chat, and meeting reactions. The E2EE encryption can be activated on Mac and Windows now, and is coming to iPhone and iPad as soon as Apple approves the pending update. No word on when, or if, the lost features might be restored in a future update. 

Twitter has previewed a series of public service messages it will put atop US users’ timelines to preemptively debunk falsehoods about voting and election results. Engadget.com reports that they will be slated with things like “you might encounter misleading information about voting by mail,” and “election results may be delayed.” Both messages will link to a Twitter Moment with more details. The PSA messages are slated to appear starting next Monday. Twitter hopes they will slow the spread of misinformation ahead of the election. They will also be more aggressively be labeling Tweets that contain false or misleading election info.



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