How to know which app version you are using on Android.


Go to Settings > application settings > manage application then tap on the app. It’ll say the version you are running under the name. You shouldn’t have to check though; If the app in the market doesn’t say “Installed” then you don’t have the most recent version.

Voice hack in WhatsApp


So who doesn’t use WhatsApp for daily Communications. With the changes brought in WhatsApp for staying in touch bysending images, sending video, sending documents sending voice messages WhatsApp is definitely one of the greatest communication tool invented in Mobile technology.

Most of us do use WhatsApp, but the one feature which is very less used is Push to talk messages.

PTT (Push to Talk) messages work much like in a fashion in which good old days, walkie talkies used to work. You press the button and then talk into the microphone and you release PTT button.

There is a small mic button on every WhatsApp chat that you open at the lower left corner or at the place where you usually attached the file from the White space where you type. You just have to press that button and keep it pressed while pouring your heart out by talking into the microphone and release that microphone button, once you feel your have talked enough. Once you release, the message would be recorded and sent to your chat.

Just talk to your heart out feel like your actually talking with you with your friend. The best part about using voice message is you can leave offline messages and person on the other end , would listen to it. You can also check to see if your sent voice message is sent to the server, is seen by your friend on his device and is played by your friend on his device.

There is a small issue when you are in your office environment and someone leaves you voice message and it really really feels bad to listen to a voice message which is quite person in nature.

Hack tip.

There is a small hack for this approach which is called in ear approach. You just have to play that message and put your phone like you have just received the call.

WhatsApp would play that message in your ear speaker not in your phone speaker, that we equal keep your private messages private and be in touch with your friends.

Another reason why you should be sending push it of messages to each other is you don’t have to type using the keyboard you just have to pour your heart out with your thoughts and use PTT messages.

Off course, do send / share this link to your person in chat for knowing the functionality of PTT messages, and let them too know what PTT messages could be used. And how can they be listened in office environment.

PS: this blog is being published by using voice messages. I have just spoken to the speaker and those words are transformed into words and then their transformation is performed into this blog post

References.

https://faq.whatsapp.com/en/iphone/23702247/?category=5245251

I am Salman Khwaja, QA Consultant, cum web application security consultant roles cum SecDevOps personal and I would be talking with my heart out on this blog.

Your Phone data is no longer PRIVATE now. Was it before ?


It’s official now from Facebook, that they are collecting phone call records from your phone (if you are on Android). Here is the link. https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2018/03/fact-check-your-call-and-sms-history/

Oh and Iphone users are not effected by this new.

So if you are using android phone, and have used Facebook app (chances are that you have), there are chances, that the data being shared by your cellular company, would be shared by Facebook. Who is the mostly called number, who is the longest called number, so on and so forth.

The best bet to find out is to login to your Facebook, and grab your Data.

  1. Goto Settings followed by download your data.
  2. Enter your password and request all your data.
  3. Facebook will email you once your data is ready.
  4. Download that data and then inspect it using Zip / text files

So what’s there to worry, if my data is exposed ?

Technically, nothing. There is nothing you can do. In fact it will be used against you to advertise products to you. No matter it’s Facebook, Google, Twitter, any other social network. They are all in for the long haul. Anything provided to you for free, there is reason it is provided for free, since you are their Product. Your movement, your data is their product, and they might be selling something else to you in turn. So why worry.

Following are some of the links, which will show that Google is tracking you too.

Below are some interesting tweets from this Facebook data exposure thread.

So in the end, why worry. Keep calm and let the facebook track you.

Still reading and thinking what the hell. This guy doesn’t have any thing to worry. Well, if you are so concerned about your privacy, there are two things you can do.

  1. Un-install Facebook app from your phone and start using facebook from your browser. Facebook from browser is quite lite on phone and it will be lighter, which will provide performance boost to your phone
  2. Keep using Facebook app and visit privacy control settings in app and check out the new options facebook is providing after this news.

As always, happy facebooking. In fact, this news will also be published over facebook.

 

Whats App for business launched in Pakistan.


Ok. So today, when I re formatted my phone, I realized Whatsapp for business is launched in Pakistan, and I was excited to use it and see it in action.

Here is the link of what’s app for business to install it in your phone.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.whatsapp.w4b

So if you have a small business, then this is awesome tool to keep in touch with your to be associates, sending them marketing related information, timely information, giving them support, and automated messages which we frequently use in dealing with people, like thank you notes, welcome messages.

Plus it has FAQs section in the profile which will already clear out many first time customers. I would say, a great app feature.

Following is the excerpt from what’s app for business from play store.

WhatsApp Business enables you to have a business presence on WhatsApp, communicate more efficiently with your customers, and help you grow your business.

If you have separate business and personal phone numbers, you can have both WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Messenger installed on the same phone, and register them with different numbers.

In addition to the features available in WhatsApp Messenger, WhatsApp Business includes:

BUSINESS PROFILE: Create a profile for your business to help your customers find valuable information — like your website, location, or contact information.

BUSINESS MESSAGING TOOLS: Be more responsive to your customers by using Away messages to indicate that you’re away.

LANDLINE/FIXED NUMBER SUPPORT: You can use WhatsApp Business with a landline (or fixed) phone number and your customers can message you on that number. During verification, select the “Call me” option to receive the code over a phone call.

RUN BOTH WHATSAPP MESSENGER AND WHATSAPP BUSINESS: You can use both WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Messenger on the same phone, but each app must have its own unique phone number.

WHATSAPP WEB: You can more efficiently respond to your customers right from your computer’s browser.

WhatsApp Business is built on top of WhatsApp Messenger and includes all the features that you rely on, such as the ability to send multimedia, free calls*, free international messaging*, group chat, offline messages, and much more.

Have a look at the following videos to know more.

Now the pros.

  1. Well it looks like what’s app for business has some performance issues. The comments at what’s app for business show that users complaining heating issues.
  2. Also one person said that he had one mobile number for personal and business and he wished if what’s app and what’s app for business could run on one mobile number. Personally I doubt it, it would be case if one person is using one mobile for both purpose. Still if one is doing, I do see a use case there.
  3. Also just like any other app, we might be seeing some bugs which needs to squashed, and it will have some rough edges

Still with all that, I think what’s app might be solving the problems of small business problem. Overall, it looks like the small business should join what’s app band wagon to come in touch with their customers.

I see our small business, delivery services, TCS, Deliver IT providing services to us on what’s app.

Oh and by the way, did I tell you that there is a cool way to display your business number to be displayed on your site and on clicking that link, the viewer, if whatsapp is installed on his phone, will directly open a whatsapp chat opened with your number and he will just have to type a message. Below is the code where you just have to replace Xxxxx with your number in your website html.

<a href="intent://send/+XXXXXXXXXXX#Intent;scheme=smsto;package=com.whatsapp;action=android.intent.action.SENDTO;end">Connect with us over WhatsApp chat.</a>

This will open another nifty way that small business could open up their what’s app to online / web / mobile world.

Reference.

https://www.themarketingtechnologist.co/open-a-whatsapp-conversation-directly-from-your-ad/

And the /command line thing they have provided, it’s so cool, and they have borrowed it from Telegram.

Hackers Can Silently Control Siri, Alexa & Other Voice Assistants Using Ultrasound


What if your smartphone starts making calls, sending text messages, and browsing malicious websites on the Internet itself without even asking you?This is no imaginations, as hackers can make this possible using your smartphone’s personal assistant like Siri or Google Now.A team of security researchers from China’s Zhejiang University have discovered a clever way of activating your voice recognition systems without speaking a word by exploiting a security vulnerability that is apparently common across all major voice assistants.DolphinAttack (Demo): How It WorksDubbed DolphinAttack, the attack technique works by feeding the AI assistants commands in ultrasonic frequencies, which are too high for humans to hear but are perfectly audible to the microphones on your smart devices.With this technique, cyber criminals can “silently” whisper commands into your smartphones to hijack Siri and Alexa, and could force them to open malicious websites and even your door if you have a smart lock connected.The attack works on every major voice recognition platforms, affecting every mobile platform including iOS and Android. So, whether you own an iPhone, a Nexus, or a Samsung, your device is at risk. The attack takes advantage of the fact that human ears generally can’t hear sounds above 20kHz. But the microphone software still detects signals above 20 kHz frequency.So, to demonstrate the DolphinAttack, the team first translated human voice commands into ultrasonic frequencies (over 20 kHz), then simply played them back from a regular smartphone equipped with an amplifier, ultrasonic transducer and battery—which costs less than $3.”DolphinAttack voice commands, though totally inaudible and therefore imperceptible to [a] human, can be received by the audio hardware of devices, and correctly understood by speech recognition systems,” the researchers explain in their research paper [PDF].DolphinAttack Makes Hacking Siri, Alexa & Google Now EasySince smartphone allows users to do a broad range of operation via voice commands like dialling a phone number, sending short messages, opening a web page, and setting the phone to the airplane mode, the researchers were able to order an iPhone to dial a specific number.However, according to the researchers, an attacker can send inaudible voice commands to instruct a device to perform several malicious tasks including:Visiting a malicious website—which can launch a drive-by-download attack or exploit the victim’s device with 0-day vulnerabilities.Spying—the attacker can instruct the victim’s device to initiate outgoing video or phone calls, thereby getting access to the image and sound of device surroundings.Injecting fake information—the attacker can instruct the victim’s device to send fake text messages or emails to publish fake online posts or add fake events to a calendar.Denial of Service—the attacker can inject commands to turn on the ‘airplane mode,’ thereby disconnecting all wireless communications and taking the device offline.Concealing attacks—since the screen display and voice feedback could expose the attacks, the attacker can decrease the odds by dimming the screen and lowering the volume to hide the attack.Typically, the signal sent out by the researchers was between 25 and 39kHz. As for range, the team managed to make the attack work maximum at 175cm, which is certainly practical. What’s scary? DolphinAttack works on just about anything including Siri, Google Assistant, Samsung S Voice, Huawei HiVoice, Cortana, and Alexa, on devices such as smartphones, iPads, MacBooks, Amazon Echo and even an Audi Q3—total 16 devices and 7 systems.What’s even worse? The inaudible voice commands can be accurately “interpreted by the SR [speech recognition] systems on all the tested hardware” and work even if the attacker has no direct access to your device and you have taken all the necessary security precautions.How to prevent DolphinAttacks?The team goes on to suggest device manufacturers make some hardware alterations to address this vulnerability simply by programming their devices to ignore commands at 20 kHz or any other voice command at inaudible frequencies.”A microphone shall be enhanced and designed to suppress any acoustic signals whose frequencies are in the ultrasound range. For instance, the microphone of iPhone 6 Plus can resist to inaudible voice commands well,” the researchers say.For end users, a quick solution to prevent such attacks is turning off voice assistant apps by going into settings, before an official patch lands for your device.How to disable Siri on iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch: Go to your iOS device’s Settings → General → Accessibility → Home Button → Siri and then toggle Allow “Hey Siri” to off.How to turn off Cortana: Open Cortana on your Windows PC, select the Notebook icon on the right side, click on Settings and then toggle “Hey Cortana” to off.How to turn off Alexa on Amazon Echo: Simply press the microphone on/off button on the top of the unit. When

Source: Hackers Can Silently Control Siri, Alexa & Other Voice Assistants Using Ultrasound

How to Design for Mobile Layouts


Recently, during a Web Site development project, I came across the need to design responsive layout. The most simplest way one can achieve is to add Mobile responsive meta tags. Details could be read here.

http://www.campaignmonitor.com/guides/mobile/responsive/
http://webdesign.tutsplus.com/tutorials/htmlcss-tutorials/quick-tip-dont-forget-the-viewport-meta-tag/

and last but not the least.
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/13871836/html-meta-tags-for-mobile-devices

If reading is not your forte, add the following META tags in the all your HTML templates, or include them using Server Include / Require


<!-- Mobile specific Metas-->
<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, maximum-scale=1, initial-scale=1.0, width=device-width" />
<meta name="apple-mobile-web-app-status-bar-style" content="black-translucent" />
<meta name="HandheldFriendly" content="true">
<meta name="MobileOptimized" content="width">
<meta name="apple-mobile-web-app-capable" content="yes">
<meta name="MobileOptimized" content="320">
<meta name="format-detection" content="telephone=no">
<meta http-equiv="cleartype" content="on">
<!-- Mobile specific Metas-->

<!-- Given the option, one could also include the same properties via CSS.-->

<style>

/* Class for Mobile View handling */
@-ms-viewport{
width: extend-to-zoom;
zoom: 1.0;
}
@viewport{
width: extend-to-zoom;
zoom: 1.0;
}
/* Class for Mobile View handling */

</style>

Sure way to lure more customers to your Service


A sure shot way to lure your customers to your place is giving them your location in the easiest possible way, possibly on their Mobile Phones. Heres how.

These days, organizations are asking Food Bloggers / Critics to blog about their product (be that service / restaurant / a Corporate Company). One thing which lacks (at times) is the location. When we visit a Food Blog, or a restaurant being reviewed, the reviewer talk about the aroma, the presentation, they even post High resolution pictures, which is so tempting, but what they don’t provide is the Location. Location of where that restaurant is at. Same is the case with Corporate companies. All they provide is the Textual information of their post mail address.

Take a reader’s point of view. If he is reading a Blog post about a restaurant, he might be making his mind to go to that place once he gets the free time. He would love to transfer some link to his smart phone. What choice do the site gives to that user ? Currently none.

Now Imagine if one could include a link of website of Restaurant being reviewed, better if the contact details / phone number is provided, great if the direct link to Google Maps is provided, awesome if the QR Code with all the details is provided, so that the read could just scan that QR Code, and all the details are transferred to their mobile phone.

QR Code (Quick Response Technology) ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QR_code ) is not new and we haven’t seen the potential in it, until Olaround (https://twitter.com/OlaroundMe ) ( http://www.olaround.me/ ) started this technology in Pakistan recently about scanning QR Codes and getting discounts.

Let me give you a small glimpse of what a QR Code could do.

Enter QR Code generator. http://goqr.me/. One can generate a QR Code for literally anything. Be that a big chunk of Text one could save it to their mobile phone, be that a Google Maps location, an Email Address, a number to call (so that the phone dialer is directly opened with that number), or a complete V Card (Contact details).

Now the user stories.

  • Imagine a Job Seeker wants to know where that company is. He goes to that company’s Website. Scans the QR Code having the Google Map location, and walla. Now he could go to that Company for Job interview.
  • A person coming to a restaurant, a he found a job vacancy in a magazine. That Job Vacancy is displayed QR Code. He scans it, and he has now all the requirements, JD, and an Email address to mail to in his mobile.
  • A reader reading a Restaurant review on a website. The Reviewer has given a QR Code on his blog which points to the Location of that restaurant being reviewed. The reader scans the QR Code, and how his mobile has the location opened in Google maps, so that he can go there whenever he wishes to.

Building the same example above, I present the QR Code of a random Google Map location which is mapped to Hardees (One of my favorite restaurant) in Karachi, North Nazimabad.

QR Code for Hardees Google Map Location.

You can use your Mobile / QR Scanner right now, to see this QR code in Action. PS: you need QR code app (links Listed below) installed on your SMART Phone

All the reader has to do is scan the QR Code into your cell phone and boom, a Google Map will be displayed with Hardees set as Target destination, and Source destination will be the current location of the Coordinate where the Cell phone is at. All the user has to do is click get directions, and he will be displayed with turn by turn navigation of how s/he will be going from where s/he is at, to hardees location (in this case).

QR Code scanners are free to download, and if your android phone is updated with the latest version of Google NOW / Google Search, then you do not need to download any further QR Code scanner.

For Android users, following apps can be downloaded.

For I-Phone users, the following links will show you the app, you could install on your IPhone

and what’s more, Our NADRA has implemented the QR Code technology in their SMART Cards. Don’t believe me, have a look at this blog post ( http://faisalbasra.blogspot.com/2013/01/nadra-pakistan-goes-with-chip-enabled.html ) and picture (the picture is off course scrambled, so that personal details are kept hidden). link to picture. NADRA SNIC Card having QR Code

In other words, we see corporate companies providing their location as QR Codes, providing their Job Vacancies as QR codes in Magazines, Blog Posts, Facebook Pages, Twitter tweets, Restaurants giving their location as QR Codes on their websites, reviewers providing the reviewed service’s location as QR Code location. Wouldn’t that be a great moment.

You can always share your thoughts in comments section. Hey I won’t bite you if you could share a better solution or if you outright reject my opinion. Opinions are formed, because they might be conflicting and genuine.