Marriott International on Tuesday announced a data breach incident that could have put the data of up to 5.2 million guests at risk. The company believed that the hack began in January this year. To notify some of its customers, Marriott sent an email containing a notice that explains about the scope of the issue. It also established a dedicated website and call centre resources to help impacted users. This is notably the second time in nearly the last 16 months when Marriott customers have faced a hack as the company previously reported an incident affecting up to 500 million customer records in December 2018.

An unexpected amount of guest information was accessed using the login credentials of two employees at a franchise property. While Marriott identified the incident at the end of February, the hack is believed to have started in the middle of January.

“Upon discovery, the company confirmed that the login credentials were disabled, immediately began an investigation, implemented heightened monitoring, and arranged resources to inform and assist guests. Marriott also notified relevant authorities and is supporting their investigations,” the company said in a press statement.

Marriott noted that compromised information of its customers may include their contact details, loyalty account information, additional personal details such as gender, birthday day and month, and room as well as language preferences among others. It is also likely that the hackers would have details about clients’ partnerships and affiliations such as linked airline loyalty programmes and account numbers. Furthermore, the company has disabled existing passwords of customers using its loyalty programme Marriott Bonvoy.

In addition to detailing the scope of the breach, Marriott sent the email to its customers that included the details of its dedicated website and call centre resources to provide additional information for the affected guests. The company is also offering free enrolment on the personal information service IdentityWorks for one year through which customers can identify information that they would like to get monitored by the service. However, it is limited to markets such as Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Marriott additionally warned its clients to be vigilant against potential “phishing” emails and communications that appear to be sent from the company’s email addresses and ask for important details such as payment cards and bank account numbers.

It is unclear whether the impact of the latest breach is limited to certain markets or customers across the globe. Gadgets 360 has reached out to Marriott for details and will update this space as and when the company responds.

In December 2018, Marriott had announced that some hackers gained access to up to 500 million client records in its Starwood Hotels reservation system. That was the result of an attack that began back in 2014 and impacted not just its clients but also the company that has 30 brands along with over 7,000 properties in 131 countries globally.

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Honor has launched a new phone called Honor 8A Prime. New just in the name though, as the Honor 8A Prime is merely a rebranded version of the Honor 8A Pro that went official almost a year ago. Honor 8A Prime is powered by the low-end MediaTek Helio P35 SoC and the rest of the hardware is decidedly entry-level as well. Moreover, the company has also launched the Honor 8A Prime with a price tag that is almost 30 percent lower compared to the asking price of last year’s Honor 8A Pro.

Honor 8A Prime price

Honor 8A comes in a single 3GB + 32GB storage variant that costs RUB 9,990 (roughly Rs. 9,600) and is listed on the official Honor e-store in Russia. The phone comes in Blue, Emerald Green, and Midnight Black colour options. However, the Huawei sub-brand is yet to reveal whether the Honor 8A Prime will make it to other markets, including India.

Honor 9A Prime packs a single 13-megapixel rear camera


Honor 8A Prime specifications

Honor 8A Prime is a dual-SIM (Nano) phone that runs the dated Android Pie with EMUI 9.0 skin on top. It features a 6.088-inch HD+ (720×1,560 pixels) IPS display with a pixel density of 283ppi and a waterdrop notch at the top. It draws power from the octa-core MediaTek Helio P35 SoC, paired with 3GB of RAM.

Talking about the cameras, there is a single 13-megapixel snapper at the back with f/1.8 aperture, accompanied by an LED flash. On the front is an 8-megapixel selfie shooter. Both the front and rear cameras of the Honor 8A Prime can capture full-HD videos at 30fps frame rate.

Honor 8A Prime packs 32GB of onboard storage and it can be expanded via a microSD card (up to 512GB) that fits in a dedicated slot. The phone comes equipped with a non-removable 3,020mAh battery. Connectivity on the Honor 8A Prime is handled by 4G LTE, GPS, GLONASS, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, and Bluetooth 4.2. There is also a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor for authentication.

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People spending more time cooped up in their homes to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus have changed their daily soundtracks, with many opting for more “chill” music, streaming service Spotify said Monday.

But they also noted a surge in the streaming of the old hit by The Police: “Don’t Stand So Close To Me”.

“As people around the world have increasingly moved inside over the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen music and podcast listening change in a variety of ways,” the company said in a statement.

In these stressful times, Spotify has, for instance, noticed that their users seem to add more “chill” songs to their playlists — songs that are “more acoustic, less danceable, and have lower energy than songs previously added”.

The company also reported that more people were using devices in their homes to stream music, such as “computer desktops, TVs, smart speakers, and gaming consoles”.

The streaming service also said listeners had started veering towards “cooking- and housework-themed playlists,” rather than those for social get-togethers.

There’s also an increased interest in news podcasts, and as parents are trying to work from home Spotify noted an increase in music and podcasts for children and “particularly music to help kids sleep”.

Following repeated calls from authorities to keep a safe distance from one another, the streaming giant also reported that the 1980 hit “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” by The Police had seen a 135-percent increase in streams in recent weeks.

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Smartphones are one of the most used gadgets for everyone. Given how many surfaces and body parts a smartphone touches within a day, it also makes a smartphone the most exposed gadget to germs and viruses. Given the spread of the novel coronavirus or the COVID-19 disease, there have been concerns about smartphones being exposed to the virus as well. Some of the major concerns are – how likely is it for a person to catch the virus from their smartphone, or how long does coronavirus stay on a smartphone. In order to calculate the risk factor, we will see how long the novel coronavirus can stay on a smartphone surface.

Now, according to a World Health Organisation (WHO) study, the original SARS-CoV virus which was found in 2003 was stable on a glass surface for up to 96 hours (four days). Apart from glass, it lasted on hard plastic and stainless steel for about 72 hours (three days), the WHO study says. Now, a recent study from the United States’ National Institutes of Health finds that the current novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) can live on surfaces like steel and hard plastic for about 72 hours (three days), same as the SARS-CoV virus. The study also said that the novel coronavirus can last on a cardboard surface for about 24 hours, and about 4 hours on copper. Now, since the new NIH study did not factor in how long the virus stays on glass, other factors do point at similar results as the previous SARS coronavirus.

Hence, from the WHO study of 2003 and the NIH study from this month, it can be assumed that the novel coronavirus can stay on glass for up to 96 hours (four days). And since almost all smartphones come with a glass panel up front, it can be said that the coronavirus can stay on a smartphone for up to four days. Not just smartphones, this applies to any gadget with a glass surface – be it a smartphone, a smartwatch, a tablet, or a laptop.

Now, out of all of these gadgets, the smartphone still remains the most exposed gadget. Hence, it is important to keep cleaning your phone every now and then, in order to avoid further exposure from coronavirus. In order to clean a smartphone, users can either use a cleaning liquid for smartphones/ gadgets or just wipe the surface with a slightly wet microfibre cloth. To sanitise it, it’s best to use a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol solution or disinfecting wipes, something that Apple also recommends. One should be careful not to use concentrations higher than 70 percent, or other disinfectant liquids, as these can destroy the oleophobic coating on your smartphone’s display. You can also install a screen protector, and clean that instead, so that you don’t damage the display coating.

“Using a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, you may gently wipe the hard, nonporous surfaces of your Apple product, such as the display, keyboard, or other exterior surfaces. Don’t use bleach. Avoid getting moisture in any opening, and don’t submerge your Apple product in any cleaning agents. Don’t use on fabric or leather surfaces,” Apple says on its support page.

You can also check out our video on how to clean your smartphone.

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Ever since the Indian government imposed a fresh 21-day lockdown to contain the coronavirus, the sale and servicing of information and communications technology (ICT) products such as phones and tablets have been halted in the country. This is because these products are not in the list of essential items and services that will be accessible to the masses during the lockdown. India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA), which calls itself the apex industry body of mobile and electronics industry in India, has now reportedly urged the India government to include smartphones and laptops in the list of es`sential items and services, to restart their online sales, as well as repair and maintenance.

As per PTI, the ICEA wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to classify smartphones, tablets, and laptops as essential items. The objective is to get the necessary approval so that the sale of the aforementioned items via e-commerce platforms can be resumed. In addition to the online sales, ICEA has also put forward the request to include the service and maintenance of these products in the government’s essential services list.

The industry body has, however, clarified that it supports the lockdown measure and only seeks to resume the sale and service of phones, tablets, and laptops via e-commerce platforms. But in the case of tier 3 and tier 4 cities where e-commerce is not the preferred medium, ICEA seeks approval to sell these products from service outlets.

“We would also like to highlight that through mobile devices the government can also track citizens that are impacted by COVID-19. It helps the health authorities to better track the movement of the infected citizen. If their phones were to break down or if they were not to have a smartphone for whatever reason, they should have access to repair shops or stores to procure one,” ICEA Chairman Pankaj Mohindroo was quoted as saying by PTI.

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OnePlus 8 smartphone series will officially launch on April 14, the company announced on Monday. The online-only event will be hosted at 8:30pm IST via live stream on the OnePlus’ official website and YouTube channel. The company also confirmed that the latest OnePlus series will support 5G connectivity. The OnePlus 8 series will likely comprise the OnePlus 8 Pro and OnePlus 8, looking at past launches from the company as well as innumerable leaks leading up to the reveal. The company has also teased a 120Hz refresh rate, but it it remains uncertain whether it will be available on both the smartphones or only the Pro variant. It is also speculated that OnePlus will launch another smartphone in a new series this year, the OnePlus Z, however, more information is expected from the Chinese tech company in the upcoming weeks.

From the official teaser posted on the OnePlus website, we can notice a black variant of the smartphone. Many details such as the camera specifications or the prices are yet to be revealed. However, thanks to a slew of leaks over the past month, we can expect to see a host of features on the upcoming OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro smartphones. This includes a quad rear camera setup and Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 SoC.

Meanwhile, a report published on Sunday indicated that the upcoming OnePlus 8 smartphones will be available in three colour variants – one of them is called Interstellar Glow. An alleged render of OnePlus 8 Pro spotted online last week also showed the phone in sea green colour variant. The report added that the rumoured OnePlus 8 Pro will include a 48-megapixel IMX689 primary sensor with f/1.78 lens to the rear camera setup. This will be packed along with a secondary 48-megapixel IMX586 ultra-wide camera with f/2.2 aperture, an 8-megapixel f/2.44 telephoto camera with 3X optical zoom and 30X digital zoom, and a 5-megapixel colour filter.

Additionally, another report hinted that the OnePlus 8 smartphone will also have a 48-megapixel primary sensor. However, it will be packed with a 16-megapixel ultra-wide lens, and a 2-megapixel macro camera.

Earlier reports indicated that the OnePlus 8 series this year will include a Lite variant. However, a renowned tipster recently suggested that the OnePlus 8 Lite will most likely be launched under the name OnePlus Z, which is said to be the revamped spiritual successor of the OnePlus X. It is expected to launch at a later date.

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Internet Archive, the American digital library, opened the National Emergency Library, a digital collection of more than 1.4 million copyrighted e-books on Tuesday. These books are available for free for people all across the world until at least until June 30. The Internet Archive said that it took this step to address the unprecedented global need for access to research materials. It has also suspended the waitlist for the books and created the emergency library. Users can borrow books from the National Emergency Library without joining a waitlist. This will ensure that students have access to assigned readings materials.

In the past, the Internet Archive’s Open Library allowed people to “borrow” digital copies of the books it held in storage, that could be taken for a limited amount of time. These books are now being made freely available for students and researchers around the world.

The National Emergency Library has been opened by the Internet Archive at a time when billions of people in the world are stuck indoors to keep COVID-19 pandemic at bay. These people cannot physically access a library during the shutdown. The launch of this digital library will greatly students and researchers who can access materials while remaining safe in their homes. Internet Archive announced that the books will be available until June 30, 2020, or the end of the US national emergency, whichever is later.

“This library brings together all the books from Phillips Academy Andover and Marygrove College, and much of Trent University’s collections, along with over a million other books donated from other libraries to readers worldwide that are locked out of their libraries,” according to Internet Archive.

“This was our dream for the original Internet coming to life: the Library at everyone’s fingertips,” said Brewster Kahle, Digital Librarian of the Internet Archive.

However, some have also raised questions of whether this move by the Internet Archive is a violation of copyright. Books available through the National Emergency Library don’t just include academic tomes, but best sellers too.

The Author’s Guild, an industry body thar had called the Internet Archive a “violation of copyright” some years ago, noted in a blog post, “Internet Archive has no rights whatsoever to these books, much less to give them away indiscriminately without consent of the publisher or author. We are shocked that the Internet Archive would use the COVID-19 epidemic as an excuse to push copyright law further out to the edges, and in doing so, harm authors, many of whom are already struggling.”

Apart from the copyrighted books in the National Library, Internet Archive also offers free access to 2.5 million downloadable public domain books. It was founded by Brewster Kahle in 1996.

The Internet Archive said that authors and publishers are going to be impacted by this global pandemic and urged people to buy the books if they can. “We encourage all readers who are in a position to buy books to do so, ideally while also supporting your local bookstore. If they don’t have the book you need, then Amazon or Better World Books may have copies in print or digital formats,” it said.

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OnePlus is prepping the OnePlus 8 series to launch it officially next month but is struggling to keep details from leaking out. We have already seen a fair amount of leaks about the OnePlus 8 and the OnePlus 8 Pro. Thanks to the previous leaks, we know about the key specifications and the design of the upcoming devices. Now, a OnePlus 8 Pro has been spotted in the wild. A person wearing a facemask was spotted using the upcoming OnePlus 8 Pro on the subway. The OnePlus 8 Pro was covered with a protective case.

This OnePlus 8 Pro leak was posted on Slashleaks. While this leak does not give us a clear look of the OnePlus 8 Pro, it does reveal the vertical camera setup of the device. Three camera sensors are in a line while the fourth camera sensor and the LED flash is to the side. The camera module also protrudes slightly.

This camera positioning in this leak matches to previously leaked renders and live images of the OnePlus 8 Pro. Thanks to a recent leak, it is expected that the OnePlus 8 Pro is tipped to sport a 48-megapixel Sony IMX689 primary sensor with an f/1.78 aperture. The secondary sensor is a 48-megapixel IMX586 ultra-wide-angle camera with an f/2.2 aperture and a 120-degree field-of-view. The third is tipped be an 8-megapixel f/2.44 telephoto camera with 3X optical zoom and 30X digital zoom. The OnePlus 8 Pro will also have a 5-megapixel colour filter.

At the front, the OnePlus 8 Pro is tipped to sport a 6.78-inch display with a quad-HD+ resolution. It is tipped to have a 120Hz refresh rate and is curved on the sides. It also has a hole-punch for the 16-megapixel selfie camera. The OnePlus 8 Pro is tipped to use the Snapdragon 865 Soc and come with 8GB RAM and 12GB RAM options coupled with 128GB and 256GB storage variants. It is tipped to pack in a 4,510mAh battery and is expected to be bundled with a 30W Warp Charge 30T.

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Since OLED screens became commonplace on smartphones, many manufacturers have offered a software feature that takes advantage of the benefits of OLED screen technology – Always-On display. Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus has been using OLED screens on all of its devices since the OnePlus 3, but hasn’t offered Always-On display as a feature for its own reasons. However, the feature will be coming to OnePlus smartphones – new and old – in the coming weeks and months, thanks to user feedback from the OnePlus community.

OnePlus has confirmed through a tweet that the OnePlus community has been asking for Always-On display as a feature. The company has a proven track record of taking user and community feedback seriously, and recently rolled out a special ‘Community Ideas’ page for users to submit their own feature ideas.

Always-On display was the top idea according to OnePlus, and the company has thus confirmed that the OS product team is working on bringing this feature to OnePlus phones through future software updates. Interestingly, the feature was present on early units of the OnePlus 6, but was removed later, reportedly due to battery concerns.

For now, OnePlus smartphones have ‘Ambient display’, a feature which shows basic contextual information when the phone is lifted or the screen is tapped. This works well and leaves the screen off when not in use, but does require some action on the part of the user. Always-On display is a better implementation, since this would allow users to glance the same information without actually handling the phone.

The company could have since fixed whatever issues forced it to remove the feature in the first place, perhaps why it’s now on the software roadmap again. All OnePlus smartphones that are still receiving software support could receive the feature through a software update in the coming months. Additionally, the feature could be present out-of-the-box on the new OnePlus 8 series devices, which are due to launch soon.

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We have been hearing about Samsung Galaxy M11 for over three months now and while the smartphone is yet to an official debut, perhaps because of the coronavirus outbreak, a new leak has surfaced online, claiming to bring us another look at this upcoming Samsung smartphone. The leak includes various official-looking renders of the Galaxy M11 as well as the alleged specifications of the phone. To recall, Samsung Galaxy M11 was last reportedly spotted in the database of a Taiwanese regulator and the listing tipped the presence of 5,000mAh battery in the phone.

The latest set of Samsung Galaxy M11 alleged renders and specifications were published online by a blog called The leaked renders seem to be in line with what we have seen in the past, including the purported Google Play Console listing that included a photo of the Galaxy M11. The report claims that the Galaxy M11 will be offered in Black, Purple, and Sky Blue colour options, however not all markets will get all colour variants.

Samsung Galaxy M11 specifications (expected)

According to the report, Samsung Galaxy M11 display with a hole-punch design. The same resolution was also spotted in the leaked Google Play Console listing. Additionally, the phone is said to come with a rear fingerprint sensor and the same can be seen in the leaked press render.

Further, the phone is reportedly going to include a triple rear camera setup that will house a 13-megapixel main camera, a 5-megapixel ultra-wide-angle shooter, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. The front shooter is said to be an 8-megapixel camera.

In other specifications, the phone is believed to be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 SoC. The previously leaked Google Play Console listing tipped the presence of Adreno 506 GPU, which is currently paired with four of Qualcomm’s chips, and three of them are older 600-series processors. We are unlikely to see any of those older 600-series chips in Galaxy M11.

In terms of the memory and storage, 3GB and 4GB RAM options, and 32GB and 64GB onboard storage options have been tipped. There will also be a microSD card slot for storage expansion, and it will be support cards with up to 512GB capacity.

Lastly, the phone is said to run Android 10 out of the box with One UI 2.0, and it will pack USB Type-C port, 3.5mm audio jack, and Bluetooth 4.2 with 5,000mAh battery.

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