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Companies in India claiming that they can help people send bulk messages on WhatsApp must cease operations, the Facebook-owned messaging app warned on Thursday.
A media report on Wednesday said how political activists and digital marketers are bypassing restrictions on forwards by using counterfeit versions of the popular messaging app and other software tools costing as little as Rs 1,000.
WhatsApp said it had sent cease and desist letters to companies claiming to offer such services.
“Ahead of the India election, we have stepping up our ability to identify and ban accounts engaged in abuse, including bulk or automated messages,” a WhatsApp spokesperson told IANS in a statement.
“We ban approximately two million accounts for such abuse and have sent cease and desist letters to companies claiming to offer such services,” the spokesperson added.
Following allegations that rumours spread on WhatsApp were linked to dozens of lynching incidents last year, the app set a limit on forwarding messages to just five chats.
WhatsApp said that the initiative reduced the amount of forwarded messages on the platform by over 25 per cent.
But the counterfeit versions of the app appear to overcome this restriction and political activists and digital marketers are reportedly jumping at the opportunity.
Apps such as “GBWhatsApp” and “JTWhatsApp” allowed political party workers to bypass WhatsApp’s restrictions, said the report, adding that the apps resemble WhatsApp and can be downloaded for free from several tech blogs.
“We also go beyond the platform where possible. We work with providers to ban third-party apps that claim to provide unauthorised services for our platform,” said the WhatsApp spokesperson.
“In addition, when we see companies claiming they can send bulk messages on WhatsApp, we demand they cease operations and reserve all rights available to us under applicable law,” the company added.
The company has seen that some attackers attempt to modify WhatsApp software and trade unauthorized APK files to get around the constraints coded into the client itself.
“These modifications cannot circumvent our detection systems that run on our servers and apply to all users without exception.
“Still, we are improving our ability to detect these modified versions of WhatsApp as they both violate our Terms of Service and pose a security risk to users that have installed them on their device,” the company said in its White Paper recently. (IANS)
For all the great inventions that we have at hand, it is amazing how we keep going back to the safety pin every single time to fix everything. Be it tears in our clothes, to fix our broken things, to clean our teeth and nails when toothpicks are unavailable, to accessorize our clothes, and of course, as an integral part of the Indian saree. Safety pins are a must-have in our homes. But how did they come about at all?
The safety pin was invented at a time when brooches existed. They were used by the Greeks and Romans quite extensively. A man named Walter Hunt picked up a piece of brass and coiled it into the safety pin we know today. He did it just to pay off his debt. He even sold the patent rights of this seemingly insignificant invention just so that his debtors would leave him alone.
Anyone wearing safety pins that were visible began to be associated with the rock movement in the 70s. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
Later, he even invented the sewing needles and a couple of other important inventions but never kept any of the patent rights.
When the punk rock tradition took over in the seventies, safety pins became a fashion rage. They were used as piercings and to patch clothes together. Anyone wearing safety pins that were visible began to be associated with the rock movement. In some cultures, the safety pins have become symbols of good luck.
Keywords: Safety-pins, Punk Rock, Brass, Accessories, Walter Hunt
In South India, Deepavali marks the end of the monsoon and heralds the start of winter. The festival is usually observed in the weeks following heavy rain, and just before the first cold spell in the peninsula. The light and laughter that comes with the almost week-long celebration are certainly warm to the bones, but there is still a tradition that the South Indians follow to ease their transition from humidity to the cold.
Just before the main festival, the family bathes in sesame oil. This tradition is called 'yellu yennai snaana' in Kannada, or 'ennai kuliyal' in Tamil, which translates to 'sesame oil bath'. The eldest member of the family applies three drops of heated oil on each member's head. They must massage this oil into their hair and body. The oil is allowed to soak in for a while, anywhere between twenty minutes to an hour. After this, they must wash with warm water before sunrise.
Women applying oil to the heads of men Photo credit: Indians in Kuwait
In some parts of the peninsula, soap is not used to wash off the oil because it nullifies its effects. Some cultures who do not like the oil to remain in any way on their skin wash it off with shikakai and herbs, which is a paste that is traditionally used as a substitute for soap. Sometimes, the oil is heated with flowers and spices as well and is less sticky than in its pure form.
The purpose of this ritual is to cleanse the body, detoxify it, and produce heat in it. Sesame is a very heaty substance and tends to heat up the body. This heat, or 'usshna' in Kannada, prepares the body to face the sudden cold that comes to the peninsula immediately after Diwali. South India has no smooth transition weather-wise from monsoon to winter. There are a few days of stable, rainless weather, and suddenly the cold winds descend.
In many ways, the celebration of Diwali is centered around preparing for winter, considering the amount of heat and light the rituals consist of – lighting lamps, bursting crackers, and consuming warm treats. Those who practice these rituals earnestly find the shift in seasons and weather quite pleasant.
Keyboards: Sesame Oil Bath, Diwali Ritual, Traditional Sesame Oil Bath
By Peeyoosh Rankhamb
Parents, do you have any doubts regarding what to feed your newborn during the first year? Are you becoming anxious because of this? What should be the eating schedule for your baby?
The right kind of nutrition during the early years of life can help in the growth and development of the little one. Thus, exclusive feeding for over a year as per the doctor's advice remains key for your baby to stay healthy and keep various allergies, infections, and diseases away. Breastfeeding is vital for the baby and fulfils the baby's requirement of nutrition. At six months you need to also introduce the baby to solid foods.
Here's a list of do's and don'ts that you need to follow
* Do not introduce your baby to solid foods immediately after the first few months. The little one may not be ready for it and you will have a tough time making the baby eat this food. You should give breast milk to your child and formula milk can be given after consulting the doctor. Just be patient and follow the suggestions given by the expert.
You should give breast milk to your child and formula milk can be given after consulting the doctor. | Photo by Lucy Wolski on Unsplash
* The mother must breastfeed the baby after every two hours, including at the night. You need to properly understand the hunger cues that the baby gives you. Do not force the baby to take feeds. He/she can get grumpy and annoyed. You need to note down how many times the baby is taking feeds in a day, and if he/she is feeding correctly.
The mother must breastfeed the baby after every two hours, including at the night. | Photo by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash
* Make sure that you inculcate healthy eating habits in your babies that can help him/her throughout life. Solid foods should be introduced after six months depending on the growth and development of the baby. Do not give nuts, raisins, peanuts, nuts, jelly cubes or big pieces of food that may get stuck in the mouth.
Solid foods should be introduced after six months depending on the growth and development of the baby. | Photo by hui sang on Unsplash
* Give properly cooked or mashed potatoes, veggies, cheese, bananas, and peas. Do not introduce babies to finger foods as they are unhealthy. Make him/her eat whole fruits instead of chips or oily snacks.
Do not introduce babies to finger foods as they are unhealthy. | Photo by Anna Stampfli on Unsplash
* Chocolate contains caffeine and sugar and should be avoided after all you don't want to give your baby caffeine, right? This is so because your baby's health matters to you the most. Hence, it will be essential for you to make sure your baby is eating healthy foods.
It will be essential for you to make sure your baby is eating healthy foods. | Photo by Derek Owens on Unsplash
* Before giving an egg, ask the expert as an egg can lead to allergies. Raw vegetables contain high levels of nitrate and should be avoided owing to the choking hazards.
Before giving an egg, ask the expert as an egg can lead to allergies. | Photo by Hannah Tasker on Unsplash
In case you want to understand the diet in a better way than just consult an expert who will help you regarding how to feed the baby in the correct way.
(Article originally published on IANSlife) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: feed, baby, six, months, health, expert, year one, eating, food