Facebook Messenger - is the privacy compromised?


I remember a time when I used to go to my female friend's place and knock on her door. And if she or her father opened it, I would be real glad. But if it's her mom, I would generally flee before she could ask me questions. Then came the telephone era. It became pretty easy. But the phone is generally picked up by pa, ma or bro of my friend. I would cut the call immediately. At the end I guess God looked down on all the boys and threw the mobile phone from heaven. There's hardly any possibility left for any of the relatives to pick the call other than the owner of the phone.

It was not enough. Facebook joined the mobile phone market. And Whatsapp became a household name. In fact, couple of months back when I didn't have the Whatsapp installed on my phone, I was almost a laughing stock among my friends. Of course it made sense. I was spending money on calls and messages. Now I can atleast message for free.

Then came the Facebook Messenger.

What is Facebook Messenger?

Facebook Messenger is an application by Facebook that allows one to chat with her/his Facebook friends and send SMS and text messages to any contact on the phone. Briefly, it is a standalone version of the instant chat feature within the social network. The application also allows one to make free calls to other Facebook Messenger users.

Although Facebook Messenger has been available in the app stores since 2011, Facebook users were reluctant to downloaded the app.

The Switch from Facebook to Messenger

Initially Facebook allowed one to send or receive messages directly on her/his Android or iOS phone through the Facebook app. But Facebook sent an email to users on July 28, 2014, stating that messages will soon be disappearing from Facebook's iPhone and Android app and users will only be able to check messages via the web or Facebook Messenger app (users of the main app will still get message notifications, however).

Now, suddenly Facebook mobile users are forced to download the Messenger app and users aren't happy about it, which includes me. The changes took off on August 6, 2014 and started affecting users of the iPhone and Android app. According to Facebook - "switching to Messenger will benefit all users as messaging with Messenger is faster and more reliable." But keeping the benefits aside, who will be happy if s/he is forced to do something?

Messenger Privacy Issue

Intitially there was an uproar regarding personal data being shared for access to the Facebook Messenger app. The app requires one to allow access to a good amount of personal data from the mobile device and takes direct control over the cell phone. The permissions that may be governing the app's functionality on an Android device can be found on Settings → Apps or Application Manager → Messenger.

The Acceptance of the Permissions -
Now, some of the permissions asked by Facebook Messenger are pretty aggressive. Should we get alarmed? Apart from forcing people to download the app Facebook actually can't do any of the things above without the user initiating them. It needs the permission in advance. The app actually can't call your girlfriend in the middle of the night while you are asleep. That will be ridiculous.

Facebook says, "Much of the problem is due to Android's rigid policy on permissions. The language in the permissions does not necessarily reflect the way the Messenger app and other apps use them." Facebook doesn't get to write its own, and instead must use generic language provided to them by Android.

If you read thoroughly, the permission of the Messenger app are quite similar to the Facebook app. The bottom line is users are not giving up a significant amount of additional privacy in the process. Almost all apps need certain permissions to run on Android or iOS, and Facebook use these permissions to help enable features in the app. Like 'Take pictures and videos' permission actually allows one to take photos and videos within the Messenger app to easily send to her/his friends and other contacts. Similarly 'Read your contacts' permission allows one to add her/his phone contacts as Messenger contacts if s/he chooses to do so. One can always stop syncing her/his phone contacts by going to the Messenger settings.

So, once you download the Messenger app, is the privacy compromised? For now I would say no. But don't keep a blind faith. Read the 'Terms of Service' carefully before downloading any app.

India's 68th Independence Day - a tribute

Here's a tribute of mine to India; tribute to the national anthem of India - Jana Gana Mana.
Music - Jim Ankan Deka | Animation - Prashanth Kumar


About the National Anthem of India

National anthem of India"Jana Gana Mana" is the national anthem of India. It was first sung in Calcutta Session of the Indian National Congress on 27 December 1911. Written in highly Sanskritised (Tatsama) Bengali, it is the first of five stanzas of a Brahmo hymn composed and scored by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. The poem was translated into Hindi-Urdu by Abid Ali. Tagore wrote down the English translation of the song and along with Margaret Cousins (an expert in European music and wife of Irish poet James Cousins), set down the notation at Madanapalle in Andhra Pradesh, which is followed only when the song is sung in the original slow rendition style of singing. However, when the National Anthem version of the song is sung, it is often performed in the orchestral/choral adaptation made by the English composer Herbert Murrill at the behest of Nehru.

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Philips HTD5570/94 5.1 DVD Home Theatre System - a short review

4 / 5
Great product from Philips
25 July 2014
I had ordered the Philips Home Theatre HTD5570/94 after checking like 50 systems. I kept my fingers crossed - and Philips kept it's promise. This is the cheapest home theatre system with four Tallboy speakers in the market.
The sound system is great. Although the clarity can be less sometimes, but overall sound is good with it's pre-setups. It's easy to plug in with the TV. I have connected my LG 42" TV (42LS4600) through the 'optical digital out'. Philips doesn't provide the cable, so had to buy my own. I wonder why. Although the product comes with a HDMI cable.
Installation guy came the next day and he also gave me a bluetooth device for free which has to be connected to the USB port of the sound system. Now, one can connect his smart phone and listen to music from anywhere without the hassle of connecting wires. Philips should provide the bluetooth device in the package itself.
Lastly, although the sound system looks grand, the remote looks cheap compared to the system. It's just my observation. The system doesn't give all the custom equalizers, but pre-sets are good enough. Wires are long enough for a medium sized room.

I purchased the product from Snapdeal for Rs 13,700 in July, 2014.
great soundlong wiresbluetoothhdmi cableeasy setupgood looking, good price
cheap looking remoteno optical digital cablesometimes less clarity
Yes, I would recommend this product.
Performance 
4 / 5
Ease of use 
5 / 5
Design 
5 / 5


 PHILIPS HTD5570/94 5.1 DVD HOME THEATRE SYSTEM

Philips HTD5570/94 Home Theater
Philips HTD5570/94 Home Theater
Take your home entertainment to the next level with Philips HTD5570/94 Home Theater. The powerful speakers come with abass-reflex system and double bass pipes that improve the lower frequencies and deliver amazingly deep bass sounds. Enjoy excellent quality surround sound with realistic spatial cues, thanks to Dolby Digital audio. From DVDs, VCDs, CDs to USB devices, the home theater plays virtually any disc and any media device you want.
With HDMI, you can enjoy your favourite movies in true high definition resolution. Control multiple devices like DVD players, Blu-ray players, TV's etc. with a single remote. This is made possible because of EasyLink, which uses HDMI CEC industry-standard protocol to share functionality between devices through the HDMI cable.
With DivX support, you can enjoy DivX encoded videos and movies from the Internet. DivX Ultra combines DivX playback with amazing features like integrated subtitles, multiple audio languages, multiple tracks and menus into one convenient file format.Audio in lets you play your music directly from your iPod/iPhone/iPad, MP3 player, or laptop via an easy connection to your home cinema. All you need to do is connect your audio device to the Audio in jack to enjoy the music.
Furthermore, 1000W RMS power delivers great sound for movies and music. The Karaoke feature lets you enjoy endless singing session at the comfort of your home, and the exposed speaker drivers ensure powerful surround sound.
(From Snapdeal)

PRODUCT SUMMARY OF PHILIPS HTD5570/94 5.1 DVD HOME THEATRE SYSTEM

  • Type: Home Theatres
  • Sound Output: 1000 W
  • Channel: 5.1
  • Features: USB,Dolby Digital
  • Connectivity: USB,HDMI,AUX
  • SUPCSDL562803372

Bronze Medal for 'Aawaz' at Global Music Awards

Aawaz wins Bronze Medal at Global Music Awards

'Aawaz - speak up against sexual violence' - the music video, created with an aim to sensitize people of various social evils like sexual violence, child abuse and marital rape, wins the Bronze Medal at Global Music Awards. Among 54 winning songs, Aawaz is the only song from India which was nominated for the event and won a medal at GMA.

The single 'Aawaz - speak up against sexual violence' is composed by Jim Ankan Deka and the lyrics are penned together by Jim and singer Ritwika Bhattacharya. Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Little Champs (2009) finalist Antara Nandy from Kolkata has rendered her vocals to this cause along with Ritwika and Queen Hazarika (a familiar face in the music scenario of Assam). The music video is directed and produced by Parmita Borah. This collaborative project involves noted artists from across India and was released on June 01, 2013.

More about Aawaz here.


Monkey Radio features fusion music track EastWards

Eastwards - Jim Ankan Deka - Monkey Radio

Royalty Free Music | Free music for YouTube Videos

Royalty free music by Jim Ankan Deka

I am sharing two of my tracks for download for free as well as using them commercially for any purpose; including YouTube videos, Dailymotion videos and projects. Both the tracks are available on SoundCloud for download for free.

The tracks are licensed under a  Creative Commons Licence.





Click Here to download "A Healing Touch" | Click Here to download "Mr Davidson's Ride"
Artist - Jim Ankan Deka
This license is acceptable for Free Cultural Works.

You are free to:

  • Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially.
  • The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms.

Under the following terms:

Nixobdo Nilim - our new Assamese music video

Nixobdo Nilim (Assamese song) by Jim Ankan Deka

The tune hit me the moment we landed in Gokarna. A pristine region in Karnataka, Gokarna lies very close to Goa. But it's far away from the touristy haste and hooey. The stochasticity of the beaches and the surrounding scenario refresh the mind and the soul. Hence, it's easy to fall in love with everything that's around.
A dancer on Om Beach, Gokarna (photo - Jim Ankan Deka)
A dancer on Om Beach, Gokarna (photo - Jim Ankan Deka)

Nixobdo Nilim means Silent Horizon. And that's what I found while sitting on the beaches of Gokarna.
That's what I have seen people doing there - just looking into the horizon; and (probably) keenly relishing the fragrance of the distant dark-crested rocks. We were four friends and shot each others fun moments with our video camera without any script or storyboard.

Parmita Borah, Antara Baruah and Jim Ankan Deka - while shooting for Nixobdo Nilim
Later used those videos for the song while writer Parmita Borah came up with a nice story for the song. While Antara Baruah acted as a beach and music loving damsel, our friend Mickey Bora took care of the logistics. And voila! Nixobdo Nilim was just a simple task.

Recorded and edited at Eastern Fare Music Studio in Bangalore, the song is available for download at Amazon.com.

News on 'Aawaz - speak up against sexual violence'

Aawaz - speak up against sexual violence is made with an aim to sensitize people of various social evils such as sexual violence, child abuse and marital rape. The music video of the bilingual song won four awards at three film festivals of India - Best Music Video Award at the 'Mumbai Shorts International Film Festival 2013' and 'Hollywood Shorts Reel-14' and Best Music Award and Best Music Video Award at 'Noida International Film Festival 2014'. The music of the song is composed by Jim Ankan Deka and video is directed by Parmita Borah. The vocalists of the song are Antara Nandy, Ritwika Bhattacharya and Queen Hazarika. The video is produced by Eastern Fare productions.

Read more at ReviewNE and The Sentinel. | Watch the video Here. | Download Aawaz Here

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