Microsoft Teams update introduces a useful new way to control your calls

Dealing with dodgy audio levels on a Microsoft Teams call could soon be a thing of the past following a new update to the platform.

The company has revealed that users of its video conferencing service will soon be able to control aspects of calls using a Bluetooth device.

The change means users will soon be able to use a Bluetooth headset or speakerphone to answer or end a Microsoft Teams call, giving users much more flexibility, such as answering a call on the move, or at their desk.

Microsoft Teams Bluetooth

The news will allow Microsoft Teams users to use the buttons on a connected Bluetooth device to control their call, largely by answering, ending, or putting the call on hold.

Thes devices won't even require a USB dongle when connected to a Windows PC running Teams desktop client, and Microsoft says that for many headsets and speakerphones, this will work without requiring any user action to enable other than pairing the device with the PC.

It's likely that only certain devices will be able to use the feature to begin with, and Microsoft notes that users should stay tuned to its certification page for additional information about devices tested to meet all certification criteria with native Bluetooth connections soon.

The official Microsoft 365 roadmap notes that the feature is currently still in development, but is set to start rolling out to users in March 2022. When live, the feature will be available to all Microsoft Teams desktop users only, with no news of a mobile launch just yet.

The update could be good news for companies looking to upgrade their online collaboration hardware, and follows the recent launch of a new initiative designed to attract even more customers to Teams.

Microsoft recently announced a new device trade-in scheme whereby businesses can claim cash back on old video conferencing hardware and desk phones when they make the switch to Microsoft Teams. The scheme will be facilitated by a partnership with Network-Value, a company that specializes in global device trade-in and responsible equipment disposal.

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Squarespace users are getting some super useful new video tools

Top website hosting service Squarespace has announced a range of new video tools that it thinks will greatly please creators. 

Although embedding video, such as from YouTube, has always been possible on Squarespace, the new additions are focused on hosting and monetizing that video content, such as its relatively new Member Areas service. 

Broadly, the new tools let website owners sell access to video content, host video content directly, and upload up to 30 minutes of high-res content. There are also new tagging and merchandising tools. 

Squarespace video hosting

The company has also rebuilt its video player from scratch to accommodate the new features, which includes playback, speed, and resolution controls alongside deep integration with the Squarespace platform. 

“We launched Member Areas in 2020 to provide creators with a new way to sell content through memberships,” said Squarespace. “Since then, we’ve seen an increase in video content being utilised, and to help customers better leverage this medium, our latest releases offer a seamless way to monetise video content such as classes.”

Hosting video, and offering extensive tools to manage it, puts Squarespace more directly in competition with the likes of Patreon and YouTube, both of which offer options to monetise content. OnlyFans is also now a direct rival, although it remains unclear what Squarespace's content moderation policy says about adult content. 

In recent days, Substack, the newsletter platform, has also added the ability to host video for creators in beta, a feature that will be well-received by those with many subscribers already paying for their services. 

Via Engadget

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Firefox Relay may not be as useful as you thought

A major debate has erupted online after Firefox's Relay offering was nearly added to a list of “burner” email services.

There is a list on the GitHub repository, with hundreds of burner email services, used by many service providers to prevent customers from using such tools  (such as, for example, 10minutemail) to register an account, and force them into using legitimate emails.

Companies do this for a number of reasons – to prevent abuse (someone might register hundreds of accounts to take advantage of a free offer), or to ensure that the service provider’s mailing list is useful.

Burner emails

Users, on the other hand, enjoy burner emails as they allow them to register for a service without having to sign up for a mailing list and receive multiple promotional emails every day. 

Recently, a co-maintainer of the list suggested that the “relay.firefox.com” domain be added to the list, prompting a major discussion on the forums, and drawing the attention of the media.

Relay is Firefox’s email privacy service, giving users free email aliases to use whenever they want to sign up for an online account anywhere. According to Mozilla, Relay’s goal is to preserve the privacy of its users’ email addresses, and comes as both a free service, and a paid Premium service.

Turning anti-abuse measures into weapons

Firefox Relay works by sending and forwarding email messages from the alias address to the primary email address. Besides the five free aliases, users are also allowed to get up to 150kb attachments.

Unlike burner emails, these aliases do not disappear unless deleted by the user, and are perceived by the users as “purely a privacy tool”.

“My reasoning on including this is that an email with a mozmail domain is never going to be a primary email and is always going to forward to some other address,” the co-maintainer, Dustin Ingram, explained.

But some people weren’t buying it. A GitHub user going by the alias worldofgeese said the GitHub repo “looks like it’s used, or can potentially be used, as a weapon by providers trying to rob users of one of the few defenses they have to their email address leaking, a scarily common occurrence, which are then weaponized by bad actors to flood those users' inboxes with spam.”

“Can you not do this? You look like extremely bad actors. Please don't contribute to an unsafe internet. I use Private Relay to protect my personal mail address, not as a tool for spam. I'm not even sure how a user would use Private Relay for spam, as users cannot begin email chains with a Relay address, only respond to mails delivered to those addresses.”

Via: BleepingComputer

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