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Communication and Technology news
Report: Facebook Portal vulnerability lets users display other people’s pictures without permission

The problem is Facebook states that a person can only add photo albums to Portal’s screensaver that are part of their Facebook account. If Facebook’s Portal didn’t creep you out before, now it might. Developer and digital explorer Jane Manchun Wong has discovered an unnerving...

2019-10-30
45,000 Android devices infected by new unremovable xHelper malware

A new kind of Android malware capable of reinstalling itself even after being manually removed has reportedly infected more than 45,000 Android devices over the last six months. The latest findings — disclosed by cybersecurity firm Symantec — come after a similar disclosure by MalwareBytes, which first spotted...

2019-10-30
WhatsApp sues Israeli security firm for injecting malware into targets’ phones through its app

WhatsApp just sued Israel-based security company, the NSO Group, in a US federal court for allegedly injecting malware into over 1,400 targets’ phones through the messaging service. The Facebook-owned company accused the NSO Group of installing malware into phones for surveillance. The court filing says the...

2019-10-30
Facebook wants to get into healthcare. What could possibly go wrong?

Facebook wants to remind you to see a doctor. It’s working on a suite of “Preventative Health” features designed to help people keep track of their personal maintenance. Is it just me or does this company seem like a bad choice for that role? Facebook today announced it’s working with major health...

2019-10-29
Now that Google won’t index Flash pages, here’s what website owners need to know

Google has announced its search engine will no longer index Flash, the once hugely popular web content format. In the early 2000s, Flash was everywhere on the web. The browser plug-in technology made it easy for web developers to build everything from animated movies to restaurant menus that would look the same from...

2019-10-29
GrubHub stock is in a free fall after earnings disaster and 5 downgrades

As a result of the disappointing Q3 revenue and Q4 forecasts, the stock received five downgrades, causing GrubHub’s share price to plummet. Food delivery company GrubHub has seen its stock price slashed by over a third after it posted disappointing third-quarter earnings today, reports CNBC. The company...

2019-10-29
Facebook defends Libra comparing it some of the ‘most meaningful innovations’ of our time — lol

David Marcus, Facebook’s Libra lead, has defended the technology giant’s ‘cryptocurrency’ project saying “the most meaningful innovations that have changed the lives of millions across the world in a profound way have always been met with damning headlines.”  Marcus was speaking at Money 20/20, an...

2019-10-29
Australia wants to use facial recognition to verify people watching online porn

Ever since the first porn video was uploaded to the internet, the worry of minors stumbling across it has persisted. Surprisingly — as I’m sure you already know — finding porn online is an easy task requiring just a quick Google search. Governments are working to make it one-step harder to access porn online....

2019-10-29
Google Analytics is the Rosetta Stone of the web. Learn how to read it for 90% off.

The 6.5-hour course is usually a $499 value, but by taking advantage of this TNW Deals offer while it lasts, you can get all this Google Analytics intel for only $49. 

2019-10-29
Floyd is launching a mattress for its beloved minimalist bed frame

Customers kept asking the Detroit startup which mattress to buy for its ultra-popular bed frame, so it designed one. Back in 2015, the fledgling Detroit-based furniture brand Floyd launched a minimal, low-slung platform bed. The design was simple—just a few slabs of wood which you would connect with a few...

2019-10-29
Facebook employees object to the company’s policy of allowing lies in political ads

With just over a year left until the 2020 US presidential elections, Facebook updated its policies on the spread of misinformation last week and released a bunch of new tools to better “protect the democratic process.” Now, Facebook will clearly label false posts and state-controlled media — but will continue to...

2019-10-29
Google’s parent company just reported a significant drop in profits

Alphabet’s profits were off about 30% compared to the same period last year. It has not been the best of earnings seasons for Big Tech.Read Full Story

2019-10-28
Amazon prepares to strike back after Microsoft wins $10B JEDI contract

Microsoft‘s been awarded the controversial Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract, a $10 billion planned project to create and maintain an AI-powered, cloud-based weapons platform for the Pentagon. The company’s stocks hit a record intraday high on the back of the news, but shareholders may want...

2019-10-28
Report: Google is trying to acquire Fitbit

According to a report by Reuters, Alphabet (Google’s parent company) is trying to buy Fitbit. The tech giant has made a bid for the fitness hardware maker, but there’s no confirmation that an acquisition will take place at this time. We don’t know how much Alphabet bid for fitbit either. The partnership makes...

2019-10-28
Facebook wants to give you medical advice. But can you trust it?

Despite widespread problems of mistrust and disinformation, Facebook is launching a mobile tool to show people what screenings and immunizations they should be getting based on their age and sex. Facebook is launching a new tool in the U.S. that will suggest tests and immunizations—such as a mammogram,...

2019-10-28
What life is really like for freelance designers, in 5 numbers

Among the findings of a new study on the industry: freelance designers are working full-time, but weird, hours. We wouldn’t exactly call it an unbiased source. 99designs is a huge freelance design portal, with a core business model that generates roughly $60 million a year through designers logging in and...

2019-10-28
Instagram now forces people to sign in to view public profiles

Are you used to browsing Instagram without signing in to check out what your favorite brands are sharing? If so, here’s a change you won’t like one bit. The photo-sharing social network is now locking down its platform by preventing signed-out users from having unlimited access to public profiles. As a result,...

2019-10-28
Instagram refused to run an HIV preventative drug campaign because it contained ‘politics’

Last week, Mark Zuckerberg and Congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), went head to head during  a hearing where Zuckerberg defended his right to allow political ads on his platform — even if they contained lies. “I just think that in a democracy people should be able to see for themselves what...

2019-10-28
China’s tech race with the US heats up as it readies to launch its digital currency

China, notorious for its lack of privacy, approved a new law to regulate cryptography over the weekend as it readies to launch its own digital currency. The law will come into effect on January 1, 2020, and although officials haven’t gone into too much detail about it, reports say that permissions granted could vary...

2019-10-28
10 ways men can help close the gender gap for female coworkers

Even if you’re not a manager, these are easy things you can do to make your office more equitable for women. Last month, a number of female writers, producers, and assistants started using the hashtag #NotWorthLess to share their experiences being paid less than their male counterparts. Amid the...

2019-10-28
Instagram is banning cartoons and memes that promote self-harm and suicide

The move comes after the suicide of a 14-year-old girl who viewed posts about self-harm on the platform before her death. Instagram has announced that it is banning drawings, memes, and cartoons that promote, glamorize, or encourage self-harm and suicide. The ban comes after the father of a 14-year-old girl who killed...

2019-10-28
Facebook’s plan for radical transparency was too radical

An ambitious plan to fight misinformation and disinformation is moving slower than hoped, frustrating researchers and forcing funders to reconsider their commitment. An unprecedented investigation into disinformation on Facebook has hit turbulence over questions about how much data to release to outside researchers,...

2019-10-28
Byte Me #9: Slack harassment, vagina bots, and pooping at work

Subscribe to our monthly Byte Me newsletter NOW! And, while you’re here, follow us on Twitter! Welcome back to Byte Me, our feminist newsletter that makes everyone mad <3 Since we last spoke, Anouk co-wrote and produced a (Dutch) video series called Kramp and it got over 2M views, Cara was accidentally...

2019-10-28
Facebook’s new AI tweaks video so you can’t be identified by face recognition tech

Facial recognition systems are all the rage among government agencies around the world, as they seek to automate services and keep tabs on their citizens. If there’s a picture of you somewhere, you could potentially be identified in photos and videos from public camera feeds. Now, Facebook has devised a way to...

2019-10-28
Hackers are using a bug in PHP7 to remotely hijack web servers

The PHP programming language underpins much of the Internet. It forms the basis of popular content management systems like WordPress and Drupal, as well as more sophisticated web applications, like Facebook (kinda). Therefore, it’s a huge deal whenever researchers identify a security vulnerability within it. A...

2019-10-27
Modern cybersecurity is inaccessible to smaller companies — and that’s bad for you

It’s about time that the cybersecurity technology that was once only available to wealthy corporations will become accessible for all.  It used to be scary and thought-provoking when a resourceful hacker cracked open a hoard of user information, but the sheer number of massive hacks that happened, in 2018 alone of...

2019-10-26
Pixelbook Go: a happy medium between budget and high-end Chromebooks

It’s far from the cheapest Chromebook on the market. But Google’s latest is much nicer than bargain models. Beginning in 2013 with the original Chromebook Pixel—the first touch-screen Chrome OS device—and continuing through 2017’s Pixelbook, the Chrome OS laptops that Google has...

2019-10-26
Urlora can clean up your digital marketing links AND boost sales

Urlora is a linking tool hyper focused on optimizing your linking strategies and getting you all the information you need to run a successful digital ad campaign. You can get in on Urlora’s features right now with over 90 percent off a lifetime subscription starting as low as $39 from TNW Deals.

2019-10-26
Juul should probably worry about this lawyer’s website going viral on Facebook

It was probably only a matter of time before all this scandal caught the attention of product liability lawyers. Juul Labs has been in the news a lot lately—and for all the wrong reasons. After the FDA essentially threatened to seize its products last month if it didn’t revise its safety claims, the...

2019-10-25
Nvidia’s new Shield Android TV devices could launch October 28

We’ve known for a while that Nvidia is planning on releasing a pair of new Shield TV devices, but now we have what seems like confirmation: the company today posted a teaser that suggests the devices will arrive on October 28. 10.28.19 👁️ pic.twitter.com/Np0LXKvoTx — NVIDIA SHIELD (@NVIDIASHIELD) October 24,...

2019-10-25
Google Search will soon understand normal questions, not just keywords

Ever had to search for something on Google, but you’re not exactly sure what it is, so you just use some language that vaguely implies it? Google’s about to make that a whole lot easier. Google announced today it’s rolling out a new machine learning-based language understanding technique called Bidirectional...

2019-10-25
Hackers give Johannesburg government 3 days to pay over $30K in Bitcoin

A group of cybercriminals calling themselves the “Shadow Kill Hackers” has reportedly attacked the City of Johannesburg (South Africa) administration website — and is threatening to upload the stolen data on the internet unless it receives a Bitcoin ransom. The hackers are requesting the city pays over $30,000...

2019-10-25
Facebook’s return to News sees it tap into human-curation of stories

After deprioritizing news in the News Feed and pivoting to video, Facebook is officially back in the news business again. The social media giant is rolling out Facebook News to select audiences in the US starting today, carving a dedicated home screen tab out of its digital real estate for users to explore their news...

2019-10-25
Google just released a ‘phone’ made of paper, for your sanity

All you need to go offline for a day is a printer. Our phones are making us unhappy, and companies like Google are wrestling with how to keep expanding a product like Android without destroying the soul of humanity in the process. The company’s designers have been outspoken on the topic, and they released a...

2019-10-25
Watch Google, Facebook, and YouTube’s rise to dominance in this hypnotic video

A mesmerizing 8-minute video shows how AOL, Yahoo, and MSN fell to the current web kingpins over the course of two decades. Today, AOL and Yahoo are near-worthless divisions of a phone company, as Verizon picks their digital bones to assimilate, sell off, or shut down what’s left. But two decades ago, AOL and...

2019-10-25
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey says “hell no” to joining Facebook’s Libra ‘cryptocurrency’

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has said the popular microblogging site will never join Facebook’s controversial ‘cryptocurrency’ project. Speaking at a Twitter media event held in New York City yesterday, Dorsey replied “Hell no” when asked if Twitter would join Libra, The Verge reports. The CEO, who also founded...

2019-10-25
Google just released a ‘phone’ made of paper

All you need to go offline for a day is a printer. Our phones are making us unhappy, and companies like Google are wrestling with how to keep expanding a product like Android without destroying the soul of humanity in the process. The company’s designers have been outspoken on the topic, and they released a...

2019-10-25
Why we need to stop idolizing big tech

The provocative NYU Stern School of Business marketing professor and author of ‘The Algebra of Happiness’ argues that internet giants need to be cut down to size. It used to be, if somebody went off the rails, one of your kids, you’d immediately start praying. Now it’s Google. Google...

2019-10-25
The techno-utopian visions of Google and Facebook are dead. What comes next?

Today’s big tech companies need to embrace a new philosophy: techno-pragmatism. Just earlier this month, while meeting with Congress to discuss digital privacy, censorship, and transparency, Republican Senator Josh Hawley asked Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg to divest of WhatsApp and Instagram. (You can...

2019-10-25
Lawmakers want Netflix to warn users about a nuclear attack

The READI Act would mandate that major streaming service providers send their users emergency alerts during times of local or national emergencies. U.S. lawmakers have reintroduced a bipartisan bill that would mandate that major streaming service providers send their users emergency alerts during times of local or...

2019-10-25
This is your brain on improvisation—and why your creativity depends on it

In this episode of Fast Company’s podcast ‘Creative Conversation,’ we analyze what happens in your brain when you improvise and how you’re better at it than you think. Listen to the latest episode of Fast Company’s podcast Creative Conversation on Apple Podcasts, Spotify,...

2019-10-25
Microsoft is hawking controller clips for phones to prep you for Project xCloud

Ahead of the launch of its Project xCloud game streaming service, Microsoft has begun talking up a gaming accessory that holds your phone right above your Xbox controller, so you can have an easier time killing bad guys in titles that the company will beam to your phone from the cloud. The arrival of this controller...

2019-10-25
Pardon the intrusion #3: It’s 2FA or bust

Subscribe to this bi-weekly newsletter here! Welcome to the third edition of Pardon The Intrusion, where we explore the wild world of security. Almost everyone agrees that two-factor authentication (2FA) is the holy grail when it comes to keeping our accounts safe from breaches. Still, it’s unbelievable how many...

2019-10-25
Google just got better at understanding your trickiest searches

A new machine-learning algorithm is helping Google tell which words in queries matter most—and how they relate to each other. For Google’s namesake search engine, delivering the right results is about understanding what people are asking for. And understanding that involves zeroing in on the meaningful...

2019-10-25
Apple and Google remove 50+ malicious apps that stole your data

Apple and Google have cumulatively removed over 50 apps from their respective mobile app stores that were found serving malicious ads to millions of users. The findings were were disclosed separately by London-based mobile security firm Wandera and Slovakian security solutions provider ESET. Disruptive ad behavior...

2019-10-25
Facebook is about to reveal its News tab

Facebook is getting its own dedicated news tab later this week, apparently. The platform’s tricky relationship with news is now crystallizing into a partnership, in which Facebook will pay big publishers to post to the news tab. CEO Mark Zuckerberg teased this new announcement during his tete-a-tete with Congress...

2019-10-24
This plant can take a selfie

Plant-powered sensors and cameras could change forest monitoring. Pete is not your run-of-the-mill fern. The plant can do something most often associated with people who post on Instagram—it can take selfies.Read Full Story

2019-10-24
Google is training an AI to predict a molecule’s smell

With plenty of mics and cameras at disposal, AI has gotten good at ‘seeing’ and ‘listening.’ But one human sense it hasn’t got around much is smell. Now, researchers at Google are trying to develop a neural network that helps an AI identify the smell characteristics of a molecule. The company said...

2019-10-24

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