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SEP
14

Facebook aware of Instagram’s harmful effect on teenage girls, leak reveals

Facebook aware of Instagram’s harmful effect on teenage girls, leak reveals

Facebook has kept internal research secret for two years that suggests its Instagram app makes body image issues worse for teenage girls, according to a leak from the tech firm.

Since at least 2019, staff at the company have been studying the impact of their product on its younger users’ states of mind. Their research has repeatedly found it is harmful for a large proportion, and particularly teenage girls.

“We make body image issues worse for one in three teen girls,” said a slide from one internal presentation in 2019, seen by the Wall Street Journal. “Thirty-two per cent of teen girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse,” a subsequent presentation reported in March 2020.

Another slide said: “Teens blame Instagram for increases in the rate of anxiety and depression. This reaction was unprompted and consistent across all groups.”

Social media firms 'should hand over data amid suicide risk'

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SEP
14

Microsoft PowerShell: Learn how to automate your workday

Microsoft PowerShell: Learn how to automate your workday

by in Developer on September 13, 2021, 1:08 PM PST

Get more done with less effort by automating as many of your daily tasks as you can instead of manually performing each one yourself. Learn how to do it with this class.

Illustration: Lisa Hornung/TechRepublic

There isn't much that beats being able to set a great many of our work tasks to just perform themselves automatically instead of having to manually complete each one. System administrators and IT professionals who may be just starting to use Microsoft Powershell Scripting can now rejoice because the inexpensive Microsoft PowerShell Certification Bundle explains exactly how to use automation to work more efficiently.

"Learning Task Automation Using Windows PowerShell" was created specifically to teach IT professionals just beginning to familiarize themselves with PowerShell scripting how to automate small daily tasks in a way that can improve the efficiency of their workflows. The course covers Powershell fundamentals, such as how best to handle files and using the task scheduler for file purging, service restarts and more.

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SEP
04

Google Drive rolls out a nifty feature for offline access to everyone

Google Drive rolls out a nifty feature for offline access to everyone

Source: Android Central

In early 2019, Google began testing an option in Google Drive's web version that lets you make all file types such as PDFs, images, office Microsoft Office documents available for offline viewing. Now, that feature has come out of beta.

Google has announced the general availability of offline mode in Drive on the web. The new capability allows everyone to mark all file types accessible even without an internet connection. It comes in handy for people who frequently travel to areas where internet connections can get spotty. Previously, only Google files including Docs, Sheets, and Slides can be made available to access offline.

To turn on offline support for a certain file, you can simply right-click on an item in your Drive and then toggle the "available offline" option in the menu. You can then open those files using the compatible apps installed on your PC through Drive's web-based portal.

VPN Deals: Lifetime license for $16, monthly plans at $1 & more

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AUG
23

Become a Project Manager Without a College Degree with Google’s Project Management Certificate

Become a Project Manager Without a College Degree with Google’s Project Management Certificate

As we first mentioned last year, Google has launched a series of Career Certificate programs that allow students to gain expertise in a field, enough to start working without a 4-year college degree. This initiative now includes a Certificate in Project Management, which consists of six courses.

Foundations of Project ManagementProject Initiation: Starting a Successful ProjectProject Planning: Putting It All TogetherProject Execution: Running the ProjectAgile Project ManagementCapstone: Applying Project Management in the Real World

Above, a Program Manager talks about “her path from dropping out of high school and earning a GED, joining the military, and working as a coder, to learning about program management and switching into that career track.” An introduction to the Project Management certificate appears below.

The Project Management program takes about six months to complete, and should cost about $250 in total. Students get charged $39 per month until they complete the program.

You can explore the Project Management certificate here. And find other Google career certificates in other fields–e.g. UX Design and Data Analytics–over on this page. All Google career courses are hosted on the Coursera platform.

Note: Open Culture has a partnership with Coursera. If readers enroll in certain Coursera courses and programs, it helps support Open Culture.

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AUG
21

With 9 Words, Tim Cook Just Explained the Biggest Problem With Facebook

With 9 Words, Tim Cook Just Explained the Biggest Problem With Facebook

It's really not a secret at all that Apple and Facebook aren't friends. They aren't even all that friendly of enemies. Sure, they're mostly polite, but there's no mistaking the degree to which there is hostility between the two companies.

It's sort of a strange position for two companies that arguably depend on each other in some unusual ways. For example, Facebook certainly depends on the iPhone considering that mobile represents 98 percent of the social platform's usage. Sure, a good portion of that comes from Android devices, but in the U.S. at least, the iPhone is probably Facebook's most important platform.

Of course, Facebook is also important to the iPhone. If suddenly you couldn't use Facebook's apps, that would be bad for Apple considering that people genuinely like using Facebook, despite its problems. Many of those people would switch to something else if they couldn't use it on their iPhone. 

Still, the two companies can't seem to resist the urge to take shots at each other every chance they get. For example, Facebook took out full-page ads decrying Apple's decision to require developers to request permission before tracking users across apps and websites. That's a big deal to Facebook considering its business is largely based on doing just that. 

Tim Cook responded that he isn't "focused on Facebook at all." Which, as I wrote at the time, is both brilliant and brutal in its dismissal of the company.

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AUG
21

Google Issues Warning For 2 Billion Chrome Users

Google Issues Warning For 2 Billion Chrome Users

Google Chrome has over two billion users worldwide and dominates the web browser market. But this also makes it the prime target of hackers and now Google has issued its fourth urgent upgrade warning in two months. 

Google has warned users about seven new 'High' security risks in Chrome

LightRocket via Getty ImagesMORE FROM FORBESGoogle Issues New Chrome Update Warning Following Eighth 'Zero Day' Hack In 2021By Gordon Kelly

In an official blog post, Google has revealed seven ‘High’ rated security threats have been discovered in Chrome with the vulnerabilities impacting Chrome users on all major operating systems: Windows, MacOS and Linux. 

Google is currently giving little away about the flaws. This is standard practice as the company attempts to limit information to stop the spread of these vulnerabilities to hackers and buy time for users to protect themselves. Consequently, this is all Chrome users have to go on right now:

High — CVE-2021-30598: Type Confusion in V8. Reported by Manfred PaulHigh — CVE-2021-30599: Type Confusion in V8. Reported by Manfred PaulHigh — CVE-2021-30600: Use after free in Printing. Reported by 360 Alpha LabHigh — CVE-2021-30601: Use after free in Extensions API. Reported by 360 Alpha LabHigh — CVE-2021-30602: Use after free in WebRTC. Reported by Cisco TalosHigh — CVE-2021-30603: Race in WebAudio. Reported by Google Project ZeroHigh — CVE-2021-30604: Use after free in ANGLE. Reported by SecunologyLab

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AUG
14

LinkedIn seeks to match skills, not past experience, in Singapore initiative | ZDNet

LinkedIn seeks to match skills, not past experience, in Singapore initiative | ZDNet

LinkedIn has introduced a scheme in Singapore that aims to match a jobseeker's skillsets to available roles, rather than previous experience. The pilot encompasses a skills assessment tool and covers six job categories, including data analysts and supply chain management. 

Called Skills Path, the programme was designed to help hiring managers identify core skills needed for a new job vacancy and give candidates a "fairer shot" at these roles, LinkedIn's Asia-Pacific managing director Feon Ang, said in a post Saturday. 

The programme comprises a multiple-choice LinkedIn Skill Assessment as well as a video or written assessment that candidates take. If they pass the assessments, they will be slotted to speak with the recruiter. Under Skills Path, candidates also have free access to courses under LinkedIn Learning, so they can plug any skills gaps required for the role.  

Supported by Singapore's National Jobs Council, the pilot currently spans six main job categories including customer service, project manager, recruiter, and sales development, according to Ang. 

Roles would be suggested to jobseekers on LinkedIn based on their skills. She added that those seeking new work opportunities could discover Skills Path roles by setting their profile status to #OpenToWork on the professional networking platform.

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AUG
14

Facebook Refuses to Fix the Most Frustrating Thing About Instagram. It Just Keeps Making Things Worse

Facebook Refuses to Fix the Most Frustrating Thing About Instagram. It Just Keeps Making Things Worse

The other day, I couldn't take it anymore. After what seemed like the 5,281st notification that someone I follow on Instagram has posted for the first time in a while, or that a bunch of people I follow all follow this profile so I should stop what I'm doing and go follow it also, I had to make it stop. 

Really, for me, there were two problems. First, I really don't like notifications for anything unless I ask for them. If my wife or daughter sends me a text message, I want to be notified. If I get a direct message on Slack from a colleague, I probably should look at it at some point.  

As for Instagram, unless I get tagged in a photo or someone mentions me, I don't care at all. I don't need push notifications for someone starting a Live video or someone posting a Story for the first time.

Those are just two of the 25 different types of push notifications that Instagram sends (I counted), all of which are "on" by default. Which is the second problem.

There are more than 2 dozen push notifications, grouped into seven categories, and every single one of them is turned on by default. If you want to turn them off, you have to tap through every category and turn them off one at a time.

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AUG
14

Apple Is Adding These New Features in Upcoming iOS 15 Update

Apple Is Adding These New Features in Upcoming iOS 15 Update

Apple iOS 15 update for the iPhone is expected to be available sometime in September this year.

Apple will roll out iOS 15 for general public later this year. iOS 15 will be coming with some interesting updates for iPhone users and is expected to arrive in September. The latest operating system from Apple was announced at the company’s virtual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2021 in June. After the conference, Apple had launched the developer beta and now, it has come up with a public beta as well. It is expected that the system update will launch around the same time Apple unveils the iPhone 13 in September this year.

Let’s take a look at some of the major highlights of the iOS 15:

FaceTime update

Considering how the pandemic has shifted our work, education, and business to the virtual sphere, Apple has updated its video calling software in iOS 15. Drawing inspiration from Zoom, FaceTime will now present the participants of a video call in grid view. Users will also have the option of creating FaceTime links to share and invite others to a video chat. Those with the link can join these calls through Google Chrome or Microsoft’s Edge browser even if they do not have an Apple device. Apple also ensures that the calls will be end-to-end encrypted. The portrait mode present in the iPhone camera can also be used for FaceTime to blur the background. The sound quality of video calls will also feel more natural with the help of spatial audio.

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AUG
13

What is DuckDuckGo? Everything to know about the private search engine

What is DuckDuckGo? Everything to know about the private search engine

DuckDuckGo wants to put your digital privacy front and center.

DuckDuckGo; illustration by Stephen Shankland/CNET

If you've ever searched for a pair of shoes, only to have ads for those same shoes pop up on seemingly every site you visited for the next month, you've seen the obnoxious side of online tracking. Enter DuckDuckGo: a search engine that pledges to not track you and also keep your search activity anonymous. 

There are other private browsers, like Brave, that block trackers and third-party cookies monitoring your activity as you search the web. But DuckDuckGo -- which has gone recently through a heavy advertising campaign -- sees itself as a direct competitor to Google Search, complete with a mobile app and extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari and other browsers. 

After major incidents like the Cambridge Analytica scandal, people have become more aware of how much personal information is available to tech companies and advertisers -- and are opting out of being tracked when they can, as Apple's iOS 14.5 allows you to do. While it doesn't track users, DuckDuckGo's app has been downloaded more than 50 million times in the last year alone -- more than all other years combined since its launch 13 years ago. 

Here's what you need to know about DuckDuckGo and how it works to keep your searches more secure.

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AUG
10

30 Years of the Public World Wide Web

30 Years of the Public World Wide Web
Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the web in 1989, but it took two more years before his concept of "a large hypertext database with typed links" became publicly available. Take a look back at how the World Wide Web changed in the past three decades — there are more than 1.8 billion websites today — and why Berners-Lee believes it's time to try something new.
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AUG
10

Firefox 91 gets HTTPS default in private mode, enhanced cookie clearing and Windows SSO | ZDNet

Firefox 91 gets HTTPS default in private mode, enhanced cookie clearing and Windows SSO | ZDNet
Image: Mozilla

Mozilla released Firefox 91 on Tuesday, with a pair of new privacy features and one offering increased Windows integration.

When users use a private window in Firefox, the connection to the requested domain will now default to HTTPS even if a user manually enters the HTTP protocol. An HTTPS-first request will also be made if a user clicks on an HTTP link.

The browser maker warned that HTTPS by default only allows to the page itself, and not necessarily all images, CSS, or JavaScript files loaded by the page.

"However, loading a page over HTTPS will, in the majority of cases, also cause those in-page components to load over HTTPS," Mozilla said.

"We expect that HTTPS by Default will expand beyond Private Windows in the coming months."

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AUG
07

Download vs upload speed: Why they matter | ZDNet

Download vs upload speed: Why they matter | ZDNet

You are in the middle of your favorite streaming program when you unexpectedly experience the much dreaded "spinning wheel." You thought you'd chosen the fastest internet speeds. So why is this happening? There are actually two separate speeds you may not have considered: download speed and upload speed. 

To help you understand the difference between the two speeds, we've created a primer on both types of speed, why they matter, and what you can do to optimize them for the best internet experience.

What's the difference between download and upload speed?

To understand the difference between download and upload speeds, you first have to take a look at how internet speed is measured. It's all about how fast data can transfer to or from your computer, which measures in megabits of data that can be transferred per second (Mbps). 

The download speed refers to how fast the data can be transferred from the internet to your computer, while the upload speed refers to how fast the data can transfer from your computer to the internet.  

Why does download speed matter?

For most people, the bulk of their internet usage relies on fast download speeds. The download speed affects everything from loading web pages and images to listening to music, downloading files, and streaming video. Streaming activities, especially, require a fast download speed. 

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AUG
07

How to breathe a new life into your aging MacBook

How to breathe a new life into your aging MacBook

As resilient and long-lasting as Macs tend to be, they begin to show signs of age at some point. But you don’t immediately have to rush to the Apple Store if your Mac’s cursor has been spinning way too often lately. With a few tweaks, you can easily salvage an extra year or two out of your current Mac and breathe new life into the laptop. Here’s how to get your MacBook to last several more years after it starts showing signs of age. 

Boost your old Mac’s performance 

The first step to restoring your Mac’s deteriorating health is by reviewing the tasks that are slowing it down. Over time, the apps you actively rely on clog up your computer’s resources, therefore, it’s essential to check on them now and then to ensure they are not hoarding the CPU and memory. 

Manage CPU and limit app power consumption

The “Activity Monitor” tool lets you go through how each app or process is consuming your machine’s energy on macOS. You can open it by looking it up on Spotlight search. 

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

At first glance, Activity Monitor’s swathe of numbers and menus can be overwhelming but give it a couple of minutes, and you’ll soon get the hang of it. There are dedicated sections at the top that list how much your computer’s CPU power and memory apps are using. 

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07

What is YouTube Shorts and could it become TikTok’s biggest rival?

What is YouTube Shorts and could it become TikTok’s biggest rival?

YouTube launched a new $100 million (€84 million) creator fund on Tuesday in a bid to increase the popularity of its new short form content platform, YouTube Shorts.

But will it ever be able to rival the likes of TikTok?

What are YouTube shorts?

Seeing the success of TikTok and Instagram reels, it seems like YouTube didn’t want to miss out on all the fun. In September last year, it announced its plans to branch out into short form content through YouTube Shorts, a platform for quick 60-second videos hosted on the YouTube app.

The social media giant aims to “unlock a new playground of creativity,” according to the Shorts product lead Todd Sherman.

Users can create original videos through the YouTube app using a multi-segment camera which makes it easy to string multiple clips together, a wide array of music and a useful captioning tool.

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AUG
06

The Scariest Things We Saw at Black Hat 2021

The Scariest Things We Saw at Black Hat 2021

Every year, the Black Hat security conference gathers the best and most frightening security research in one (sometimes digital) place. Here's what impressed and worried us in 2021.

Another Virtual Year

Last year, Black Hat was entirely virtual. This year, attendees had the option to tune in virtually or attend in person. We chose the former, and spent another year behind our respective home desks and not in the glittering expanse of Las Vegas. It seems we weren't the only ones. The pictures we saw on social media showed a much quieter, emptier Black Hat. 

In his closing keynote, Black Hat and Def Con Founder Jeff Moss took it in stride: "It seems weird to me," said Moss. "But good weird. Like, less pressurized."

3 Separate Keynotes

Typically, Black Hat has hosted a single, massive keynote address at the beginning of the convention. This year saw three speakers: security expert Matt Tait on Wednesday, Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Jen Easterly on Thursday morning, and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Thursday evening.

Tait used his time to talk about how supply chain attacks are upending the economy of hacking, removing the natural brakes on bad behavior online.

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06

10 Time-Saving Features and Settings You Should Be Using on Your iPhone

10 Time-Saving Features and Settings You Should Be Using on Your iPhone

Photo: Karlis Dambrans (Shutterstock)

Basic tasks can sometimes feel like a chore on your iPhone because it takes a lot of time for something trivial. For example, the Camera app keeps opening to the default photo mode, and you have to keep sliding over to other modes such as portrait or video. Fortunately, it’s possible to save a lot of time by speeding up a lot of basic tasks on your iPhone. We’re going to share our favorite time-saving tips that you might enjoy.

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Press and hold the back button in Settings

Press and hold the back button in Settings

Screenshot: David Murphy (Other)

If you have iOS 14 or a later version of the iPhone’s operating system, you can use a long-press to quickly jump back multiple pages while browsing system apps such as Settings. Try navigating deep within settings pages on your iPhone—say, to Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards. You’ll see the back button in the top-left of the screen, labeled < Keyboards. Tap and hold it to reveal other pages you navigated through along the way; choose one and you can quickly jump straight to it.

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AUG
02

The Air Force is mounting a war against Facebook misinformation

The Air Force is mounting a war against Facebook misinformation

This story originally featured on Task & Purpose.

There’s a war going on and, like it or not, you’ve already been drafted into it. But there’s no battlefield, no explosions, and no uniforms in this fight. Instead, it’s unfolding in Reddit threads, Facebook comments, and other social media forums where people swap information and, unwittingly or not, disinformation. Unlike misinformation, which includes false, incomplete, or misleading information shared without the intent to mislead a target population, disinformation is deliberately designed to mislead targeted groups of people, and is being used by other countries such as Russia and Iran to advance their own interests in the United States.

That, at least, is the picture painted by a new RAND report about foreign disinformation being spread on social media. The results are grim: nearly five years after disinformation first made headlines after Russian troll farms spread millions of misleading Facebook, Instagram and other social media posts in the midst of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the U.S. government’s response to the threat “remains fractured, uncoordinated, and—by many actors’ own admission—dubiously effective,” the report says.

While social media may be the latest tool for deploying it, disinformation is nothing new in warfare. The famous Ghost Army of World War II involved the U.S. Army’s use of inflatable tanks, planes, artillery pieces, and fake messages to convince Nazi Germany that the Allies had two more divisions than they actually did. More recently, disinformation has become much more high-tech and effective at sowing confusion in rival countries. 

Russia used disinformation to try to discredit the government of Ukraine during its 2014 invasion of the country. Moscow’s army of shit posters sought to portray the government as a fascist, xenophobic, racist, anti-Semitic junta in an effort to sow unrest among its people, according to Foreign Policy. The trick still seems to be working: just two months ago, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) shared Russian propaganda in an attack on a U.S. Army corporal after she talked about how her two moms inspired her to join the Army in a recruiting commercial. Russia also used disinformation to try to undermine the effectiveness of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

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AUG
02

Hands-on: You can now run Windows 365 on iPad, and Microsoft even has an app for it

Hands-on: You can now run Windows 365 on iPad, and Microsoft even has an app for it

Microsoft’s new cloud PC system, Windows 365, has officially launched for all eligible businesses and enterprises. While it’s not available to consumers yet, we hope to see it in the future. In the meantime, I was able to go hands-on with Windows 365 on my iPad Pro. Here’s what my experience was like.

Getting started

Using Windows 365 is incredibly easy. First and foremost, you need an eligible business or enterprise Microsoft account with an administrator. Once they’ve granted you a cloud PC, you can go to windows365.microsoft.com and sign in to your account. From there, you have to let your cloud PC configure itself before launching it. But once it is ready to go, you can easily click on the cloud PC of your choice to launch Windows.

Previously, we expected Windows 365 to be only accessible through a web browser. I first tried Windows 365 through Safari in iPadOS 15. It wasn’t a great experience, to be honest. But then I noticed Microsoft’s callout to the Remote Desktop app. I flew over to the App Store and downloaded the app, entered my credentials, and boom — I had a smooth virtual install of Windows running in a native app on my iPad from the App Store. Yeah, you read that correctly.

Apple has become infamous for its rejection of game streaming apps on the App Store. It has even blocked Microsoft from shipping an Xbox cloud app. So why does Apple allow an app that lets you stream an entire operating system on the store? You could even run Xbox streamed games through your virtual Windows 365 PC on your iPad. And while the Remote Desktop is typically used for accessing a physical PC remotely, this is an entirely different ballgame. A user can set up a virtual PC through a browser and then download an app that smoothly streams Windows from Apple.

Performance

Windows 10 doesn’t require much horsepower to run smoothly, so running it over the web shouldn’t be much of an issue. Virtual PCs in Windows 365 can be configured with different amounts of RAM, storage, and more. I tested Windows 365 in the lowest spec configuration.

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AUG
01

Facebook bets on the 'metaverse' in search for the 'ultimate' social technology

Facebook bets on the 'metaverse' in search for the 'ultimate' social technology

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg has hailed the so-called "metaverse", describing it as the "next generation of the internet and next chapter" for the company, he told investors in a conference call on Wednesday.

The metaverse, short for "meta-universe", is a digital world where the real and virtual merge into a vision of science fiction and allows people to move between different devices and communicate in a virtual environment.

In practical terms, it refers to augmented- and virtual-reality products and services. The new market segment could generate "entirely new experiences and economic opportunities," Zuckerberg told investors on Wednesday.

The Facebook boss' comments followed a warning from the company that it expects revenue growth to "decelerate significantly" in the coming months.

'The ultimate social technology'

Facebook said it expects Apple's recent update to its iOS operating system to impact its ability to target adverts, adversely affecting ad revenue in the third quarter. The iPhone maker's privacy changes make it harder for apps to track users and restrict advertisers from accessing valuable data for targeting ads.

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