International stories and articles from our Flipboard mag.
APR
11

How to Completely Delete Facebook From Your Life

Image: Mashable, Isar Chang

If you're seriously considering deleting your Facebook account, you're not alone.

Start typing in the letters "dele" into Google and you'll see "delete Facebook account" as a top suggestion. Whether it's to alleviate privacy concerns or avoid digital distractions, more people are trying to figure out how to fully disconnect themselves from the social network giant that we live and breathe.

For those ready to call it quits, you're in for a surprise — it's more difficult than you think to erase yourself permanently. With its ever-changing privacy policies, becoming Facebook-free requires more steps than just hitting the delete button and saying goodbye.

Keep in mind deletion is not the same as deactivation. You can deactivate your account at any time, which means your Timeline and information will disappear from Facebook until you reactivate your account. When reactivated, your information is restored.

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APR
09

The biggest Black Lives Matter page on Facebook is fake

The page, titled simply "Black Lives Matter," had almost 700,000 followers on Facebook, more than twice as many as the official Black Lives Matter page. It was tied to online fundraisers that brought in at least $100,000 that supposedly went to Black Lives Matter causes in the U.S. At least some of the money, however, was transferred to Australian bank accounts, CNN has learned.

Fundraising campaigns associated with the Facebook page were suspended by PayPal and Patreon after CNN contacted each of the companies for comment. Donorbox and Classy had already removed the campaigns.

The discovery raises new questions about the integrity of Facebook's platform and the content hosted there. In the run-up to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's testimony before Congress this week, Facebook has announced plans to make the people running large pages verify their identity and location. But it's not clear that the change would affect this page: Facebook has not said what information about page owners it will disclose to the public -- and, presented with CNN's findings, Facebook initially said the page didn't violate its "Community Standards."

Only after almost a week of emails and calls between CNN and Facebook about this story did Facebook suspend the page, and then only because it had suspended a user account that administrated the page.

The discovery also raises questions about Facebook's commitment to change, and to policing its platform, even in the midst of its PR offensive leading up to Zuckerberg's testimony. Not for the first time, Facebook took action against a major bad actor on its site not on its own but because journalists made inquiries.

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APR
09

New Sprout Research Shows Keys to Creating Engaging Social Media Ads

The past few weeks and months have been dark times for social media networks, with every week bringing a new scandal that cast social media advertising in a negative light. It should come as little surprise that consumers have decreasing trust in the content and ads they see in social media, but recent research shows the damage isn't that bad. Furthermore, there there are things marketers can do to continue creating engaging social media content and ads.

Sprout Social recently released a study based on a survey of 1,000 social media users in the U.S. in March 2018. It showed that only 27 percent of people had a lower opinion of social media ads than they did one year ago. While this isn't good, it's clear that advertising can still use social platforms to reach their target audience with relevant messages.

The key here is that messages have to be relevant. When examining why people had a decreasing trust in social ads, only 39 percent of these consumers attributed their declined perception of social ads to recent political events. The top reason for the drop, cited by 58 percent of respondents, was simply seeing too many social ads overall. This means that the most important thing for marketers to do is create ads that stand out amongst a growing sea of advertising.

On social in general, Sprout research shows that video is one of the main formats people want to see from brands (83 percent). The report also gives extremely useful information about what motivates people to engage with content. According to Sprout, "entertainment is still the single best way to stop the scroll, with 41 percent of people reporting that entertaining content makes them more likely to engage with a social ad".

Being entertaining can be tricky, especially when speaking to a diverse audience. Thankfully, the tried and true method of offering a discount is almost just as effective, with 37 percent of the Sprout survey respondents saying they would engage with an ad that offered them a discount.

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APR
09

The Influencer Marketing Community Reacts to Instagram’s Sudden API Changes

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Original author: David
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APR
09

Teach kids creativity. Ultimately, machines will be better at coding

If you want to bring up a kid to be a successful investor or entrepreneur, the current education system says they should be studying STEM subjects, cramming facts and figures, and immersing themselves in coding class. I’ve spent my working life as an entrepreneur and investor – I’ve founded startups, and now invest across Europe for GV (the venture capital investment arm of Google) – but as a father, when I look at the way we’re educating our kids, I think there’s something missing.

Machines are already superintelligent on many axes, including memory and processing speed. Unfortunately, those are the attributes our education system currently rewards, with an emphasis on learning by rote.

It doesn’t make sense to me. Part of my job as an investor is to attempt to predict the future – I need to make bets on the way we’ll be behaving in the next two, five, ten and 20 years. Computers already store facts faster and better than we do, but struggle to perfect things we learn as toddlers, such as dexterity and walking.

We need to rethink the way we teach our children and the things we teach them. Creativity will be increasingly be the defining human talent. Our education system should emphasise the use of human imagination to spark original ideas and create new meaning. It’s the one thing machines won’t be able to do.

We should aim to teach our kids about the power of creativity in every area. Science and maths, which are often considered uncreative, have shaped human history with huge creative leaps. It was creativity that allowed Newton to discover gravity while observing a falling apple as he was thinking about the forces of nature.

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APR
09

PayPal turning into ‘virtual bank’ as it offers debit card & check deposits

PayPal is quietly rolling out basic banking services to some of its U.S. customers, which include a debit card and the ability to deposit checks – alongside the loans which were already available. For customers who accept, their PayPal balances also become protected by Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC) insurance.

Surprisingly, PayPal has found a way to do this without a U.S. banking license …

NordVPN

The WSJ reports that it has partnered with a number of licensed banks whose own branding remains hidden.

The FDIC doesn’t backstop funds stored at non-banks, and Visa and MasterCard only permit cards that run on their network to be issued by banks.

So the company turned to a hodgepodge of small banks that stay anonymous and behind the scenes. It cut deals with a Delaware bank to issue debit cards, a Georgia bank to deposit checks instantly after users take a photo of them and banks in Utah to make loans to consumers and small businesses.

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APR
07

Global cyberattack targets 200,000 network switches (updated)

Iran's report came shortly after Cisco's Talos research group warned that there had been "several incidents" around the world where "specific advanced actors" had targeted its switches using Smart Install. There had been a spike in scanning as of November 2017, and it only increased in intensity in March and April.

The damage, at least in Iran, might be minimal -- Iran said it tackled the flaw within hours, and that it hadn't lost data. However, the reach of the attack and its messaging are more than a little baffling. If this was a warning over election meddling, why not focus on Russia instead of countries that could frequently be victims of those attacks? This could be an indiscriminate protest, or even a deliberate attempt to throw investigators off the trail by foisting the blame on one country.

Whoever's responsible, the cyberattacks highlight a recurring problem: many of the breaches in recent months have been the result of lax security practices. These switches could have been fixed in time to prevent the attack, but a slow response left them wide open. It may take a long time before a lear majority of network operators treat patches and operating system upgrades as high priorities.

Update: In a response to Motherboard, the attackers claimed this was a protest against Russia and other countries meddling in American elections. Also, some of the targets were Russian. It's still odd that the US and other countries got caught in the crossfire (especially as the attackers claimed they fixed the flaws on US and UK devices), but the campaign makes more sense as a result.

بررسیهای اولیه حاکی از آن است که در تنظیمات مسیریابهای مورد حمله قرار گرفته، با حک پرچم ایالت متحده، اعتراضی درباره انتخابات آمریکا صورت گرفته است. دامنه حملات فراتر از ایران است. منشا حملات در دست بررسی است pic.twitter.com/L8erHB52j1

— MJ Azari Jahromi (@azarijahromi)
Original author: Fingas
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FEB
27

The Best 13 YouTube Intro Makers

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If you’re looking to get the most out of your YouTube channel by cranking out a lot of videos, you’ll need to use an intro maker to quickly and easily slam some of your brandings onto the start of every video.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the best 13 YouTube intro makers and explain why each is worth checking out.

Renderforest is a great intro maker because it offers a huge number of simple templates which you can easily append bells and whistles to.

Renderforest will give your videos the appearance of professionally animated content in a few clicks.

Like many competitors, Renderforest is free and offers a lot of customization options which you can quickly implement once you’ve picked the template.

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FEB
24

10 reasons why JavaScript is the programming language you should learn now

It's a sure bet!

Image: pixabay

Have you ever taken a good look at your browser and wondered why it looks the way it does? Listen, you don't even have to dive into the deep, dark pits of the Internet to find out why. The answer is plain and simple: JavaScript.

You cannot be taken seriously as a developer if you are not well-versed in Javascript. It's the most popular programming language used on the web today. The sites you frequently visit, the games you play on the reg, the apps you rely on, they would not exist if it weren't for JavaScript.

So if you're thinking of picking up your first programming language, it's a bit of a no-brainer — JavaScript is the one to learn. Need a bit more convincing? Here are compelling reasons why it's THE language of all languages:

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FEB
23

Veil is private browsing for the ultra-paranoid

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The problem, as the MIT researchers behind Veil explain in a new paper outlining the service, is that private browsing modes, even ones using Tor and other measures, can still leave a trace of your history on the device itself, in RAM or temporary storage.

When you visit a page, even anonymously, that page and its components still have to be loaded into memory, displayed and cached, libraries or plugins perhaps accessed or modified. The browser may try to delete these traces, but success can vary depending on how things are set up. A sort of ghost version of your activity may live on in your RAM, even if it’s just a hash of some data or timestamp.

“The fundamental problem is that [the browser] collects this information, and then the browser does its best effort to fix it. But at the end of the day, no matter what the browser’s best effort is, it still collects it,” explained MIT graduate student Frank Wang, the lead author of the paper, in a news release. “We might as well not collect that information in the first place.”

Veil takes things several steps further by handling delivery of the site via what they call a “blinding server.” You enter the URL into the site and the page is retrieved for you from the special servers, encrypted in transit and in your browser cache, and only decrypted for your viewing. Links and URLs are themselves encrypted so they can’t be linked to the content requested.

Furthermore, it injects invisible garbage code into the page while also “mutating” the content (again, invisibly) so that you could load it a thousand times on the same computer and although it would look the same to you, any resulting digital fingerprints like hash, payload size and so on would always be different.

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FEB
23

How to find out if hackers leaked your passwords

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Has your password leaked online?
Photo: AgileBits Longtime favorite password manager 1Password just teamed up with Pwned Passwords, a new service that helps you find out if your passwords have been leaked online.
 
The database boasts more than 500 million passwords collected from various breaches. Here’s how to use it. With hugely popular services like Yahoo, eBay, Equifax and PlayStation Network all suffering message data breaches, there’s a good chance at least one of your passwords has been leaked online.
 
 
Here’s what the process looks like: The Check Password feature is available to everyone with a 1Password membership. It’s only available at 1Password.com for now, but it is coming to the 1Password apps for desktop and mobile. 1Password insists the feature is secure; Pwned Passwords will never actually receive your password when you perform a search. If you’d like to know more about how it all works behind the scenes, check out the explainer on the 1Password blog.
 
 
Original author: Bell
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FEB
19

How to Follow Instagram Hashtags for Business

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Do you use hashtags on Instagram?

Wondering how to see posts with specific hashtags in your regular Instagram feed and stories?

In this article, you’ll discover how to use Instagram’s Follow Hashtag feature to monitor relevant topics and campaigns.

How to Follow Instagram Hashtags for Business by Jenn Herman on Social Media Examiner.

#1: How to Follow Hashtags on Instagram

To follow a specific hashtag on Instagram, you must navigate to that hashtag gallery. To do this, tap on any hashtag you see on any post in the feed, or go to the Explore page (tap the magnifying glass icon) and type in the hashtag you want to follow.

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FEB
07

Watch ‘Starman’ drift: SpaceX’s Tesla reaches the ultimate cruising altitude and rides off into space

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SpaceX’s Starman, drifting in a Tesla Roadster, has an incredible view of Earth on Tuesday. (SpaceX Image via YouTube)

This might be the ultimate space oddity.

High above his home planet, where millions of people are no doubt sitting in traffic in cars of their own, “Starman” drifted effortlessly through a wide open expanse on Tuesday.

The mannequin in a spacesuit — launched aboard SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket on Tuesday — sat in the driver’s seat of Elon Musk’s cherry red Tesla Roadster. With the top down, Starman drove off toward a deep-space orbit listening to David Bowie’s “Life on Mars.”

 
(SpaceX Image via YouTube)
 
(SpaceX Image via YouTube)

SpaceX beamed a live internet view of the unprecedented adventure via its YouTube feed, where more than 200,000 viewers were watching at one point.

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JAN
29

Why Your Friend with a Creative Job Isn't the Village Idiot - Copyblogger

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It happened again.

You were out to dinner with your Writer Friend, and the waiter came over to see if you needed anything. This led to a short, friendly conversation with him, and as he walked away your meal companion apologized for reaching into her purse to get her phone.

She opened her Notes application and explained, “I have to jot that down. What he said was so perfect for something I’m working on. It just gave me a bunch of ideas.”

You sat back and took a sip of your Syrah while thinking, “We’re supposed to be having a relaxing dinner … The last thing I’m thinking about right now is work. She’s not doing real work anyway. It’s annoying that she calls it work.”

The nonsensical nature of creative work can bewilder onlookers, but if we dig a little deeper, I don’t think creative work is all that different from other types of work.

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JAN
25

Small businesses' social media posts reveal optimism for 2018

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For most, January is a depressing month of diets, darkness
and demotivation, but not for some of Britain's small businesses, who took to social media this month to share their optimism about jobs, investment and available support.

That's what The Daily Telegraph Business Tracker found when it analysed the Twitter posts of 25,000 British firms and businesspeople between Jan 1 and Jan 22.

Compiled by insight company, Impact Social, the tracker revealed
that small businesses have more to be happy than worried about this month, with 20pc of the 8,000 tweets shared between those dates containing a positive sentiment.

Just 14pc of tweets were negative and 66pc were neutral
(messages without any sentiment attached, such as January sales promotions).

Of the positive tweets, a quarter (26pc) contained excitement about new roles to fill, with many companies posting job vacancy ads via the social media website.

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JAN
23

The Phone Call That Changed the Way I Choose My Passwords, Forever

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This past summer, I was at an amusement park with my family, when I received a call from an unlisted number. The call was from the fraud prevention department of my bank. What she asked me to do set off a chain reaction of events that took everything I knew about online security, and threw it out the window.

"Good afternoon ma'am, this is Katherine with the Fraud Prevention Department at [censored] Bank. We are calling to confirm an online purchase for $5,791.26 placed on [censored]'s website, two minutes ago."

My heart started pounding. Even being 85 degrees in Utah, I felt a shiver down my spine, as my blood ran cold. My mind was racing faster than the rides in front of me, and I had to remind myself to remain calm.

"No. Absolutely not! I've been here at the park for the last three hours. I think my card has been compromised."

The bank immediately questioned several other charges to my card. We worked backward until I recognized one as mine. Each was subsequently flagged as fraudulent. Assuring me everything would be fine, they reversed all suspicious charges. They also reverted back to my original address and phone information.

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JAN
22

Mark Zuckerberg is ‘rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic,’ author Andrew Keen says

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Silicon Valley today is like Detroit in the 1970s, tech critic and author Andrew Keen says. Consumers are waking up to realize that they don’t like what they’re being sold, and several incumbents may soon find themselves in a bad place.

“The American car industry, in the 1950s, dominated the world,” Keen said on the latest episode of Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher. “Twenty years later, the American car industry had collapsed because they produced cars which were death traps.”

“I think we’re at a similar time in the digital economy,” he added, referring to the prevalence of advertising-driven tech products. “Consumers will and are coming around to the realization that this business model is not in their interest. What we need are entrepreneurs to come up with new ideas, trying to pioneer new business models that aren’t predicated on ‘We’ll give you our stuff for free, you give us your data and we’ll know more and more about you.’”

Keen argued that Apple is “in a better position than Google or Facebook” because its business is not dependent on collecting and monetizing consumers’ data, which he refers to as “surveillance capitalism.” He said Facebook’s recent decision to back off of news in its News Feed won’t fix the problems created by the company’s engagement-driven ad model.

“I think Mark Zuckerberg has been rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic with these latest reforms at Facebook,” Keen said. “I’d like to see him really acknowledge the problem and deal with it directly and come up with radical solutions.”

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JAN
22

Using page speed in mobile search ranking

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People want to be able to find answers to their questions as fast as possible — studies show that people really care about the speed of a page. Although speed has been used in ranking for some time, that signal was focused on desktop searches. Today we’re announcing that starting in July 2018, page speed will be a ranking factor for mobile searches.

The “Speed Update,” as we’re calling it, will only affect pages that deliver the slowest experience to users and will only affect a small percentage of queries. It applies the same standard to all pages, regardless of the technology used to build the page. The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal, so a slow page may still rank highly if it has great, relevant content.

We encourage developers to think broadly about how performance affects a user’s experience of their page and to consider a variety of user experience metrics. Although there is no tool that directly indicates whether a page is affected by this new ranking factor, here are some resources that can be used to evaluate a page’s performance.

Chrome User Experience Report, a public dataset of key user experience metrics for popular destinations on the web, as experienced by Chrome users under real-world conditions Lighthouse, an automated tool and a part of Chrome Developer Tools for auditing the quality (performance, accessibility, and more) of web pages PageSpeed Insights, a tool that indicates how well a page performs on the Chrome UX Report and suggests performance optimizations

As always, if you have any questions or feedback, please visit our webmaster forums.

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JAN
20

The Future of Human Work Is Imagination, Creativity, and Strategy

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Juj Winn/Getty Images

Executive Summary

It seems beyond debate: Technology is going to replace jobs, or, more precisely, the people holding those jobs. Few industries, if any, will be untouched. It is easy to find reports that predict the loss of 5 to 10 million jobs by 2020. Leaders must resist the temptation to think of AI as “wizard of Oz” technology that will allow them to control vast empires alone from behind a curtain. Instead, they must recognize that while machines can provide a tactical advantage, humans are needed for strategic work. Integrating AI technology into the workforce will mean managing your employees’ emotions — there’s lots to feel threatened by — as well as rethinking the role of people in your organization more broadly.

It seems beyond debate: Technology is going to replace jobs, or, more precisely, the people holding those jobs. Few industries, if any, will be untouched.

Knowledge workers will not escape. Recently, the CEO of Deutsche Bank predicted that half of its 97,000 employees could be replaced by robots. One survey revealed that “39% of jobs in the legal sector could be automated in the next 10 years. Separate research has concluded that accountants have a 95% chance of losing their jobs to automation in the future.”

And for those in manufacturing or production companies, the future may arrive even sooner. That same report mentioned the advent of “robotic bricklayers.” Machine learning algorithms are also predicted to replace people responsible for “optical part sorting, automated quality control, failure detection, and improved productivity and efficiency.” Quite simply, machines are better at the job: The National Institute of Standards predicts that “machine learning can improve production capacity by up to 20%” and reduce raw materials waste by 4%.

Insight Center

It is easy to find reports that predict the loss of between 5 and 10 million jobs by 2020. Recently, space and automotive titan Elon Musk said the machine-over-mankind threat was humanity’s “biggest existential threat.” Perhaps that is too dire a reading of the future, but what is important for corporate leaders right now is to avoid the catastrophic mistake of ignoring how people will be affected. Here are four ways to think about the people left behind after the trucks bring in all the new technology.

The Wizard of Oz Is the Wrong Model

In Oz, the wizard is shown to run the kingdom through some complex machine hidden behind a curtain. Many executives may think themselves the wizard; enthralled by the idea that AI technology will allow them to shed millions of dollars in labor costs, they could come to believe that the best company is the one with the fewest people aside from the CEO.

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JAN
19

'Bloggergate' fiasco leads Dublin hotel to ban bloggers in the most hilarious way possible

Credit: Charleville Lodge / FB

An Irish hotel has banned bloggers and other influencers after a 22-year-old YouTuber broke down in tears when she was refused free accomodation.

Elle Darby, a UK-based social media influencer first emailed Charleville Lodge in Dublin to seek a tit for tat arrangement seeking a free five night accommodation in exchange for bringing attention to the boutique hotel.

She touted her 87,000 YouTube subscribers and 76,000 Instagram followers before continuing:

My partner and I are planning to come to Dublin for an early Valentine’s Day weekend from Feb 8th to 12th to explore the area.

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