International stories and articles from our Flipboard mag.

AUG
01

Edward Snowden says Facebook is spying on you

Well, yeah.

Image: Getty Images for WIRED25

By Jack Morse2019-08-01 19:53:50 UTC

The U.S. government is not the only one that's watching you. 

So warns famed NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, who on Thursday called Facebook to task for spying on its users. What's more, he promised to teach people how to fight back against such corporate surveillance

"In the weeks ahead, I aim to explain how each of these site [Facebook, Instagram, Youtube] spies on you, and methods to limit how much they know about you," he tweeted. "If you use them, keep an eye out."

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AUG
01

Using AirDrop could allow hackers to obtain your phone number

Turn off Bluetooth if you don't want to broadcast any personal, potentially identifying info.

Image: lili sams / mashable

By Raymond Wong2019-08-01 15:40:48 UTC

Apple's AirDrop is undeniably convenient for sending photos, videos, links, and more between iPhones, iPads, and Macs. But there's one thing you probably didn't know AirDrop's sharing: part of your phone number, which in the wrong hands, could be used to recover your full digits.

Security researchers at Hexway (via Ars Technica) have discovered a "flaw" in AirDrop that can used to obtain unsuspecting iPhone users' phone numbers using software installed on a laptop and a Bluetooth and WiFi adapter to sniff them out.

Because of the way AirDrop works — it uses Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) to create a peer-to-peer WiFi network between devices for sharing — it broadcasts partial hashes of an iPhone user's phone number in order establish the device as a sending/receiving contact when sending a file.

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AUG
01

Facebook Is Putting Us All on the Map

One of Facebook’s continent-spanning population density maps. Credit: Facebook

2019 has been a distinctly dramatic year for Facebook. Since January, the social media behemoth has been hit with a $5 billion fine for privacy violations and remains embroiled in U.S. antitrust investigations. In June, the company announced the release of Libra, its very own form of cryptocurrency, sparking criticism and speculation around the world.

Amidst all this hubbub, you may have missed that Facebook has also begun using artificial intelligence to map most of the population of the African continent. Facebook researchers combined computer vision techniques, population data, and high-resolution satellite imagery to search for built-up structures across the continent. They then created population density maps based on the number of buildings they observed.

Facebook’s Connectivity Lab has already released similar population maps for 22 countries, including Malawi, South Africa, Ghana, Haiti, and Sri Lanka, but this is its first continent-wide effort. Eventually the company plans to map population density around the world.

Facebook positions its map-making as a humanitarian effort emphasizing how the data (which is freely available to everyone) will enable aid agencies to “determine how populations are distributed even in remote areas, so that health care workers can better reach households and relief workers can better distribute aid.” It’s rhetoric that sounds rather similar to how Facebook is pitching the Libra cryptocurrency, which it claims will help poor people access financial services. Both Facebook’s altruistic-sounding maps and Libra invite the same key question: What’s in it for Facebook?

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AUG
01

How To Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile With 5 Easy Steps

 If your online presence is not optimized for discovery, you (or your business) aren't relevant, point-blank. 

Within minutes of receiving a referral or researching a new job, business, or client, you start typing into a search engine to research that person or business. This is standard means your online platform can make or break whether a lead converts to a win. 

One mission-critical cog in the online visibility machine is your LinkedIn profile. You may know how effective an active LinkedIn profile is, but being active alone will provide little to no return. Here are some simple optimization tips to add to your profile to improve your search rankings and start converting those potential leads into conversions.

Headline 

Your headline content is critical for search visibility. Include applicable keywords and search terms that will help surface your profile when being searched. 

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JUL
31

How to make money from home (full-time or part-time)

The commute. The hours. The work. Everything about your full-time, in-office job is leaving you lifeless and miserable. You’re ready for a change, but unsure of what your next move will be.

Have you considered working from home? The stigma surrounding work from home positions is often drawn from the idea of joining a multi-level marketing regime. However, there are so many more options for work from home positions than your typical pyramid scheme.

In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into real ways to make money from home.

Follow Ladders’ magazines on Flipboard covering Happiness, Productivity, Job Satisfaction, Neuroscience, and more!

 

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JUL
31

Face filter bug reveals young vlogger is actually a middle-aged woman

She had built a reputation on Chinese social media with her “sweet and healing voice” which had enchanted thousands of followers. She was “worshipped” as a “cute goddess” – youthful and lively. Until a technical glitch during one of her livestreams revealed her to be a middle-aged woman, and not the young girl she presented herself as.

This is the story of Chinese vlogger “Your Highness Qiao Biluo,” who has found herself in the middle of heated discussions on beauty standards after a face filter bug unmasked her carefully crafted online persona, beloved by over 100,000 users on Douyu – a streaming service often likened to Twitch.

The incident took place on July 25 during a livestream with another Douyu influencer known as Qingzy, according to local outlet Lychee News.

The Global Times reports the accidental face reveal took place after fans urged the streamer to drop the filter. While she initially refused, she agreed to do so if they donated a certain amount. “I can’t show my face until I receive gifts worth 100,000 yuan ($11,950),” Biluo said. “After all, I’m a good-looking host.”

Followers were quick to pour in donations, with the largest reported to be around 40,000 yuan (about $5,800), according to BBC. This is when the filter suddenly malfunctioned, revealing her face to the thousands of followers. Biluo didn’t even realize the filter had stopped working, until viewers started fleeing the stream en masse.

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JUL
31

Apple Just Announced Something Unthinkable About the iPhone. Here's Why It's Actually Great News

Yesterday, Apple announced its most  recent quarterly results, and while iPhone sales have continued to cool, there's good news overall as the company beat expectations. Expectations, it turns out, are everything.

In fact, one of the most interesting things we learned is that you can make the case that the iPhone is no longer Apple's most important product. Which is saying a lot considering that it's probably the most successful product, ever. It transformed Apple from a niche computer manufacturer into the first trillion-dollar company.

It also made Apple the most profitable company on the planet and increased the company's revenue by a factor of 10. It's been a no-brainer to say that the iPhone is Apple's most important product ever--but not anymore. At least not if you measure it by its importance to the future of Apple. 

Because something has happened--for the first time in seven years, the iPhone represents less than half of Apple's total sales.

Certainly, the iPhone is important. In fact, the iPhone still generates enough revenue that, if it were its own company, it would rank in the top 30 on the Fortune 500. Higher, in fact, than UPS or Wells Fargo. It also still makes up the largest chunk of Apple's revenue. 

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JUL
31

Chrome 76 is out, making it easy to get past paywalls

A few weeks ago, we reported Chrome 76 would make it harder to run Flash – because Flash just won’t die – as well as potentially make it much easier to bypass article paywalls. That update is now available.

Basically, if you come across a paywall, you can visit the page in incognito mode. That’s it. I can’t imagine affected publishers will be too happy about the change.

Truth be told, that’s kind of how incognito mode was always supposed to work – and how it used to. It blocks a site’s ability to read or write cookies on your devices, in theory preventing publishers from knowing how many articles you’ve read.

Publishers previously responded by simply making articles unavailable altogether if they detect you’re in incognito mode. They did this by checking if a feature called the FileSystem API was disabled in your browser to determine your browsing mode (standard or incognito).

Chrome 76 prevents the FileSystem API status from being detectable. And indeed, I was able to get through the paywalls of each of the pages I tested.

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JUL
29

How to Make 30 or More Pieces of Marketing Content From a Single 3-Minute Video

Running a business takes up a ton of hours, making it difficult to find the time to be active and engaged on all social media platforms, or creating as much online content as we know we should be making. Yet, with the right repurposing blueprint in place, you can effectively create loads of content from one core piece of content -- including video.

Where to Start

First, you'll need to make one video addressing a central pain point your audience struggles with, or a covering a topic they'd be interested in. For instance, if you own a local café, you could create a video teaching viewers how to properly roast coffee like an industry expert.

1. Repurpose the video across your social media channels.

Next, take the video and republish it across your other social media channels as a native video -- from Facebook to LinkedIn to YouTube and more. This will increase the organic reach the video receives on each respective platform, given that social media algorithms prioritize native content over external links to different sites. 

2. Break it down into three separate videos for Instagram.

On Instagram, videos have the potential to spread like wildfire, but the platform still only allows videos to be 60 seconds in length. Because of this, chop up the video into shorter clips, and then publish the full-length video to IGTV in addition to putting the original YouTube link in your Instagram bio.

3. Spread the word through Instagram Stories.

Instagram Stories are a terrific way to build hype around content because of their raw, unfiltered style. To get the most out of your video, create Instagram Stories documenting behind-the-scenes footage of your team creating the original video. Once the video goes live, encourage your viewers to post their own Instagram Stories about it and tag you in them so you can reshare the Story to your own channel. This will help prove to audiences that your video is worth watching.

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JUL
29

Stop robocalls to your phone for good

Kill robocalls dead in their tracks.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

The number of robocalls ringing our phones at all hours of the day has reached an all-time high, and because of that those calls are also getting a lot of attention from the government and technology companies. Most recently, the House passed a bill that will all but stop robocalls. The FCC passed a proposal that gives carriers the permission to be more aggressive when blocking spam calls. Apple even added a feature to iOS 13 that lets you block all unknown callers from ever ringing your phone.

Robocalls convey a prerecorded message to your phone that often urges you to do something. Sometimes it's a message from a candidate running for office or a call from your bank advertising a new service. Even more worrisome are the scammy robocalls -- posing, say, as the "IRS" -- that intend to trick people out of their money. It'll be some time before the FCC's proposal is implemented so, you're not going to see a dramatic decrease in unwanted calls overnight. 

Not every automated solicitation call counts as illegal. Calls from political campaigns, debt collectors and charities are all permissible. What's not allowed are the calls from the fake IRS agents or the companies that claim you won a free vacation to the Bahamas.

While it's not possible to entirely end robocalls from reaching your phone, there are some steps you can take to reduce the number of calls you receive.

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JUL
26

Megabits vs megabytes: What’s the difference?

Envato

The megabit vs megabyte confusion is widespread among internet users. That’s why we’re here to clear out some uncertainties and help you convert megabits to megabytes.

The confusing part of megabits and megabytes

This issue most often arises when dealing with internet providers. Imagine a company offers speeds of up to 100 Mbps. Because we are more used to dealing with megabytes (for storage), people often assume they will see speeds of 100 megabytes per second. This is not the case.

The abbreviation for megabit is Mb, and a megabyte would be written as MB. That slight difference in capitalization is what brings confusion, because bits and bytes sound and are written alike, but they are different units of measurement.

MB: megabyteMb: megabit

100Mb will always look more impressive than 12.5MB. The marketing advantage certainly helps make more sales.

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JUL
26

Apple contractors 'regularly hear confidential details' on Siri recordings

Apple contractors regularly hear confidential medical information, drug deals, and recordings of couples having sex, as part of their job providing quality control, or “grading”, the company’s Siri voice assistant, the Guardian has learned.

Although Apple does not explicitly disclose it in its consumer-facing privacy documentation, a small proportion of Siri recordings are passed on to contractors working for the company around the world. They are tasked with grading the responses on a variety of factors, including whether the activation of the voice assistant was deliberate or accidental, whether the query was something Siri could be expected to help with and whether Siri’s response was appropriate.

Apple says the data “is used to help Siri and dictation … understand you better and recognise what you say”.

But the company does not explicitly state that that work is undertaken by humans who listen to the pseudonymised recordings.

Apple told the Guardian: “A small portion of Siri requests are analysed to improve Siri and dictation. User requests are not associated with the user’s Apple ID. Siri responses are analysed in secure facilities and all reviewers are under the obligation to adhere to Apple’s strict confidentiality requirements.” The company added that a very small random subset, less than 1% of daily Siri activations, are used for grading, and those used are typically only a few seconds long.

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JUL
15

Three Easy Ways To Make Your LinkedIn Profile Unique

With LinkedIn members growing rapidly and the ranks approaching a billion, it’s getting harder and harder to stand out. Of course, you don't need to differentiate yourself from the entire membership, just from others who do what you do. But that’s a tall order too. I did some quick research using the LinkedIn search feature to see just how much competition there is among some common job titles:

Sales Director – 10,862,770HR Manager – 8,273,460Marketing Manager – 23,573,428Chief Information Officer – 7,719,760CEO – 17,132,397

With that much competition, it’s important to make your profile stand out. When someone is checking you out, you need them to see your unique personal brand – not just one more person who shares your job title. Much of that can be achieved through how you write your profile. The content you choose to include, along with your tone and style, will help someone get to know about you and give them a hint about your secret sauce.

There are ways to differentiate you profile visually as well. You can do that with enhanced text, images and video. Here’s how:

1. Enhanced Text

If you’ve looked at a lot of LinkedIn profiles like I have, you’ve probably noticed that the text looks the same from profile to profile. It is all “regular” text. Well, there’s a way to add italics and bold to your content to help you emphasize key messages and at the same time make your profile stand out. A LinkedIn article by Ahmad Imam describes the step-by-step process you can use to add some visual differentiation with text. Just don't go overboard. Too much of a good thing can send the wrong message about your brand.

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JUL
14

Microsoft Word for Android has been installed more than 1 billion times

Microsoft recently hit a particularly notable milestone: its Android edition of Microsoft Word has passed the 1 billion mark for installs, according to the Google Play Store (via Android Police).

The company’s other Office apps are also doing pretty well. Spreadsheet app Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and OneDrive each have more than 500 million installs, while email client Outlook for Android has more than 100 million installs. Android Police points out that these figures aren’t necessarily downloads from Google’s Play Store, noting that Microsoft has some agreements with some manufacturers to preinstall its apps on various devices.

The milestone is also a bit ironic. Last month, Bill Gates noted in an interview that his “greatest mistake ever” was missing out on the mobile OS world, noting that there’s only space for one competitor for iOS, and that it should have been “a natural thing for Microsoft to win.” But, while Microsoft’s mobile efforts have never reached the success of its competitors, its mobile versions of Microsoft Office still enjoy a significant amount of market penetration, much like their desktop counterparts.

Original author: Liptak
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JUL
10

I’m a hacker, and here’s how your social media posts help me break into your company

Think twice before you snap and share that office selfie, #firstday badge pic, or group photo at work.

Hackers are trolling social media for photos, videos, and other clues that can help them better target your company in an attack. I know this because I’m one of them.

Fortunately, in my case, the “victim” of these attacks is paying me to hack them. My name is Snow, and I’m part of an elite team of hackers within IBM known as X-Force Red. Companies hire us to find gaps in their security–before the real bad guys do. For me, that means scouring the internet for information, tricking employees into revealing things over the phone, and even using disguises to break my way into your office.

Social media posts are a goldmine for details that aid in our “attacks.” What you find in the background of photos is particularly revealing–from security badges to laptop screens, or even Post-its with passwords.

No one wants to be the source of an unintended social media security fail. So let me explain how seemingly innocuous posts can help me–or a malicious hacker–target your company.

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JUL
10

Google Translate's camera now works with more than 100 languages

Other updates to the instant camera include auto-detect and NME technology.

Google Translate's instant camera feature will now make translating a foreign street sign as easy as aiming your phone -- even if your native language isn't English. The company today unveiled a set of new updates to its …

Original author: Khalid
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JUL
10

12 of the best hidden features we found in iOS 13 and iPadOS

iOS 13 is shaping up to be a pretty significant update. 

Angela Lang/CNET

One of the best parts of installing an iOS update is finding all of the features that Apple hasn't talked about. Hidden features are often among the most useful aspects of updates, and the release of iOS 13 and iPadOS is shaping up to be no different. Not only is there now a dedicated dark mode (huzzah!), but there are improved privacy features, Apple Maps has a new look and you can even gesture-type on the default iOS keyboard. For the past month, we've been digging around iOS 13 and iPadOS and have found a handful of tools that Apple didn't talk about during WWDC

Below are 12 of the best new hidden features we've found so far, from better battery charging and dual-SIM support in iMessage, to using a mouse to control your iPhone or iPad. 

We'll keep looking and updating this post throughout the rest of the beta program. If you want to get in on the fun early, here's how to install iOS 13 on your iPhone now. If you installed iOS 13 and want to go back to iOS 12, it's possible. 

iOS 13 will help prolong your iPhone's battery life. 

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JUL
10

25 Million Android Phones Infected With Malware That 'Hides In WhatsApp'

Hackers are trying to replace real apps, like WhatsApp, with ad-serving fake versions, a cybersecurity company has warned. (Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto

As many as 25 million Android phones have been hit with malware that replaces installed apps like WhatsApp with evil versions that serve up adverts, cybersecurity researchers warned Wednesday.

Dubbed Agent Smith, the malware abuses previously-known weaknesses in the Android operating system, making updating to the latest, patched version of Google's operating system a priority, Israeli security company Check Point said.

Most victims are based in India, where as many as 15 million were infected. But there are more than 300,000 in the U.S., with another 137,000 in the U.K., making this one of the more severe threats to have hit Google's operating system in recent memory.

The malware has spread via a third party app store 9apps.com, which is owned by China’s Alibaba, rather than the official Google Play store. Typically, such non-Google Play attacks focus on developing countries, making the hackers' success in the U.S. and the U.K. more remarkable, Check Point said.

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JUL
09

Two Republicans sue Ocasio-Cortez over Twitter blocks

One former Democratic state lawmaker and one Republican congressional hopeful announced this week that they are suing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezTwo Republicans sue Ocasio-Cortez over Twitter blocks Overnight Defense: Drama over 3B House defense bill | Democratic tensions threaten to snag legislation | White House threatens veto | US, Taliban talks end with 'roadmap for peace' Dem tensions snag defense bill MORE (D-N.Y.) over being blocked from her personal Twitter account.

Former state assemblyman Dov Hikind (D) and congressional candidate Joseph Saladino, who is running in a Republican primary for the chance to battle Rep. Max RoseMax RoseThe Hill's Morning Report — Harris brings her A game to Miami debate Progressives, centrists in open warfare after House caves on Trump border bill GOP scores procedural win by securing more funding to enforce Iran sanctions MORE (D-N.Y.), announced lawsuits this week against the freshman Democratic congresswoman, seeking injunctive relief in the form of a court order demanding they be unblocked.

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Saladino announced in a press release that he had filed suit in the Southern District of New York, while Hikind told Fox News that he had filed his claim in the state's Eastern District.

"I have officially filed my lawsuit against AOC for blocking me on twitter," Saladino tweeted. "Trump is not allowed to block people, will the standards apply equally? Stay tuned to find out!"

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JUL
09

Marriott faces $123 million GDPR fine in the UK for last year's data breach | ZDNet

The UK's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) intends to impose a fine of £99,200,396 ($123,705,870) on international hotel chain Marriott for last year's data breach.

In November 2018, Marriott disclosed that hackers accessed the Starwood guest reservation database since 2014. Initially, the company said hackers stole the details of roughly 500 million hotel guests, a number which the hotel chain later corrected to 383 million following a more throrough investigation.

According to a post mortem of the hack, hackers stole:

383 million guest records18.5 million encrypted passport numbers5.25 million unencrypted passport numbers9.1 million encrypted payment card numbers385,000 card numbers that were still valid at the time of the breach

Class-action lawsuits started piling on hours after Marriott announced its security breach.

ICO: Marriott's security practices violated GDPR

Now, the ICO says it intends to fine Marriott for violations to the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

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