International stories and articles from our Flipboard mag.

OCT
23

Twitter admits its algorithms amplify right-wing politicians and news content

Twitter admits its algorithms amplify right-wing politicians and news content
An internal study at Twitter has revealed that the platform's algorithms amplify right-wing content over left-wing content.
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OCT
22

YouTube Users Beware: Malicious Videos Spread Password Stealing Malwares—Here’s How to Avoid

YouTube Users Beware: Malicious Videos Spread Password Stealing Malwares—Here’s How to Avoid
YouTube videos spread password-stealing malware in the latest massive campaign creating numerous malicious content. Here’s how to avoid it:
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OCT
19

8 default Windows 10 settings you need to disable right now

8 default Windows 10 settings you need to disable right now

Using Windows 10? Change these default settings now.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Microsoft's Windows 11 started to roll out to eligible devices Oct. 5. The new operating system's gradual rollout means not everyone will get the upgrade right away. Some people will be using Microsoft's older OS until mid-2022, while others debating if upgrading to Windows 11 is worth it, may keep Windows 10 until support ends in 2025. (Here's how you can download Windows 11 now and skip the wait.) No matter the reason you're still using Windows 10, some of the OS's default settings collect information, make you see more ads and notifications, and may be slowing down your device.

If you're a Windows 10 user, you'll want to spend just a few minutes looking into these default settings, and potentially turning them off, for the sake of privacy, speed and convenience. Here are eight settings that are turned on by default that you can disable in Windows 10. (You can also check out the top Windows 10 tips and tricks and how to troubleshoot common Windows 10 problems.) 

File-sharing updates

A feature Windows 10 added is an optimized update delivery system, which lets you download updates from other Windows 10 computers over the Internet (not just from Microsoft's servers). The catch, of course, is that your computer is also used as an update-sharing hub for other Windows 10 users.

This feature is turned on by default, but you can turn it off by going to Settings > Update & security > Advanced options > Delivery optimization, and toggle Allow downloads from other PCs off. 

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OCT
04

Data on over 1.5 billion Facebook users is for sale on the dark web

Data on over 1.5 billion Facebook users is for sale on the dark web

The amount of Facebook users who's data, including emails and phone numbers, is being sold on the dark web.

Privacy Affairs

SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

Data on more than 1.5 billion Facebook users, including their real names, phone numbers, and email addresses are being sold on the dark web. That’s according to Privacy Affairs, which scrutinized the data dump and reports that it appears authentic.

None of the data in question was private, but rather it was scraped from Facebook’s public search results using automated tools. But the information could be valuable to bad actors, who could use the information in phishing attacks, or in social engineering maneuvers in which an actor poses as an official from a company like Facebook and attempts to trick a victim into handing over more personal information.

Share with care — On the dark web marketplace where the data were found, sellers have organized the information neatly for the convenience of buyers. They could theoretically use the email and phone number of a user to target accounts elsewhere on the web.

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OCT
04

This 13-minute video of a Facebook whistleblower is one of the most clearly articulated arguments against Facebook you'll see

This 13-minute video of a Facebook whistleblower is one of the most clearly articulated arguments against Facebook you'll see
The Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen revealed her identity on "60 Minutes" on Sunday. Haugen secretly copied thousands of pages she says show Facebook prioritizing "profit over safety."Watch this 13-minute clip to hear one of the most clearly articulated arguments against Facebook. 

The Facebook whistleblower who leaked tens of thousands of pages of internal company research revealed her identity on "60 Minutes" on Sunday and clearly walked viewers through what she sees as the main problem with Facebook and the actions of its leadership.

Her name is Frances Haugen, and she's a 37-year-old data scientist who formerly worked on Facebook's civic-integrity team combating misinformation, a group that was dissolved after the 2020 presidential election. 

Before Facebook, Haugen worked at Pinterest and Google. She has a degree in computer engineering and an MBA from Harvard. 

"I've seen a bunch of social networks, and it was substantially worse at Facebook than anything I'd seen before," she told the "60 Minutes" correspondent Scott Pelley. 

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SEP
29

Microsoft warns of latest malware attack, explains how to avoid secret backdoor

Microsoft warns of latest malware attack, explains how to avoid secret backdoor

Microsoft has recently discovered another type of malware, named FoggyWeb by Microsoft, that hackers are currently using to remotely steal network admin credentials. The credentials allow the attacker group, which the company has called Nobelium, to hack into admin accounts of the Active Directory Federation Services’ (AD FS) servers and control users’ access to various resources.

Microsoft claims that this is the same group behind the SolarWinds software supply chain attack that was revealed in December.

Darwin Laganzon - typographyimages/Pixabay

The malware acts as a backdoor for the hackers and facilitates their remote theft of tokens and certificates from Microsoft’s identity platform.

The newly discovered malware is used by the attackers once the server they’re targeting has already been compromised in terms of security. The hacker group uses several tactics to access users’ identities and the necessary infrastructure that is required to take control of their app usage.

Ramin Nafisi of the Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center says: “Nobelium uses FoggyWeb to remotely exfiltrate the configuration database of compromised AD FS servers, decrypted token-signing certificate, and token-decryption certificate, as well as to download and execute additional components”.

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SEP
22

Unpatched MacOS vulnerability lets remote attackers execute code

Unpatched MacOS vulnerability lets remote attackers execute code

A code execution bug in Apple's macOS allows remote attackers to run arbitrary commands on your device. And the worst part is, Apple hasn't fully patched it yet, as tested by Ars.

Those shortcut files can take over your Mac

Independent security researcher Park Minchan has discovered a vulnerability in the macOS that lets threat actors execute commands on your computer. Shortcut files that have the inetloc extension are capable of embedding commands inside. The flaw impacts macOS Big Sur and prior versions.

"A vulnerability in the way macOS processes inetloc files causes it to run commands embedded inside, the commands it runs can be local to the macOS allowing the execution of arbitrary commands by the user without any warning / prompts," explains Minchan. "Originally, inetloc files are shortcuts to an Internet location, such as an RSS feed or a telnet location; and contain the server address and possibly a username and password for SSH and telnet connections; can be created by typing a URL in a text editor and dragging the text to the Desktop."

Minchan reported the flaw to Apple via the SSD Secure Disclosure program as mentioned in the writeup.

Internet shortcuts are present in both Windows and macOS systems. But this specific bug adversely impacts macOS users, especially those who use a native email client like the "Mail" app.

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SEP
22

Yo! Want to build your YouTube brand? Follow these 9 steps

Join Fangage’s CEO Sam Feldt onstage at TNW2021 for a session on ‘Empowering Creators.’

Growing a YouTube channel with creative content is truly exciting, especially for creative types.

Creative inspirations come often and they can be enlightening. However, you will limit your channel’s growth if you change direction too often. 

Here’s an example: imagine if a successful brand like Heineken changed their product drastically every once in a while. It would have devastating results for the brand.

Building a brand takes consistency and a systematic approach.  And this can be hard for creative people.

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SEP
18

Telegram has seen a sharp rise in cybercriminal activities, report says | Engadget

Telegram has seen a sharp rise in cybercriminal activities, report says | Engadget

Cybercriminals have been using Telegram for years, because it's encrypted and easy to access. According to a recent investigation conducted by The Financial Times and cyber intelligence group Cyberint, though, there's been "a 100 percent-plus rise in Telegram usage by cybercriminals" recently. And FT says the rise in criminal activity on the app came after users flocked to it following a change in WhatsApp's privacy policy.

If you'll recall, WhatsApp asked its users to accept a revised policy allowing it to share data with its parent company Facebook earlier this year. Users were outraged, and WhatsApp had to clarify that it still won't be able to read their private communications. Even so, people migrated to rivals offering secure similar messaging capabilities — for Telegram, that has apparently led to a rise in criminal activity conducted through the app. 

According to the investigators, there's a ballooning network of hackers sharing and selling data leaks in channels with tens of thousands of subscribers. The number of times "Email:pass" and "Combo" were mentioned in the app over the past year reportedly rose fourfold. Some data dumps circulating on the app contain 300,000 to 600,000 email and password combinations for gaming and email services. Cybercriminals are also selling financial information, such as credit card numbers, passport copies and hacking tools through the app. 

Tal Samra, cyber threat analyst at Cyberint, explained: "Its encrypted messaging service is increasingly popular among threat actors conducting fraudulent activity and selling stolen data ... as it is more convenient to use than the dark web." In addition to being more convenient than the dark web, Telegram is also less likely to be monitored by authorities, Samra said. 

Telegram has removed the channel where the massive datasets with email and password combos are being sold after FT notified the company. In a statement, Telegram also said that it “has a policy for removing personal data shared without consent" and that it has an "ever growing force of professional moderators" removing 10,000 public communities every day for violating its TOS. Earlier this year, those moderators had to monitor hundreds of channels to keep an eye out for calls of violence following the attack on the US Capitol.

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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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