Social Networking, Internet Lifestyle And Security News

Passionate about net neutrality? Facebook privacy issues freaking you out? Want to know more about the latest security breach? Here we'll cover the headlines that matter in our ever evolving digitally-connected lives and lifestyles around the world.

Is Instagram gunning for Pinterest’s user base? A security researcher recently discovered new details for public Collections in Instagram's code. This feature would help Instagram directly compete with Pinterest and provide new money-making opportunities for Instagram creators. Instagram launched their “Collections” feature over two years ago. This feature allows users to save and organize posts from their Instagram feed. For better or for worse, these Collections are currently private. Users can click on “See more like this” to find posts similar to the ones in their particular Collections, but they cannot view other users’ Collections. If a user would like... Read more...
Facebook is notorious for disrespecting users’ privacy. Users have plenty of reasons to be suspicious of the social media site, thanks to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the most recent privacy breach, and everything in between. The social media giant is thankfully now taking a step in the right direction by removing their Onavo VPN app from the Google Play store. The Onavo VPN can no longer be found in the Google Play store and Facebook has stopped recruiting potential users. Facebook promises that the app will be completely shut down, although they have not provided a final date. They will continue to offer their virtual private network (VPN) for the time being until users can find a... Read more...
Could YouTube partly be responsible for the increase in “flat earthers”? Researchers have discovered that many flat earthers were persuaded by YouTube videos. Many of these videos had been recommended or promoted by YouTube’s algorithm. A “flat earther” is a person who believes that the earth is a flat plane or disc instead of a sphere. Many ancient civilizations including the Greeks, Egyptians, and Mesopotamians held this belief and incorporated the theory into their cosmology. Although modern scientists have concluded that the earth is a sphere, the flat earth theory never truly disappeared. The theory has recently gained popularity thanks to social media. Dr.... Read more...
How far would you go to combat fake news? Microsoft has partnered with third-party startup NewsGuard to warn Edge mobile users about unreliable sites. However, one news site is not particularly pleased with their evaluation from NewsGuard. Mail Online has accused NewsGuard of publishing a “egregiously erroneous classification”. NewsGuard has given Mail Online a one out of five on the credibility scale. Their mobile warning states, “Proceed with caution: this website generally fails to maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability.” They also note that Mail Online have lost a number of legal cases, have attempted to damage reputations, and are not respectful of... Read more...
It’s 10pm. Do you know where your selfies are? It was recently revealed that Popsugar’s Twinning app has been accidentally leaking users’ photos. It is believed that hundreds of thousands of photos were available to anyone who knew how to access them. Popsugar is a media company that focuses on trends, fashion, beauty, fitness, and food. Its Twinning app is a photo-matching tool that finds a user’s top-five celebrity “twins”. Users need to simply upload a selfie of themselves from the shoulders up through the #twinning app. They are then able to share their matches on Facebook and Twitter with a URL. The photos are stored on an Amazon Web Service (AWS) storage... Read more...
Some people collect stamps, others collect vintage coins, and some companies collect your Facebook photos. Facebook recently announced that a bug allowed third-party apps to access the photos of nearly 6.8 million users. Facebook has apologized and promised to alert users whose photos may have been shared without their permission. It is believed that 1,500 apps by 876 developers were impacted by the bug between September 13th and September 25th, 2018. The issue affected apps that are able to access the photo API and the users who authorized these apps. Facebook typically only allows apps to obtain photos that are posted on a user’s timeline. This bug was also able to access content from... Read more...
The net neutrality debate is hard upon us, but not everyone understands what's at stake. Most tech-savvy folks understand the issues and have a thoughtful position based on their understanding of the technology and how it's used. But some have no position, mainly because they simply don't follow the tech press on a daily basis. This may be especially true when we're speaking of folks who are somewhat older or younger, or who simply don't have a tech background. The following is provided mostly as a resource for those folks. We have always had an "open Internet." In the old days (i.e., the early 2000s), we thought of the Web as an "information superhighway," and that was an apt analogy: the Internet... Read more...
Your Tinder profile may be getting some unwelcome attention, since a machine learning platform recently uploaded facial data from roughly 40,000 Tinder profiles. The data is available on GitHub and has been uploaded under a CC0: Public Domain License. The data set “People of Tinder” was released with six downloadable zip file, four of which contained around 10,000 profile images apiece and two files with sample sets of 500 images per gender. Some users have scrapped multiple photos, so it is possible that there are less than 40,000 images. The profile pictures are from Tinder users around the Bay Area of northern California.Stuart Colianni, the developer of the data set, stated that he released... Read more...
Wake up sheeple! Merriam-Webster recently added “sheeple” to its online dictionary, and a quote regarding Apple fans was used a prime example of the word. According to Merriam-Webster, the word is naturally a blend of “sheep” and “people”. “Sheeple” are defined as “ people who are docile, compliant, or easily influenced: people likened to sheep”. Sheeple was first used in 1945, but has gained popularity over the last few years on websites like reddit, 4Chan, and Tumblr. Merriam-Webster provides two examples of sheeple. The example from CNN’s Digital Trending News Writer Doug Criss stated, “Apple's debuted a battery case for the juice-sucking iPhone—an ungainly lumpy case the sheeple will happily... Read more...
Twitter is making it a little more difficult to be an anonymous troll. The social media giant is getting rid of its default “egg” profile picture. This default has come to be associated on Twitter with harassment and abuse. According to a Twitter representative, “We’ve noticed patterns of behavior with accounts that are created only to harass others – often they don’t take the time to personalize their accounts. This has created an association between the default egg profile photo and negative behavior, which isn’t fair to people who are still new to Twitter and haven’t yet personalized their profile photo.”The “egg” picture was originally intended as a reference to Twitter users “hatching” their... Read more...
Facebook has been on a fake news hunt for the past few months. Its latest algorithm is intended to not only prevent fake news, but improve the overall Trending experience. The improvements are largely based on user feedback. The biggest and most requested change is that Facebook will now display a headline from a publisher’s article about a particular topic. How will the publishers be chosen? The headlines will be selected based on engagement around the actual article or publisher, and whether or not others are linking to the publisher’s article. After clicking on the topic, users will be taken to a personalized results page that will have additional sources. Facebook is also altering how topics... Read more...
One evening you are chatting with that cutie you swiped right on, and suddenly you remember the perfect YouTube video to share with them. How should you share the video? Should you copy and paste the link? Should you post it on their Facebook or Twitter? Should you email it to them? Now you don't have to make these tough decisions. Google recently released native sharing for a small percentage of YouTube users. These users can invite friends into conversation threads. Friends can chat about the shared video right inside YouTube’s mobile app and reply with another video. The message threads are on a new tab in the YouTube mobile app so that users can easily follow conversation threads. YouTube... Read more...
Since its launch in 2013, Slack has risen to superstardom. In a recent blog post, the company highlighted some of its recent milestones, which includes hitting 2.3 million daily active users by its second anniversary, over 675,000 paid seats, and over $64 million in annual revenue. Not bad for a software solution that came out of nowhere just a couple of years ago. Given its meteoric success, it's only a matter of time before this cloud-based collaboration tool gets snapped up by a bigger company, but that company apparently isn't going to be Microsoft. According to TechCrunch, Microsoft apparently mulled the idea of acquiring Slack but instead decided to double-down on its Skype focus. Microsoft's... Read more...
Apple is spreading its wings when it comes to using social media to engage its vast user base. That expansion kicks off today with the launch of @AppleSupport on Twitter, which not only will provide Apple Customers with tips and tricks for its products, but also field questions from those in need of technical assistance. @AppleSupport made itself useful this morning by providing iOS users some helpful tricks to get the most out of the Notes app. Customers can simply mark their tweet with #AppleSupport to enlist the help of Apple Support. The Notes app has some awesome hidden tricks. A favorite of ours: how to turn lists into checklists. #AppleSupport pic.twitter.com/6fdzsRT1i4— Apple Support... Read more...
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