Items tagged with (NASDAQ:FB)

Oculus CTO and legendary game developer, John Carmack recently went on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast where he talked about the state of augmented and virtual reality. Carmack talked a bit about Facebook's recent suggestions that the future of Insight and Guardian motion-tracking technologies is all-day wearable augmented reality glasses. He underscored that future isn't immediately on the horizon. Carmack also talked about other companies in the AR and VR space, such as Magic Leap. He said that Magic Leap has been underdelivering on its early hype. He says that technology hasn't advanced to the point yet where AR glasses can be made small enough for users to wear all day, and that Oculus could... Read more...
Much like Apple, Google, and Amazon have admitted to paying contractors to listed to audio from their respective digital assistants, Facebook is now coming clean about its own similar practice. In a new report today, Facebook confirmed that it has been using paid contractors to listen to audio clips obtained from users of its highly popular Messenger chat app. It also claims that it has since ceased its program. Messenger offers an optional feature that has the ability to transcribe spoken audio to text. For those that opted-in to the feature, Facebook's contractors had the ability to listen in on those conversations in order to provide more accurate transcriptions. There are obvious... Read more...
WhatsApp bills itself as a free and secure messaging application with end-to-end encryption and cross platform support, all of which have made it a popular option. However, it may not be as secure as advertised. Vulnerabilities that were disclosed last year have still not been addressed, and if abused, could allow an attacker to spoof messages. Researchers at Checkpoint disclosed the a trio of attack vectors last year, explaining that they could enable a hacker to change a user's messages, change a sender's identity, and make private messages viewable to the public. One of those has been addressed, but two of the attack vectors still remain, as researchers recently demonstrated at the Black Hat... Read more...
It already seems like big tech companies can read our minds—it's a bit eerie to see an ad for something that we were thinking about. You can chalk those instances up to a combination of fancy predicative algorithms and coincidence. Nevertheless, Facebook is actually developing a brain-computer interface (BCI) that can actually transcribe your thoughts into written text. Sounds like the stuff of science fiction, right? Not that long ago, it would have been. But it is an actual project at Facebook Reality Labs, and it has been a point of focus since at least 2017. Facebook is also not alone in this kind of research—a start-up called CRTL-labs has been dabbling in BCI technologies for... Read more...
Oculus launched its Oculus Quest and Rift S devices a little over two months ago. Both devices have received fairly positive reviews, but most users would like to see more content. Oculus just released new features for the Oculus Quest and Rift S, including Oculus Venues, improved tracking, and new home highlights.  Oculus Quest users will now be able to participate in Oculus Venue events. Oculus Venues allows users to watch select live events in VR. This feature had previously only been available to those who owned a Oculus Go or Gear VR device. Oculus Quest users will be able to experience “full hand presence and 6DOF tracking, so you can dance to your favorite songs, cheer for your... Read more...
Facebook launched its chat service aimed at kids under 13-years-old in 2017, touting the app as having strict privacy controls that allowed parents to control who their kids talked to. However, the Messenger Kids app failed to deliver on the promise of strict parental and privacy controls. Facebook has reportedly sent messages to parents of users of the app to inform them that there was "a technical error" that allowed the friend of a child to create a group chat within the app that would invite one or more of the second child's friends to a group conversation. Essentially this allowed the child to talk to friends of their approved friends, without parental permission or vetting. Facebook has... Read more...
An Israeli company that managed to hack WhatsApp earlier this year is now claiming it has developed new software that can stealthily swipe cloud data from Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft. It can even bypass two-factor authentication and warning emails on target devices. Developed by NSO Group, the software is called Pegasus. Apparently it has been used for several years by various governments and spy agencies to gather data from smartphones, presumably from people of interest for one reason or another. The latest iteration, however, extends past smartphones and can pluck data from the cloud. People who are supposedly familiar with NSO Group's sales pitch told Financial Times that... Read more...
Facebook is no stranger to privacy and security issues; it seems at every turn, a new report is surfacing that claims that some new mishandling of user data has taken place. The most significant privacy outcry Facebook has taken on, happened last year with the Cambridge Analytica fiasco that landed CEO Mark Zuckerberg in front of Congress to talk about how the company handles user data. Facebook admitted that Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed data of 87 million Facebook users and now the FTC has approved a settlement with Facebook on its Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal. The FTC has approved a settlement with Facebook that amounts to about a $5 billion in fine, according to a person... Read more...
Do you think Facebook is listening to your conversations, through your smartphone or any other gadget? There is an easy solution—stop using Facebook. That is the advice Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak says is appropriate for "most people," himself included (he actually did quit Facebook last year, due to the amount of data collection). There is a growing concern over privacy and how big tech firms, Facebook included, handle our collective data. The Cambridge Analytica scandal is one of the more prominent examples of how things can go sideways. However, it is by far not the only one. Wozniak made his latest comments about Facebook to TMZ while strolling through Reagan National Airport in... Read more...
Facebook is definitely tracking us in ways that allow it to deliver targeted advertising, and in some instances, it feels like the social network is granting itself a frighteningly large amount of access to our daily lives. Be that as it may, Facebook is not listening to our conversations and then hitting us with related ads. Instead, there are alternate explanations as to why it seems as thought Facebook listens to our verbal communications. Don't believe it? Just ask Facebook, which swears it is not listening to you (scout's honor and all that jazz). "Facebook does not use your phone’s microphone to inform ads or to change what you see in News Feed. Some recent articles have suggested... Read more...
The cryptocurrency market is full of peaks and valleys but at the moment, it appears that Bitcoin has hit a peak. Bitcoin surged past $11,000 USD for the first time in a year. The value of Bitcoin has jumped by 13% in the last 24 hours. Although the cyrptocurrency’s value dropped slightly once the heat of the excitement wore off, it is currently sitting pretty at roughly $10,600. Other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum have also hit a ten-month high. Bitcoin reached an all-time high in December 2017 at nearly $20,000. Its value dipped by 74% at the beginning of 2018, thanks to a slew of cryptocurrency regulations. A Bitcoin was only worth roughly $3,100 at the end of December 2018, but... Read more...
The era of cryptocurrency is not behind us, apparently. One look at Bitcoin's value—it sits at around $9,143 currently—indicates that there is room for at least one type of digital coin, even after the crypto-bubble burst last year in general. It is not just Bitcoin, though. Facebook is making a major move into the cryptocurrency space and has the backing of some major payment firms. Facebook's new and open-source digital currency is called Libra. It will be managed by Calibra, a newly formed Facebook subsidiary, with the goal of providing financial services all around the globe while leveraging blockchain technology. The first product that Calibra will introduce is a digital wallet... Read more...
In yet another blow to Huawei as it struggles to deal with a US ban, Facebook is distancing itself from the ostracized smartphone maker by no longer allowing its apps to be preinstalled on the company's handsets. That includes not just Facebook, but also WhatsApp and Instagram, both of which the social media giant owns. US intelligence agencies have long warned that Huawei could be linked to spying on behalf of China. More recently, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) made the claim that Huawei is directly funded by the Chinese government, and the National Defense Authorization Act subsequently banned US government agencies from using products from Huawei (and also ZTE). Things have only gone... Read more...
This might be a 'be careful what you wish for' moment for Mark Zuckberg, the wonderkid who built the most popular social network on the planet. Weeks removed in calling for "a more active role for governments and regulators" as it pertains to the internet, Facebook may find itself dealing with two decades of oversight by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Facebook and the US government are currently hammering out a consent agreement that would put to rest a probe into whether the company ran afoul of a separate but similar agreement it reached in 2011. The 20 years of oversight that is being considered for the new pact would be in addition to a penalty in the range of $3 billion to $5 billion.... Read more...
WhatsApp, a Facebook property, has issued a warning to users of its app and is asking users to upgrade to the latest version of the app. Reports surfaced this week that a company based in Israel has been able to successfully install malware that could listen in on phone calls made via WhatsApp. While WhatsApp confirmed the vulnerability, it didn't name the company that allegedly has the capability of listening in on conversations. WhatsApp is calling for users of its app to update to the latest version of the app and to make sure that their mobile operating system is up to date to protect against targeted exploits designed to compromise information that is stored on the mobile devices. The... Read more...
Remember life before digital assistants? Even if you are not using one, it is a safe bet that you know someone who is, because they are all over the place. The market is flush with them—Alexa (Amazon), Siri (Apple), Cortana (Microsoft), Google Assistant (Google), and Bixby (Samsung), those being the main ones. There may be another on the horizon as well, from Facebook. These AI controlled assistants are in all kinds of devices these days, which mostly consists of smartphones and smart speakers. You can use them to fire up playlists, look up the news, get a weather forecast, fetch movie times, and even to order a pizza. Citing "several people familiar with the matter," CNBC reports that... Read more...
Another day, another Facebook privacy row. Of all the major technology companies out there, the social networking giant seems utterly incapable of keeping its users' information private. Last month reports indicated that Facebook was under criminal investigation over sharing user data without permission. Facebook also announced in March that up to 600 million user passwords were stored in plain text and that 20,000 of its employees had access to the searchable database. Earlier this month word surfaced that Facebook was forcing some new users to give their email passwords to register for an account. Facebook is now admitting that it unintentionally grabbed the email contacts of 1.5 million new... Read more...
Even for the more freaky among you, avoiding "The Nasty List" on Instagram is in your best interest. We are not being prudes, by any means—go ahead and let your freak flag fly, if that is what you are all about. However, this so-called list we are referring to is actually a phishing scam that seeing people's accounts get hacked. If you are on Instagram, you may get a direct message saying something to the effect of, "OMG your [sic] actually on here, @TheNastyList_34, your number is 15! its [sic] really messed up." The message will contain a link to the supposed list, but there is no actual list—the URL directs users to a fake Instagram login site, in the hopes of stealing that your... Read more...
There is evidence to suggest that Facebook might be reintegrating its standalone Messenger app into the social network, rather than having the two exist as separate entities. The feature is currently being tested, and presumably if all goes well, Facebook and Messenger will get back together, allowing users to send messages from within Facebook. Messenger's roots trace back to 2008 when it debuted as Facebook Chat. Two years later, Facebook overhauled the messaging platform, and in 2014 it split from Facebook as a standalone Messenger app for mobile devices. A year after that, Facebook ported Messenger to the web, and also released a version for Tizen. Throughout the years, Facebook has fleshed... Read more...
Facebook has one of the worst reputations for privacy and security of personal information in the entire tech industry. It admitted last month that the passwords of up to 600 million users had been stored in plain text and were accessible to 20,000 employees. The company is facing a criminal investigation over sharing user details without the consent of the user and the social network is also facing an FTC fine in the billions of dollars range. With all the problems that Facebook has encountered with sharing user data without permission, it would make sense that it wouldn't want access to information that it didn't need. However, reports indicate that Facebook is now asking some new users to... Read more...
Some parts of Facebook are not really a mystery. For example, I was researching compact SUVs over the weekend, and predictably, I began to see related ads scattered in my Facebook News feed. We all understand how targeted advertising works (outside of Congress, apparently). Less clear, however, is why we see particular posts (non-ads) in our News feeds prioritized over others. Facebook is finally offering some clarity. There is a new option on News feed items called "Why am I seeing this post?" This is an effort on Facebook's part to provide a bit of transparency into how it selects posts for viewing, and to give users more control over what they see. "This is the first time that we’ve... Read more...
Several weeks ago, a terrorist killed fifty people at the Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch, New Zealand. The horrific attack was streamed through Facebook Live and shared thousands of times through additional Facebook posts. Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg recently shared a letter with the New Zealand Herald that outlines the actions Facebook plans to take to police hate groups and hate speech. Sandberg noted that immediately after the attack, Facebook removed the video of the attack, shut down the terrorist’s Facebook and Instagram accounts, and used AI to delete related videos. Their efforts were not enough to prevent the terrifying footage from... Read more...
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