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WhatsApp hits 2 billion users

Feb 13, 2020 - 7:43 PM - by Reverend
WhatsApp has amassed two billion users, up from 1.5 billion by the end of 2017, the company announced on Wednesday.

The mobile messaging app was founded in 2009 and acquired by Facebook in 2014. The deal was valued at $19 billion, the largest acquisition by the social media giant to date.

Despite its size, WhatsApp's growth remains robust: It has gained 500 million new customers over the past two years.

WhatsApp touts its end-to-end encryption technology, which ensures that all contents in chats are secured by default. Not even WhatsApp can read messages or listen to calls that take place among the participants of conversations, according to WhatsApp's blog posts.

But the encryption technology has drawn backlash across the world for security reasons. In India, where WhatsApp has more users than any domestic messaging apps, the government has called for regulations that give it access to encrypted data. In Australia and the United Kingdom, similar laws are also in discussion.

In October, US Attorney General William Barr asked Facebook to delay its plans to encrypt messages on its platform, citing that information relating to terrorism and sex trafficking can be spread across encrypted messaging apps.

WhatsApp strongly defends its encryption technology. "We will not compromise on security because that would make people less safe," according to WhatsApp's announcement on Wednesday. "For even more protection, we work with top security experts, employ industry leading technology to stop misuse as well as provide controls and ways to report issues — without sacrificing privacy."

CNN
  0 Replies | 234 Views


New Coronavirus Strain? Nope, Just Hackers Trying to Spread Malware

Jan 31, 2020 - 9:28 PM - by Reverend
Received a random file about the coronavirus? It's best to avoid opening it. Hackers are starting to exploit fears around the ongoing outbreak to infect computers with malware, according to security researchers.

The attacks have been occurring through files and emails that pretend to know something about the coronavirus, but have actually been designed to take over the victim's computer.

On Wednesday, the hackers were spotted sending out spam emails to users in Japan, warning about a new strain of coronavirus reaching the island country, according to IBM Security. The emails, which are written in Japanese, urge the recipient to open up the attached Word document to learn more.

If macros are enabled, the opened document will be able to execute a series of commands to secretly download the Emotet malware, which can steal sensitive information from your machine or deliver other dangerous payloads, such as ransomware.

"This new approach to delivering Emotet may be significantly more successful, due to the wide impact of the coronavirus and the fear of infection surrounding it," IBM Security said in the report. "We expect to see more malicious email traffic based on the coronavirus in the future, as the infection spreads. This will probably include other languages too."

On Thursday, the security firm Kaspersky Lab also reported uncovering malicious files disguised as documents about a new strain of coronavirus. To deliver the payload, the hackers were using PDFs, MP4 files and Word documents.

"The file names imply that they contain video instructions on how to protect yourself from the virus, updates on the threat and even virus detection procedures, which is not actually the case," Kaspersky Lab said. In reality, the discovered files... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 733 Views


Google Translate App to Transcribe and Translate in Real-Time

Jan 29, 2020 - 9:16 PM - by Reverend
Google Translate is already an extremely useful service, but it's going to get even better later this year thanks to artificial intelligence.

As CNET reports, Google was showing off a number of its AI projects earlier this week in San Francisco. One of them is a new feature heading to the Google Translate app a few months from now which allows a conversation to be transcribed in real-time while simultaneously being translated into another language.

From a practical point of view it would allow two individuals who speak different languages to hold a conversation simply by reading what the other person says from the app on their phone. As it happens in real-time, the conversation should be able to flow normally without much of a pause. Other uses include attending a lecture in a language you don't understand, or watching a movie and generating your own subtitles through the app.

Testing is currently ongoing for multiple languages including French, German, and Spanish. When the feature does roll out to the Translate app, it will require an internet connection to work. The workload for performing real-time transcription and translation happens on Google's servers, which I'm sure your phone battery will be very happy to hear.

If it works flawlessly, then Google Translate is going to become an even more essential tool to have installed on your phone, especially when traveling.

PC Magazine
  0 Replies | 534 Views


Apple iTunes 12.10.4.2

Jan 29, 2020 - 12:55 PM - by Reverend
You can use iTunes to create your own personal digital music library and easily organize and listen to your collection of digital music files. You can also create your own custom audio CDs and transfer your music to an Apple iPod portable digital music player.

32-bit | 64-bit

iTunes homepage
  0 Replies | 482 Views


Facebook's 'Clear History' Tool Is Finally Here for Everyone

Jan 29, 2020 - 12:41 PM - by Reverend
You can now get a full picture of the websites and apps Facebook has linked to your account.

On Tuesday, the social network finally made its "Off Facebook Activity" tool available worldwide after previously introducing it only to Ireland, South Korea, and Spain. You can find it in the settings panel for both the mobile app and desktop site under "Your Facebook Information."

The tool is basically the company's attempt at a "clear history" button when it comes to Facebook's tracking of users through internet cookies and computer scripts placed on third-party websites and apps. The social network collects this data so it can serve you relevant ads. But the practice also means Facebook has been technically mapping out your internet viewing history, which can come off as quite creepy.

The company's "Off Facebook Activity" can give you a look into how intrusive the tracking can get. When you open up the function, you'll likely see dozens of different websites and apps that've sent information to Facebook after you visited or logged into them.

You can then (somewhat) block the data harvesting. Users can choose to "disconnect" a select website or app from sending their data to Facebook. However, the social network will still continue to collect data; it just won't be tied to your Facebook ID.

The "clear history" button does the same, except across every website and app. If you select this option, the company warns it will log you out from any third-party apps you used to login to Facebook. The number of ads you encounter on Facebook will also remain the same, they just won't be as relevant.

Finally, there's a nuclear option called "turn off future activity," which will force Facebook to never tie any of the data collection to your... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 630 Views


Google vows to make Search 'better' after redesign backlash

Jan 25, 2020 - 5:31 PM - by Reverend
Last week, Google upset desktop users when it changed the appearance of Search. The changes were relatively minor, showing companies' favicons next to link previews, but critics argue that the changes cluttered an otherwise clean interface and made it difficult to distinguish ads from search results. Now, Google is backtracking a bit. In a tweet, the company said it is going to "experiment with new placements for favicons."

Over the coming weeks, Google says, it will continue to test changes. Desktop users will see a variety of favicon placements. It's hard to say at this point what that will look like. It's also unclear how Google will differentiate ads.

Last year, Google brought the favicons to mobile Search. The goal was to make it more evident where info is coming from. According to the company, the changes have been well received on mobile. Google says early tests for desktop were positive, too, but that the company is "always incorporating feedback from our users." In other words, Google seems to have heard your complaints, and it's working to figure out the best way to redesign its desktop Search.

Endgadget
  0 Replies | 679 Views


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