Updates from February, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Geebo 11:31 am on February 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cloudpets, , ,   

    Cloud connected child’s toy leads to personal data breach 

    Cloud connected child's toy leads to personal data breach

    As seen on TV toy CloudPets is actually a pretty clever concept. By using a smart phone app a traveling parent or a relative that lives far away can leave a voice message to a child on one of the stuffed animals.

    Except there’s that one inherent problem that affects any device connected to the cloud, there’s a chance that personal data stored there could be compromised. CloudPets seems to be having that problem currently as reports say that an insecure database led to third-parties accessing the personal information of many of their users. This information includes names and dates of birth. This is made doubly disturbing considering that a lot of this information belongs to children, not to mention that their voice messages could possibly have been stolen as well. Some reports even state that it’s possible to send unauthorized messages to the devices if someone so desired.

    As with any device that’s connected to the cloud you have to assume a certain amount of risk that the data could be stolen, but when it comes to your children you should double that amount and take proper steps to try and keep that information secure such as using strong passcodes. Or you may want to consider not sharing your child’s personal information at all with a company that advertises on basic cable commercials.

     
  • Geebo 10:45 am on February 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Could you be violating your lease by using Airbnb? 

    Could you be violating your lease by using Airbnb?

    As you may know, Airbnb is a service that allows you to rent out your house or apartment on a short-term basis. The problem is that if you currently rent your home you could be violating your lease by renting the property out on Airbnb. Many leases include clauses that prohibit subletting or subleasing which could cause the breaking of the lease by renting out the residence on even a short-term basis.

    It’s gotten so bad for one property management company in California that they’re suing Airbnb. The company says that by having their tenants sublease their apartments it’s caused security and safety issues for their residents. The rental company states that Airbnb is complicit in encouraging their tenants to break their leases. Airbnb has largely stayed silent about the suit with many stating that it’s the users fault for violating their own leases.

    Airbnb renters have been seen as a nuisance in a number of jurisdictions that local governments have heavily regulated the service.

    Is Airbnb largely ignoring a problem that they consider out of their hands or are they encouraging renters to willingly break their leases? Only time and the courts will tell.

     
  • Geebo 11:08 am on February 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Waze Carpool   

    Is this the final deletion for Uber? 

    Is this the final deletion for Uber?

    Ride sharing app Uber was already seeing a downturn in popularity when the company said thy would be picking up fares at New York City airports during protests against President Trump’s proposed immigration ban back in January. After that a ‘Delete Uber’ boycott started asking people to delete the app from their devices. Now, the delete Uber movement has picked up a massive head of steam after sexual harassment claims were made against one of its top executives. Not only are there allegations of harassment but there has been allegations of an alleged cover up as well.

    Uber has hired former US Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate the matter, but is it too little too late?

    Currently, Uber is already being sued by Google’s self-driving car division stating that proprietary technology was stolen and used by Uber’s own self-driving car program. Uber competitor Lyft just announced that they were now launching in 50 new cities. Google’s Waze Carpool is also looking to expand into more markets on the heels of Uber’s latest PR nightmare.

    Even if Uber was found to have done no wrongdoing, which seems to be unlikely at this point, have they already worn out their good graces with the public? Could this be the beginning of the end for Uber? With competitors already swooping in to fill any void left by Uber, it sure seems that way.

     
  • Geebo 11:00 am on February 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Will Facebook Jobs ever catch up to LinkedIn? 

    Will Facebook Jobs ever catch up to LinkedIn?

    As has been posted at this blog recently, you can now apply for jobs on Facebook. However, as was also posted, applying for jobs through Facebook can pose its own set of problems. With those problems it may be more beneficial to use a more professional appearing platform like LinkedIn.

    Now that Facebook Jobs is now online it’s already starting to experience growing pains compared to the more established LinkedIn. Reports are coming in from employers who say that paying for boosted posts on Facebook do not generate nearly as many candidates as they would on LinkedIn, and that it’s more expensive to boost employment posts on Facebook as well.

    Facebook does have a few advantages though. The first of course is sheer numbers. Facebook deals in billions of users while LinkedIn deals in millions. Facebook is also the definition of ubiquitous. It’s everywhere and just about everyone uses it and it shows no signs of slowing down. Due to its sheer size, it could only take Facebook a few tweaks of Facebook Jobs to make it a serious competitor to the more established LinkedIn.

     
  • Geebo 11:52 am on February 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    The hits keep coming for Yahoo’s hacked accounts 

    The hits keep coming for Yahoo's hacked accounts

    There is now another chapter in the story of the close to one billion Yahoo user accounts that have been compromised. The Wall Street Journal has reported that Yahoo’s systems may be impossible to integrate with potential financial suitor Verizon because of all the compromised systems that Yahoo has. The report also states that many of the compromised systems and accounts remain compromised to this day.

    Even though Verizon is sticking with Yahoo for the time being, can Yahoo’s brand take any more damage? Can the Yahoo name even be trusted by consumers and can it potentially hurt the Verizon brand if they see the acquisition through? Verizon just garnered some great PR with their new seemingly unlimited wireless plans, but they could lose a lot of that goodwill if Yahoo’s problems bleed into theirs.

     
  • Geebo 11:00 am on February 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    You can now apply to jobs on Facebook, but should you? 

    You can now apply to jobs on Facebook, but should you?

    Facebook recently added a new feature to their already jam-packed social platform. After you click on the jobs tab then find a job you like you can click on the apply button. Once you do that, some of the information for the application is already filled out with the information you’ve already provided to Facebook. Considering that on a lot of job websites not only do you have to upload your resume, but then you have to retype everything that was already on your resume. So on paper, this sounds like a great idea, but is it really?

    Remember, this is Facebook after all, the platform where most people post just about every thought they have and every action that they’ve made. In the news there are constantly stories about people being suspended from their jobs for incendiary posts that they’ve made on Facebook. If employers are even more integrated with your Facebook this could mean that could potentially scour every detail of your personal life that you’ve shared on Facebook. Even if your Facebook is relatively free of controversy, there could be something that a prospective employer could possibly find objectionable, after all hiring managers are human too.

    If this becomes a more accepted trend by employers we may all want to consider creating a second Facebook account that we use for professional purposes only. The question is will Facebook allow that since they seem to crackdown on duplicate accounts or any account they find that may be deemed as a ‘fake’ account? If that would be the case then Facebook could lose its appeal since its most coveted feature is that its users feel free to share just about anything on the website.

     
  • Geebo 10:58 am on February 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Is a politics free Facebook worth it? 

    Is a politics free Facebook worth it?

    Ever since the start of 2016 presidential campaign, which feels like it started in 1988, it seems like Facebook has been a never-ending series of political memes and rants. Maybe you long for the days for when Facebook was nothing but pictures of cats, what people had for dinner, and baby pictures? Well, today is your lucky day.

    Fox News recently posted an article that shows you several different options on how you can sanitize your Facebook feed from politics.

    From following, but not unfriending, friends, to browser extensions, you have several different options to turn your Facebook back to the days before alternative facts and deleted emails. The question is though, should you?

    If you eliminate all the politics from your Facebook you could be just enforcing your own confirmation bias. While you may find political opinions different from your own distasteful, to turn off those opinions outright is akin to sticking your head in the proverbial sand. No matter how right or wrong some of the Facebook political rants are they do expose you to the lives of others whose experiences are different from your own. So maybe in the midst of those rants you can find a kernel of thought-provoking information.

     
  • Geebo 11:00 am on February 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: charging, , usb   

    Be wary of public charging stations 

    Be wary of public charging stations

    A lot of us have been there. In the midst of traveling we find ourselves with almost no charge on our phones but we’re nowhere near our destination. Maybe you have a layover or your waiting for a connecting train and you find a public USB charger. You plug your phone in, charge up, then you’re on way without a second thought about it. Well, according to security experts you may want to take that second thought.

    Since most USB cables were not only designed to transfer power but data as well there is a chance that the USB port you just plugged into in public may have just hijacked your phone. This kind of attack can range from stealing your information to seeing everything that you view on your phone.

    That’s not to say there aren’t defenses against these kind of attacks. For example many airports and train stations have battery packs you can rent to charge your phone. You can also buy a USB cable that only transfers power. However, most experts suggest buying a spare battery or battery pack for your phone in advance in order to not run out of juice in the first place.

    Or we could just not be on our devices for every minute of our travels. You’ll never know what you’re missing if we’re all nose down in our screens.

     
  • Geebo 10:57 am on February 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Yahoo reveals that hack was worse than previously thought 

    Yahoo reveals that hack was worse than previously thought

    It seems that getting any kind of vital information out of tech dinosaur Yahoo is like pulling teeth, from a rabid badger. It was made public recently that Yahoo’s infamous hack that compromised 500 million accounts was worse than just stolen passwords. Now Yahoo is revealing that some of the accounts were compromised using a forged cookie.

    A cookie is a piece of code that allows your browser to remember such information as your username for certain sites and in some cases your password. This means that someone with a forged cookie doesn’t even need your password to access your account. Yahoo claims that the hack was carried out by a state actor which means a government sponsored attack.

    This comes at a time where Verizon is still trying to negotiate a price to purchase Yahoo. Verizon just recently requested a $300 million price cut on the pending acquisition. Then again, if it wasn’t for this acquisition we may have never heard about these hacks at all.

    If anyone is still using any Yahoo services that deal with any kind of personal information you may want to think of deleting your account. While any online service can fall victim to a large-scale hack of this nature, Yahoo seems to be inordinately porous when it comes to user security.

     
  • Geebo 10:59 am on February 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: autoplay, , videos   

    Facebook becomes more annoying with the sound on for autoplay videos 

    Facebook becomes more annoying with the sound on for autoplay videos

    Autoplay videos are bad enough when you go to a website and the video starts up blasting at full volume. Now imagine going to a site that has a stream of videos, one after the other, that play the sound of the video as you scroll down the page. That’s what Facebook is about to become.

    Facebook will soon be making all autoplay videos automatically play with sound. Facebook claims that this is a feature that many users wanted and has received positive feedback on the proposed feature. Once that feature becomes permanent one could see that feedback becoming negative very quick. While most think that this is a harmless feature, many could see it being abused especially by advertisers disguised as user made videos.

    Thankfully, the videos can’t override your volume settings on your device. If your device is muted the sound won’t play so you don’t have to worry about everyone in your office knowing that you’re watching a screaming goat video. Also, you can turn off the sound on Facebook in your device settings.

     
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