Technology

Vatican Launches $110 “Click To Pray E-Rosary”

Via press release from the Vatican: The Click To Pray eRosary is an interactive, smart and app-driven wearable device that serves as a tool for learning how to pray the rosary for peace in the world. It can be worn as a bracelet and is activated by making the sign of the cross. It is synchronized with a free app …

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California Launches Earthquake Early Warning System

NPR reports: Scientists cannot yet predict when the next deadly earthquake will strike, but emergency response authorities in California plan to unveil the first statewide quake warning system Thursday, which marks the 30th anniversary of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. The warnings will be issued in two ways: a cellphone app called MyShake and the more traditional wireless notification system …

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Feds Sue Tinder Parent For Catfishing Free Accounts

CNBC reports: The U.S. Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday sued Match Group, the online dating service company that owns Tinder, OKCupid and other dating sites, alleging that it used fake love interest advertisements to trick consumers into buying paid subscriptions. Shares of Match Group dropped as much as 7% on the news, before recovering to be down around 3%. Match …

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Amazon To Enable Political Donations Via Alexa

From Amazon’s corporate blog: Customers rely on Alexa to answer all sorts of questions throughout the day —from sports scores and state capitals to nutrition facts and the latest current events. During the midterm elections last fall, customers asked Alexa a multitude of questions, including “Alexa, when are the polls open?”, “Alexa, who is winning in New York?” and more. …

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Hackers Target Internet-Connected Gas Pumps

ZNet reports: Cyber criminals are increasingly turning their attention to hacking Internet of Things devices as connected products proliferate – and there’s one smart device in particular that is catching hackers’ attention. This new target was uncovered by by researchers at Trend Micro, which carried out an examination of dark web marketplaces in five different languages – Russian, Portuguese, English, …

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Apples Launches iPhone 11 With $699 Starting Price

I’m sure this all means something: At its September event today, Apple has officially unveiled the successor to the iPhone XR. The new iPhone 11 packs a dual-camera and more.  The iPhone 11 camera setup includes wide and ultra-wide lenses, rather than wide and telephoto like many people had assumed. This gives users the ability to adjust cropping and zooming …

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LIVE VIDEO: Apple Unveils Latest iPhone Models

Gizmodo reports: Get ready to be blown away (or disappointed) as Apple gears up for its latest big iPhone announcement. We’re expecting to see updates to all three of the iPhones in Apple’s current lineup and possibly some updates on Apple Watch, iPad, and MacBook. We also expect to talk about cameras. A lot. The iPhone rumors so far have …

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Texas Leads Multi-State Anti-Trust Probe Into Google

CNBC reports: Fifty attorneys general are joining an investigation into Google over possible antitrust violations, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, the initiative’s leader, announced Monday. The news confirms reports last week about the bipartisan investigation into Google’s practices. The bipartisan probe includes attorneys general from 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. California and Alabama are not involved …

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Facebook Rolls Out “Facebook Dating” Feature In US

TechCrunch reports: Are Americans ready to trust Facebook with their dating life? Barely more than a month has passed since the U.S. Federal Trade Commission fined Facebook a record $5 billion over its privacy lapses, and imposed a modified corporate structure to hold the company more accountable for its decisions over user privacy. In the wake of this historic action, …

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FTC Fines Google $170M For Collecting Data On Kids

CNBC reports: Google’s YouTube will pay $170 million to settle allegations by the Federal Trade Commission and the New York attorney general that it earned millions by illegally collecting personal information from children without their parents’ consent. The settlement, announced Wednesday, was passed in a 3-2 vote by the commissioners along party lines. The two Democrats voted against it, saying …

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Firefox Now Blocking All Third-Party Tracking Software

The Verge reports: You’ve had the ability since October, and in June they made it official, but it’s only today that Mozilla’s Firefox web browser will protect your privacy by blocking third-party tracking software for all its users by default — theoretically keeping companies from keeping tabs on your online activity and potentially selling it to others. That’s because with …

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Facebook Ends Default Facial Photo Recognition

TechCrunch reports: Facebook is making facial recognition in photos opt-in by default. Starting today, it’s rolling out its Face Recognition privacy setting, which it first introduced in December 2017, to all users. If you have Face Recognition turned on, Facebook will notify you if someone uploads a photo of you, even if you aren’t tagged. You can then tag yourself, …

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TEXAS: Sending Unsolicited Dick Pics Now A Crime

The Associated Press reports: As states push to criminalize the sharing of intimate photos to get revenge on former sex partners, Texas is teaming with Bumble to crack down on people who send unsolicited nude images on dating apps and elsewhere in cyberspace. The new Texas law banning so-called cyber flashing comes after state Rep. Morgan Meyer of Dallas collaborated …

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Hacker Takes Over Twitter CEO’s Account, Spews Abuse

Buzzfeed News reports: The Twitter account of Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, appears to have been hacked. On Friday afternoon, the @jack account tweeted a link to a Discord chat and RT’d a series of tweets, including one that read, “follow me i am jacks daddy.” The account also tweeted the N-word, and antisemitic remarks. Discord took down the …

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Self-Driving Carmakers: Let’s Remove Steering Wheels

The Verge reports: The federal government should rewrite the safety rules for automobile manufacturing so self-driving carmakers can deploy vehicles without traditional controls like steering wheels and pedals, according to public comments submitted by top car and tech companies. “We urge [the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration] to move ahead promptly to remove the regulatory barriers the agency has identified,” …

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Apple To Launch New iPhone On September 10th

CNET reports: Get ready for the iPhone 11 on Sept. 10. Apple sent invitations to the media on Thursday for its next big product launch. It plans to introduce its newest devices and services at 10 a.m. PT at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California. This year, Apple is expected to introduce three new models, replacing the iPhone XS, …

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Japan Cracks Down On Sexual Harassment Via Airdrop

The Daily Beast reports: The Japanese police have gotten the drop on a new breed of creep in Japan, called “AirDrop Chikan” (Airdrop Pervs) — men who use the photo and movie sharing function in many Apple products to send unwanted obscene photos to people close by. On Tuesday, the police in Fukokoka, in southern Japan, announced they had made …

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LinkedIn Blocks/Removes 21.6 Million Fake Accounts

GeekWire reports: LinkedIn blocked or removed 21.6 million fake accounts on its platform from January to June of this year, a sign that the Microsoft-owned social network is actively fighting some of the same issues that have plagued Facebook, Twitter and others. In a blog post, LinkedIn’s Head of Trust and Safety Paul Rockwell wrote that the vast majority of …

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VIRAL VIDEO: Actor Bill Hader’s Face Seamlessly Turns Into Tom Cruise, Raising More “Deepfake Video” Alarm

The A.V. Club reports: Now that Hollywood has officially endorsed the aesthetics of deepfakes with the mangled celebrity faces of the upcoming Cats remake, it seems like there’s no longer anything holding the technology back. Last week, we bore witness to the chilling sight of Michelle Tanner’s baby-sized head playing host to Nick Offerman’s grown man eyes and mustache. And …

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Amazon Facial Software Flags Never-Arrested Politicians

Courthouse News reports: When the American Civil Liberties Union used facial recognition software to cross-check 120 California legislators against a database of 25,000 publicly available mug shots, the algorithm falsely identified 26 of the lawmakers as someone who’s been arrested. One such lawmaker was Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, was matched with a mug shot by Amazon’s facial recognition software …

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