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If you’re a writer, whether in-house or freelance, you know that the actual work of writing is only a fraction of what you have to do each day. You probably also have a never-ending list of emails to respond to, new topics you need to pitch, and general followup inquiries to make. With all of that going on in your inbox, taking the time to write out every single email from scratch makes no sense. In the past, I used to dread opening my email altogether. It only revealed how much time I would have to spend sorting through messages…

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Most White House email domains could be vulnerable to phishing

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

We can likely all agree that governmental cyber security is an important issue. While the Attorney General has created a task force to deal with election hacking, there have been plenty of digital security fails in the past year. And the FCC doesn't…
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Google app v7.25 beta teases Google Assistant for Households, email and payment access with Google Home, and more [APK Teardown]

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

After an unusually busy week of updates, Google capped it off with a late-Friday rollout of its central app. As we should expect, there aren’t any immediately obvious changes to the interface from installing this update – those will appear in the coming weeks as Google switches them on remotely. However, we’ve got a teardown of the APK that covers some of what we’ll be seeing in the future.

Teardown

Disclaimer: Teardowns are based on evidence found inside of apks (Android’s application package) and are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete information.

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Google app v7.25 beta teases Google Assistant for Households, email and payment access with Google Home, and more [APK Teardown] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Facebook will crack down on unwanted ad targeting by email

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

Facebook is still determined to limit data access in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. TechCrunch has learned that the social network is launching a certification tool requiring advertisers to pledge that they've obtained your permission…
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Facebook plans crackdown on ad targeting by email without consent

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

Facebook is scrambling to add safeguards against abuse of user data as it reels from backlash over the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Now TechCrunch has learned Facebook will launch a certification tool that demands that marketers guarantee email addresses used for ad targeting were rightfully attained. This new Custom Audiences certification tool was described by Facebook representatives to their marketing clients, according to two sources. Facebook will also prevent the sharing of Custom Audience data across Business accounts.

This snippet of a message sent by a Facebook rep to a client notes that “for any Custom Audiences data imported into Facebook, Advertisers will be required to represent and warrant that proper user content has been obtained.”

Once shown the message, Facebook spokesperson Elisabeth Diana told TechCrunch “I can confirm there is a permissions tool that we’re building.” It will require that advertisers and the agencies representing them pledge that “I certify that I have permission to use this data”, she said.

Diana noted that “We’ve always had terms in place to ensure that advertisers have consent for data they use but we’re going to make that much more prominent and educate advertisers on the way they can use the data.” The change isn’t in response to a specific incident, but Facebook does plan to re-review the way it works with third-party data measurement firms to ensure everything is responsibly used. This is a way to safeguard data” Diana concluded.The company declined to specify whether it’s ever blocked usage of a Custom Audience because it suspected the owner didn’t have user consent. ”

The social network is hoping to prevent further misuse of ill-gotten data after Dr. Aleksandr Kogan’s app that pulled data on 50 million Facebook users was passed to Cambridge Analytica in violation of Facebook policy. That sordid data is suspected to have been used by Cambridge Analytica to support the Trump and Brexit campaigns, which employed Custom Audiences to reach voters.

Facebook launched Custom Audiences back in 2012 to let businesses upload hashed lists of their customers email addresses or phone numbers, allowing advertisers to target specific people instead of broad demographics. Custom Audiences quickly became one of Facebook’s most powerful advertising options because businesses could easily reach existing customers to drive repeat sales. The Custom Audiences terms of service require that businesses have “provided appropriate notice to and secured any necessary consent from the data subjects” to attain and use these people’s contact info.

But just like Facebook’s policy told app developers like Kogan not to sell, share, or misuse data they collected from Facebook users, the company didn’t go further to enforce this rule. It essentially trusted that the fear of legal repercussions or suspension on Facebook would deter violations of both its app data privacy and Custom Audiences consent policies. With clear financial incentives to bend or break those rules and limited effort spent investigating to ensure compliance, Facebook left itself and its users open to exploitation.

Last week Facebook banned the use of third-party data brokers like Experian and Acxiom for ad targeting, closing a marketing featured called Partner Categories. Facebook is believed to have been trying to prevent any ill-gotten data from being laundered through these data brokers and then directly imported to Facebook to target users. But that left open the option for businesses to compile illicit data sets or pull them from data brokers, then upload them to Facebook as Custom Audiences by themselves.

The Custom Audiences certification tool could close that loophole. It’s still being built, so Facebook wouldn’t say exactly how it will work. I asked if Facebook would scan uploaded user lists and try to match them against a database of suspicious data, but for now it sounds more like Facebook will merely require a written promise.

Meanwhile, barring the sharing of Custom Audiences between Business Accounts might prevent those with access to email lists from using them to promote companies unrelated to the one to which users gave their email address. Facebook declined to comment on how the new ban on Custom Audience sharing would work.

Now Facebook must find ways to thwart misuse of its targeting tools and audit anyone it suspects may have already violated its policies. Otherwise it may receive the ire of privacy-conscious users and critics, and strengthen the case for substantial regulation of its ads (though regulation could end up protecting Facebook from competitors who can’t afford compliance). Still the question remains why it took such a massive data privacy scandal for Facebook to take a tougher stance on requiring user consent for ad targeting. And given that written promises didn’t stop Kogan or Cambridge Analytica from misusing data, why would they stop advertisers bent on boosting profits?

For more on Facebook’s recent scandals, check out TechCrunch’s coverage:

 

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ProtonMail brings encrypted contacts to its mobile email app

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

ProtonMail's encrypted contacts are now readily available beyond the web — the company has updated its Android and iOS email apps to add the privacy-minded contacts manager. It uses zero-access encryption to prevent everyone but you (yes, including…
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MyFitnessPal data breach exposes email addresses, passwords of 150M accounts

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

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Under Armour’s popular health and nutrition app and corresponding website MyFitnessPal was hit with a security breach in February that exposed the usernames, email addresses and passwords of about 150 million users, the company said on Thursday.
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‘Field Trip’ schedule email emphasizes education focus of Apple event

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

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Apple has started to issue itineraries to attendees of its ‘Field Trip’ event later today, with the schedule further emphasizing the presentation and following sessions will be heavily focused on education-related topics, including teaching students how to code.
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How to call, message, and email your contacts using Siri

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

Hey, Siri! Did you know that Rene is my Boss?

Siri isn’t just another voice control system; it remembers context and it can understand relationships. That means, for example, you can tell Siri to call your wife’s iPhone, and Siri will know who that is and which phone number to dial. Not only that, but Siri can send iMessages or SMS, and even email any of your friends, family, or co-workers. No matter how you like to communicate, Siri makes it incredibly easy to stay in touch.

How to establish contact relationships with Siri

Siri will need to either learn who your wife, best friend, boss, or other relationships are before it can associate them with the proper contact. You can edit the Contact to enter that information, but what fun is that? The easier, faster way is simply to tell Siri what your relationships are.

  1. Press and hold down the Home button or say, “Hey, Siri” to activate Siri.
  2. Tell Siri about a relationship. For example: “Rene Ritchie is my boss” — make sure you say the name exactly as it appears in your contacts. 3.Say or tap Yes when Siri asks you to confirm. Siri will confirm that the relationship has been added.

Note: You will first have to establish who you are to Siri. This is done by changing your info in Siri’s settings.

This works great for unique relationships but for relatives that have simliar titles, it can be a problem. If you have two daughters for instance, you’ll need to assign them each a distinct relationship for Siri to differentiate between them. You can, of course, use things like “oldest daughter” or “youngest daughter”.

How to manually add relationship data with the Contacts app

When Siri does get confused by multiple relationships, it is possible to manually add in the proper data in your Contact card so that Siri can make use of it.

  1. Launch the Contacts app.
  2. Tap on your contact card
  3. Tap the Edit button in the top right corner of the screen.

  4. Scroll down and tap add related name.
  5. Tap the relationship type (by default, it will be “Parent”).
  6. Select a relationship type. You can also create a custom label.

  7. Tap the information button next to Related name. It looks like a circle with an “i” inside it.
  8. Select a contact.
  9. Tap Done in the upper right corner when you are finished.

Siri will now remember that relationship. When you say something like, “Call my brother,” Siri will call the contact connected to that relationship.

Privacy warning

Any relationships you add to your contact card are now part of that card which means if you send someone your contact card, all of your relationships will be part of that information. You can also create a second, relationship-free contact card to share with others.

How to get contact information with Siri

Siri can quickly find you the Contact information for anyone on your iPhone – far more quickly than tapping, scrolling, and visually picking them out typically allows.

  1. Press and hold down the Home button or say, “Hey, Siri” to activate Siri.
  2. Tell Siri the contact information you want to see. For example, you can say, “When is Amanda’s birthday?” or “Show me Amanda’s information.”
  3. If there is more than one person matching your request, Siri will ask you to confirm which contact you’d like information for.

This only works if the person’s contact card already has the information listed. For example, if you don’t have Amanda’s birthday on her contact card, Siri won’t know what it is.

How to call a contact with Siri

Siri can place calls to someone by name, or simply by relationship, and to any phone number you have. It works especially well when driving.

  1. Press and hold the Home button or say, “Hey, Siri” to activate Siri.
  2. Tell Siri who you want to call. For example, you can say something like “Call mom”.
  3. If the contact has more than one phone number, Siri will ask you which number you want to call. If you know you want to call to someone’s work or mobile phone, you can make it faster by saying “Call mom at work” or “Call mom’s iPhone.”

The call will take place as soon as Siri is prompted. So, make sure you really want to call someone.

How to send an SMS or iMessage with Siri

Siri can quickly and conveniently compose SMS and iMessages either to a single or multiple recipients. Just like calls, it’s especially useful when driving.

  1. Press and hold the Home button or say, “Hey, Siri” to activate Siri.
  2. Tell Siri you want to send a text message to someone. For example, you can say something like “Text Heather I’ll be late for dinner”. If you don’t say the contact or relationship immediately, Siri will ask you for a phone number, contact name, or iMessage-associated email address.
  3. Tap or say Send when Siri asks you to confirm the message. If you’re not happy with the message, say “change it” to re-dictate it, or tap or say Cancel to abandon it.

How to send an email using Siri

Messaging with Siri is not limited to just sending text messages; Siri can also send emails, both to individuals and to multiple recipients.

  1. Press and hold the Home button or say “Hey, Siri” to activate Siri.
  2. Tell Siri you want to send an email to someone. For example: “Send an email to Heather” or “Email Chris and Bobby”. If the contact has more than one email address, Siri will ask you which address. If you know you are sending an email to someone’s work address, you can make it faster by saying “Send an email to Leanna at work.”
  3. Tell Siri the subject of the email. For example: “Apps”, “Lunch”, or “Vacation plans”
  4. Tell Siri the content of the email.
  5. Tap or say Send to send your email.

If you’re not happy with the email, instead of confirming it, say “change subject”, “add”, or “change message”. You can also tell Siri to “cancel” to abandon the email completely.

How to have Siri check your voicemail messages

  1. Press and hold the Home button or say “Hey, Siri” to activate Siri on your iPhone.
  2. Say something like Check my voicemail or Do I have any voicemails?
  3. When the list of voicemail messages appears on screen, you can tap one to play it back.

How to have Siri play back your voicemail messages

In order to have Siri play your voicemail messages, you’ll have to unlock your iPhone screen first.

  1. Press and hold the Home button or say “Hey, Siri” to activate Siri on your iPhone.
  2. Say Play my voicemail messages. Siri will play the latest voicemail message first. When it is finished, Siri will ask if you want to call back, play the message again, or play the next one.
  3. Say Call back, play the message again, or play the next one.

How to check your iPhone call history using Siri

  1. Press and hold the Home button or say “Hey, Siri” to activate Siri on your iPhone.
  2. Say something like Check my call history or Check my recent calls.
  3. Siri will then pull up recent calls from your call history. If you need to call someone back, just tap the name and Siri can launch into a voice call.

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Microsoft wants to force Windows 10 Mail users to use Edge for email links

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Microsoft is testing a new change to its future version of Windows 10 which will probably annoy anyone using the operating system. The software giant revealed today that “we will begin testing a change where links clicked on within the Windows Mail app will open in Microsoft Edge.” The change means if you have Chrome or Firefox set as your default browser in Windows 10, Microsoft will simply ignore that and force you into Edge when you click a link within the Mail app.

It’s a ridiculous change, that’s similar to Microsoft forcing Cortana users to use Bing search and open results in the Microsoft Edge browser instead of other browsers that are set as default. “As always, we look forward to feedback from our WIP community,” says…

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