Facebook secretly deleted messages Mark Zuckerberg sent on Messenger

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Facebook has admitted the company has been secretly deleting messages sent on Messenger by founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “After Sony Pictures’ emails were hacked in 2014 we made a number of changes to protect our executives’ communications,” says a Facebook spokesperson in a statement to TechCrunch. “These included limiting the retention period for Mark’s messages in Messenger. We did so in full compliance with our legal obligations to preserve messages.”

Old Facebook messages sent by Zuckerberg have simply vanished in some existing threads, and TechCrunch reports that affected messages no longer appear in Facebook’s download your information tool. Recent messages from Zuckerberg reportedly remain in some users’ inboxes, and the…

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The Verge – All Posts

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26 of the 115 most popular VPNs are secretly keeping tabs on you

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

A recent investigation into 115 of the world’s most popular VPN services revealed that many are antithetical to their stated claims. To build trust, providers make promises not to track users through logs or other identifying information. But as a popular VPN comparison site found out, this isn’t always true. The Best VPN recently peeked under the hood of over 100 of the biggest VPN services. All told, 26 of them collect three or more important log files that could contain personal and identifying information — things like your IP address, location, bandwidth data, and connection timestamps. For VPN users,…

This story continues at The Next Web
The Next Web

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Apple Secretly Developing Its Own MicroLED Displays For iPhone And Apple Watch

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Apple is secretly developing its own MicroLED displays for future iPhone and Apple Watch devices in order to reduce its reliance for screens from Samsung and LG.

[ Continue reading this over at RedmondPie.com ]

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Bloomberg: Apple secretly building its own MicroLED screens for future devices, starting with Apple Watch

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

A new report from Bloomberg this evening says that Apple is “designing and producing its own device displays,” which is a first for the company. Citing people familiar with the situation, the report explains that Apple using a secret manufacturing facility near its headquarters in California…



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Cities’ “Smart” Led Streetlights May Be Secretly Watching Over You

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

Streetlights are designed to make urban life easier, but also safer. Illuminating your walk home or run through the park, streetlights are comforting, whether or not they actually deter crime. State of the art LED lamps that are progressively replacing older, glitchy models in a number of American cities may be a welcome development as they improve the network’s energy efficiency.

However, the spread of a new generation of streetlights may also have other, less likable consequences  – including an increase in stealthy electronic surveillance.

The LED lights peppering the streets of like Baltimore, San Diego, Kansas City among many others aren’t designed for surveillance. But the ways in which they are positioned and wired make them an ideal target for attaching cameras, microphones, and other such devices. This isn’t just a risk, either — hidden cameras have been found in these lighting fixtures before.

Are streetlights watching you? Image Credit: jwvein / pixabay
Are streetlights watching you? Image Credit: jwvein / pixabay

LED lights first came to Newark Liberty International Airport and U.S. malls in 2014. Soon after, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and community members found out that hidden cameras had been installed in many of these lights. Some of these fixtures were even equipped with microphones.

Chad Marlow, of the ACLU’s advocacy and policy council, voiced his concerns to City Lab: “I think rather than call them smart bulbs in smart cities I’d call them surveillance bulbs in surveillance cities. That’s more accurate.”

In many cities across the U.S., it is legal to install these surveillance devices in lights without even alerting residents. The city of Portland is adopting 6,100 new LED streetlights in an effort to be more energy efficient and environmentally conscious. However, while the local administration assures that it’s not going to put cameras in the lights yet, that could legally happen at any time without the residents being made aware.

Surveillance cameras inside stores or high-risk buildings and areas are nothing new. But usually, we can see these cameras and we are very much aware of where they are. While cities might just need that extra level of surveillance in areas with higher crime rates, the measures will be inevitably seen also as an invasion of privacy. Additionally, while public bodies might be the ones in charge of installing and operating cameras, that may change should the new, dense surveillance network be hacked or outfitted with non-official equipment.

The post Cities’ “Smart” Led Streetlights May Be Secretly Watching Over You appeared first on Futurism.


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New Orleans Police Have Been Secretly Predicting Crimes Before They Happen

Once upon a time, predictive policing systems (akin to the one seen in 2002 film Minority Report) were thoroughly fictional. Those days might very well be over. According to an investigative report by The Verge, CIA-funded data-mining firm Palantir Technologies has deployed a proprietary predictive policing system in New Orleans since at least 2012. The […]
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There are now almost 60 class-action lawsuits against Apple for secretly throttling iPhones

iPhone Battery

In late 2017, Apple was sitting pretty. The iPhone X was in plentiful supply and the company was well on its way towards generating a record-breaking $ 88.3 billion in quarterly revenue. Things took a turn, though, when Apple in late December admitted that it purposefully throttles CPU performance on iPhone models with older and degraded batteries. While Apple claimed the underlying goal was to prevent unexpected shutdowns, iPhone fans the world over were upset at the complete lack of transparency. Indeed, Apple only decided to come clean once independent testing confirmed that certain iOS updates had a discernible impact on system performance.

Just a few days following Apple’s admission, the lawsuits started rolling in. The first class-action suit against Apple was filed on December 21 and alleged that Apple’s actions not only lowers the resale value of existing iPhones, but also coerce iPhone owners to upgrade prematurely. In short order, scores of other class-action suits were filed. As it stands now, about two months removed from Apple’s admission, Tim Cook and co. are now dealing with nearly 60 lawsuits in jurisdictions all across the country and even a few suits outside of the U.S.

With Apple facing so many suits, recently filed court documents discovered by MacRumors suggest that a good number of the aforementioned class-action lawsuits filed against Apple will likely be consolidated into one overarching case. Hardly a surprise, multiple class-action suits that stem from the same alleged wrongdoing are often merged together in the interest of efficiency and to prevent duplicitous litigation.

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has disclosed that it will consider consolidating dozens of iPhone performance-related complaints filed against Apple during a hearing scheduled for Thursday, March 29 in Atlanta, Georgia, as is routine for similar cases filed across multiple states.

It will be interesting to see how the suits against Apple play out, especially in light of the numerous remedies Apple has implemented in the meantime. Most notably, Apple about two months ago announced a new battery replacement program wherein users with out-of-warranty devices can order a brand new iPhone battery for a discounted price $ 29. What’s more, Apple indicated in a letter to government agencies that users who purchased a new battery before the discount went into effect might be eligible for a rebate.

Apple – BGR

Apple claims VoIP-Pal secretly lobbied judges, USPTO officials in patent case

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Apple is looking to reverse a Patent Trial and Appeal Board ruling upholding the validity of certain patents owned by VoIP-Pal, alleging the VoIP technologies firm secretly lobbied officials presiding over the case without Apple’s knowledge.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News

Apple Faces 25+ Lawsuits for ‘Secretly and Intentionally’ Slowing Down iPhones

Over the last few weeks, Apple has been skewered by allegations that it willfully thwarted the performance of older iPhones via a routine iOS update, intentionally slowing them down to prevent their “chemically aged batteries” from shutting down unexpectedly. The otherwise damning revelation, as we’ve reported, has since resulted in a number of insane, even sub-trillion dollar lawsuits levied against the company.

It was recently revealed by MacRumors that Apple is currently facing at least 26 different lawsuits — filed in various jurisdictions around the world — either accusing it of ‘intentionally’ slowing down older iPhones or, at the absolute least, “failing to disclose power management changes” that were incorporated in iOS 10.2.1.

In addition to international complaints filed in France and Israel, Apple now faces dozens of class action lawsuits right here in the United States — with the most recent having been filed on Friday, January 5, by Yisroel Brody of New York.

Brody’s complaint, which MacRumors noted is the 24th suit filed stateside, follows an additional two complaints — one by Mr. Marc Honigman of New York, and one by Ms. Lauri Sullivan-Stefanou of Ohio — filed a day earlier on January 4.

“Apple’s intentional degradation of the iPhone’s performance through the release of iOS impacted the usability of the device,” a slightly adapted excerpt from Honigman’s original complaint reads, adding that, “Effectively, Apple has forced the obsolescence of iPhones by secretly diminishing their performance. Thus, Apple’s admission has confirmed what iPhone users have long suspected – i.e., that Apple deliberately degrades the performance of older iPhone models through iOS updates to encourage users to buy new iPhones.”

An excerpt from Sullivan-Stefanou’s complaint appeared to echo those sentiments, adding that “Unbeknownst to iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and iPhone 6s owners, Apple inserted code into iOS 10.2.1 that deliberately slowed down the processing performance of these phones by linking each phone’s processing performance with its battery health.”

Both complaints assert that had Apple not inserted the code in the first place, the battery performance and capacity of these devices would not have been affected. Meanwhile, the plaintiffs in these suits are seeking a wide range of compensation from Apple, including free battery replacements for all affected users, refunds for those who’ve recently purchased new iPhones, and that the company be “more transparent” by including information about battery health and longevity in a future iOS update.

Apple, for its part, has since issued an apology amid the hysteria, admitting its “lack of communication” on the issue while reducing out of warranty battery replacement costs to just $ 29 for iPhone 6 devices (and newer) through the end of 2018. Additionally, the company confirmed it would release an iOS update “early this year” which will give users clear and discernible insight into the health of their device’s battery.

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Spotify secretly files for IPO as it reaches 70M paid users

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As Spotify grows its user base to over 70 million paid subscribers, the company has also filed in secret for public offering of shares of the company’s stock, but will make the shares available to the public in a non-traditional manner.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News