Deals: Grab T-Mobile Moto Z2 Force for $375, Google Home for under $65

If you are a Motorola fan in the US, and are planning to purchase a high-end smartphone, you’ll be glad to know that T-Mobile is currently offering a solid discount on the Snapdragon 835-powered Motorola Moto Z2 Force. The magenta carrier currently has the handset listed for $ 375, down from the usual $ 500 price tag the device usually carries there. It’s worth mentioning that Motorola is officially selling the T-Mobile variant for $ 720, so purchasing directly from T-Mobile will currently save you around 50%. Moving on, if you are planning to purchase a voice controlled smart…

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Uber is under investigation by multiple states over a 2016 data breach

Regulators around the country are questioning Uber for staying silent after the hack, which affected 57 million people.

New revelations that Uber suffered a major security breach in 2016 — and initially withheld details from drivers, riders and regulators alike — is touching off another round of government probes and customer lawsuits targeting the ride-hailing giant.

At least five states — Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York and Connecticut — told Recode this week that they would investigate the matter, after Uber revealed on Wednesday that the intrusion affected 57 million customers, compromising names, addresses and driver’s license numbers in some cases.

Meanwhile, Uber must contend with the possible threat of a new probe at the Federal Trade Commission. The agency, which acts as the U.S. government’s top privacy and security watchdog, penalized Uber for its privacy and security practices just this August. But it may not have known that Uber had suffered a major security breach in 2016, even as they investigated the company at the same time for other, unrelated security missteps. For now, the agency merely said it’s “closely evaluating the serious issues raised.”

And some affected customers are similarly taking action. On Wednesday — hours after the breach became public — an Uber user filed a lawsuit accusing the company of negligence and deceptive business practices. The plaintiff, Alejandro Flores, is seeking to represent a class of affected riders and drivers alike.

Taken together, the repercussions for Uber’s silence already seem vast. Once again, the ride-hailing company faces the threat of costly litigation and other stiff penalties or fines — all at a time when the tech giant is battling back a slew of other civil and criminal probes.

“We’ve been in touch with several state attorney general offices and the FTC to discuss this issue, and we stand ready to cooperate with them going forward,” an Uber spokesperson said.

Hackers set their sights on Uber in late 2016, according to the company, while Travis Kalanick still led the company. By accessing a public repository of Uber data, two individuals were able to see — but perhaps not steal — personal information for 57 million Uber users around the world.

At the time, Uber suppressed information about the breach — and it paid the hackers a $ 100,000 ransom to delete the data they had obtained. Roughly a year later, though, new Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi opted to make information about the security incident public, along with an apology and a promise to improve the company’s digital defenses.

But Khosrowshahi’s mea culpa is unlikely to satisfy regulators.

For one thing, 48 states maintain some version of a law that requires companies that suffer a data breach to communicate what happened to consumers. In most cases, companies must disclose a security incident if hackers steal very sensitive customer data — such as driver’s license numbers, which happened with Uber in late 2016.

To that end, the attorneys general in Illinois, Connecticut and New York have said they are probing the breach at Uber — perhaps with an eye on whether the company skirted state laws. The top prosecutors in other major states, like Pennsylvania and Florida, did not immediately respond to emails on Wednesday seeking comment. California’s AG declined to comment.

State laws also form the basis of an emerging class action suit, which alleges that Uber’s failure to disclose the 2016 breach runs afoul of notification rules in California, Illinois, Hawaii and others. For some of these states, such as Illinois, the rider information that was exposed doesn’t require disclosure but the 600,000 driver’s license numbers accessed do.

In the nation’s capital, meanwhile, Uber faces the prospect of more pain.

Months earlier, the company brokered a draft agreement with the FTC to settle charges dating back to 2014 that it mishandled customers’ data. In that fight, the agency contended that Uber had “deceived consumers” by allowing its employees to access riders’ most personal information, including the details of their trips.

But Uber’s settlement with the FTC isn’t technically final; the commission still must vote on it. That opens the door for the agency perhaps to rethink the order, weigh new penalties or open another probe into Uber entirely as a result of this week’s revelations. Some U.S. lawmakers explicitly urged the FTC on Wednesday to do precisely that.

Perhaps complicating matters, the FTC in 2014 and 2015 specifically ordered Uber to preserve all documents and records related to privacy and security for investigators to review, according to copies of civil investigative demands sent to the company at the time and later obtained by Recode. Otherwise, the orders said, Uber could face additional civil or criminal liability. It is unclear how those demands might apply in a case like this one, where Uber did not disclose a breach in the midst of an unrelated investigation.

Asked about the matter, a spokeswoman for the FTC confirmed the agency is “aware of press reports describing a breach in late 2016 at Uber and Uber officials’ actions after that breach.” While the aide said the agency is “closely evaluating the serious issues raised,” she did not elaborate on whether that amounted to an investigation.

Two sources, however, told Recode that Uber had briefed the agency on the matter in recent days.

Even abroad, Uber faces immense criticism — and perhaps additional scrutiny. A top regulator in the European Union on Wednesday highlighted Uber’s handling of the breach to make the case for greater regulation of U.S. tech giants.

Much of the responsibility for fixing Uber’s new troubles now falls to Tony West, the company’s new chief legal officer. A former PepsiCo executive who served as the assistant attorney general of the Department of Justice under President Barack Obama, West is also tasked with overseeing Uber’s fights in a wide array of other regulatory woes — including a federal probe on foreign bribery charges.


Recode – All

Pre-Friday Deals: Amazon’s Highest Rated Tech Deals Under $25 – Deal Alert

If you need some practice buying stuff before the big day (Black Friday), Amazon has released a boat load of deals in these days leading up to it. What we’ve done here is simply filtered their list of current deals down to the tech categories we care about, and only the deals $ 25 or less with 4 or 5 star ratings.  Discounted USB cords, chargers, phone accessories, BlueTooth speakers, splitters, and other gadgets. Here it is: An impulse shopper’s dream/nightmare. Note: Scroll down past the “featured deals” to where the lists really starts. Enjoy!

To read this article in full, please click here

Computerworld Mobile

Best Tech Gifts Under $20

Getting gifts for your family or friends shouldn’t be stressful, and shouldn’t break the bank. If you’re looking for the perfect stocking stuffers, here are 10 great gift ideas for $ 20 or less.

 

4-in-1 Clip-on Smartphone Lens

We all love taking photos with our smartphone, but sometimes focusing close up, or getting an entire setting in view can be a challenge. This clip on lens allow for extreme close-ups (macro), as well as ultra-wide fisheye shots, and everything in between. This clip-on lens comes with 10x macro, wide angle, fisheye, and 1.5x telephoto lenses for diversifying your photo game.

Buy$ 18.49

1

XXL Shower Speaker

Take singing in the shower to a whole new level by bringing your music INTO the shower with you. The XXL Shower Speaker is IPX4 waterproof, includes built-in controls for play/pause and volume, and works over Bluetooth keeping your phone safe and dry. It’s the perfect companion for getting your day started.

Buy$ 19.99

2

Aluminum Fidget Spinner

Fidget spinners make a great gift because everyone can find a time to enjoy them. The small size and solid build make them a pocketable toy to help with focus, or give you that much needed distraction while working on a project or assignment. Available in either black or silver, this is a gift that anybody can enjoy.

Buy$ 12.99

3

Mini Qi Wireless Charging Pad

If you or someone you know recently upgraded to the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, or X, or sport and Android phone that supports wireless charging, this wireless charging pad is a great gift idea. Using the Qi (pronounced chee) standard, this allows for recharging a device without plugging it in. A great option for reducing cable clutter on a desk or nightstand.

Buy$ 19.99

4

USB Solar Charger & Battery

While we’re on the topic of recharging batteries, this solar charger can act as emergency power no matter the situation. With a built-in 5000mAh battery, it can recharge an iPhone nearly 2 full times on a single charge, and it’s built-in battery can recharge with in the sun without an outlet. Perfect for camping or long days outdoors without access to power.

Buy$ 19.99

5

16-Color LED Bulb with Remote

Lighting is often under-appreciated, but can have a dramatic impact on making your office or living room have that distinctive feel. These color-changing LED lightbulbs can shift the mood of a room with a simple click of a button. Want a warmer feeling, try yellow or orange. Want something subtle and cool, give blue a try. Having a living room dance party – let the strobe effect get things started.

Buy$ 9.95

6

Flexible Tripod for Smartphones & Cameras

Whether you’re an aspiring vlogger, want to take cool time lapses, or just want less shaky photos, this flexible tripod is a great option for getting better shots. The flexible legs can wrap around a handle, post, any stable object, or can be placed on a desk of table to get that perfect picture or video. The included clip can be expanded to fit a wide range of smartphones, or can be removed to mount to small point-and-shoot cameras.

Buy$ 8.99

7

Anker PowerLine+ 10ft Lightning Cable

Apple’s lightning cables have long been a pain-point for iOS users, due to their relatively short length and their fragile construction. With the Anker PowerLine+ 10ft Lightning Cable, you get 3x more distance from an outlet than Apple’s standard cable, and the braided cable housing is much more resilient to everyday wear and tear. If you or someone you know is dealing with a frayed Lightning cable, this is the way to go.

Buy$ 17.99

8

Best Gifts Under $ 20

PopSocket Phone Stand/Grip

The PopSocket became wildly popular in 2017 as a way to both hold your phone more securely, as well as prop your phone up on a desk or table. The collapsible button adds a small pop-up grip to the back of your smartphone, allowing for more controlled grip by placing it between your fingers. When not in use, it collapses down to just a few millimeters thick to minimize added bulk. PopSockets are available in a multitude of colors, from $ 7.50 – $ 15.

Buy$ 9.69

9

Scosche Magic Mount

Your smartphone is likely your GPS and form of entertainment while driving, but fiddling with clips and latches can be a hassle. The Magic Mount uses a thin metal plate on your smartphone and a magnet in the mount to hold it securely in place without the need to pressure clamps or springs. The entire mount suctions to your windshield, while the plate can be stuck to the back or you device or its case. A great gift idea for anybody that spends time behind the wheel.

Buy$ 19.99

10

 

iDrop News

Best Tech Gifts Under $100

The holidays are rapidly approaching, and with that comes finding the perfect gifts (at the right price). These gifts are all under $ 100 and are sure to please the technology enthusiasts in your life.

10 Aukey White + RGB Touch Light – $ 25.99

This small light is perfect for adding a splash of color to your desktop, and offers three levels of white light, making it great for a nightstand too. The touch sensitive base means no hunting for a switch or dial – simply tap and the light comes on. Add a touch of modern lighting to you desk – pick one up here for $ 25.99.

9 XtremePro 4K Ultra HD Action Cam with Mounts – $ 69.99

If you’re shopping for an adrenaline junkie, this 4K action camera is a great gift for capturing the most extreme moments. Whether it’s skateboarding, surfing, or hitting the slopes, the included mounts can attach to almost anything you come up with. The camera’s rugged design allows for impact resistance, and can be submerged up to 98 feet. Available here for $ 69.99.

8 Anker Ultraslim Bluetooth Keyboard – $ 16.99

At just over $ 20, this Bluetooth keyboard is a perfect for pairing with an iPad, iPhone, or Mac (as well as Android and Windows, too) when on the go. Its rechargeable battery lasts for six months of daily use, and its slim design fits in almost any backpack or computer bag while leaving each device free from bulky cases. Get it here.

7 Fader Stealth Drone – $ 99.99

Drones are a hot gift for 2017, offering the freedom of flight without ever leaving the ground. With the built-in 720p HD camera, you can capture high definition visuals from the air, controlled by a simple remote control. The Fader Stealth Drone mini drone is great for beginners and advanced users alike, and won’t break the bank. Get it here.

6 Mpow Bluetooth Over Ear Headphones – $ 35.99

Give the gift of a quality listening experience with these over ear headphones from Mpow. With a solid build, impressive sound, and passive noise isolation, these are great for at the gym or the office. The foldable design and included carry pouch allows for them to fit in a backpack without risking damage, and doubles as storage for the included 3.5mm cable and charging cord. Get them here.

5 GorillaPower 5-Port USB Power Dock – $ 56.99

Living the multi-device life is great until it comes time to charge things. With the GorillaPower 5-Port USB Power Dock you can charge up to 5 devices from a single outlet. Additionally, the dock includes 2 traditional outlets on the back for charging non-USB devices (like a MacBook). The GorillaPower dock also offers surge and overheat protection, ensuring that your devices are safe when powering up. This is a great option for developers or tech enthusiasts with a large collection of devices. Get it here.

4 Jawbone JAMBOX Wireless Bluetooth Speaker – $ 47.99

With the JAMBOX, you can bring your music with you and get the party started on the beach, in the backyard, by the fire, or around the Christmas tree. The small JAMBOX Bluetooth speaker offers clear audio, whether it’s your favorite Christmas tunes, or the phone call to a loved one on Christmas day. The built-in battery offers up to 10 hours of playback, perfect for any occasion. Get it here.

3 Finch or Sidewinder 10,000mAh Charging Backpack – $ 49.99

Having a stylish and convenient way to carry your tech is almost as important as the tech you carry. With the Finch and Sidewinder charging backpacks, you get that stylish look, ample storage, and the added bonus of spare power for your gadgets. The built-in 10,000mAh battery is enough to charge an iPhone or iPad multiple times, and even has enough juice to recharge a USB-C or Thunderbolt equipped MacBook or MacBook Pro with power to spare. With the Finch or Sidewinder charging backpack, there is no excuse to have a low battery. Get it here.

2 Philips Hue 4-Bulb White Starter Kit – $ 99.95

The Philips Hue line of products have become the standard for most smart home lighting. With the Hue 4-Bulb Starter Kit, you can start your collection of smart lighting, and start automating lamps, patio lights, or any other standard light fixture. Additional white or color bulbs can also be purchased in the future for an ever-expanding smart lighting solution. With full HomeKit support, as well as support for Google Assistant and Alexa, the Hue lights are a perfect compliment to our #1 suggestion, as well. Get your starter kit here.

1 Amazon Echo Dot & Echo – $ 49.99 – $ 99.99

Amazon refreshed their Echo lineup this year, and improved the speaker in the full-sized Echo while they were at it. The new Echo offers all the things you’d expect out of a digital assistant, and comes in both cheaper and smaller than its predecessor. The Echo is the perfect kitchen or office companion, and is a nice in-home Speaker, as well. The Echo Dot is great for a nightstand or connected to a home entertainment system. Get the Echo for $ 99.99 on Amazon, or Amazon’s smaller Echo Dot for just $ 49.99.

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