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Tech News Today for August 31, 2016

Tech News for August 31, 2016

Alphabet has officially launched a new carpooling service to take on Uber. Users of the Waze app can sign up to be a driver or a rider. Riders pay 54 cents a mile and as the service gets off the ground, drivers won't have to pay Google a cut. Tests of the program imply that in the future Apple will take 15 percent. So far it's only in the San Francisco Bay Area with 25,000 employees of local tech companies able to take advantage of it. They are slowly offering the ability to be drivers to Waze users who have signed up. Read more at wsj.com.

Siri is about to get a big upgrade in its capabilities according to Nathan Olivarez Giles at the Wall Street Journal who had the chance to try out the improved Siri. As part of iOS 10, the upgrade that’s expected to be revealed in more detail at next week’s Apple announcement, the changes will enable Siri to control third party apps on iPhones and iPads. A small list of apps including WhatsApp, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Square Cash and Slack are first on board with the functionality. Read more at wsj.com.

Curious why Dropbox reset your password last week? Well, that's because you haven't changed it since 2012 and because the previously reported leak was a lot worse than they thought. Sources showed Motherboard files with email addresses and hashed passwords for 68,680,741 accounts. The data appears to be legit, according to security expert Troy Hunt and a senior Dropbox employee. This really only might affect 34 million of us because Hunt says at least half of the passwords have been protected by a strong hashing algorithm known as bcrypt. If you're worried, our advice is as it has always been, change your password, make it strong and enable two-factor authentication. Read more at motherboard.vice.com.

In related news, Spotify is also resetting users passwords, as a security precaution, just in case you used the same password for your Dropbox account as you did for your Spotify account. Read more at motherboard.vice.com.

Samsung has held back shipments of the Galaxy Note 7 due to expanded quality testing. Though Samsung didn’t clarify what exactly the extra testing was about, it’s likely due to recent reports by users that Note 7’s were exploding due to faulty batteries. Read more at reuters.com.

Earlier this week the SETI Institute heard something "interesting" in their search for extraterrestrial intelligence. But today they're reporting that the message is probably coming FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE! The Russian Academy of Science is reporting that "Subsequent processing and analysis of the signal revealed its most probable terrestrial in origin." Read more at arstechnica.com.

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