Tech News Today for March 28, 2017
Tech News for Tuesday March 28, 2017
Facebook is rolling out an update today that will make it look a lot like Snapchat. And Instagram. And WhatsApp. The world's most popular social networking app now has what it calls "Stories," photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours and can be seen by all your Facebook friends, or sent to a specific buddy or group as well. Like all those other apps, there are interactive filters, emojis and text to add to what you share. Facebook has been testing this for months, and the feature looks and works pretty much exactly the same in the other apps Facebook owns -- Instagram and WhatsApp. But make no mistake about it, this feature that brings a sameness to Facebook's three most popular products is in large part about fighting off Snapchat, which kicked off this ephemeral messaging craze, recently went public, and is seen as a major threat to Facebook's social media audience and ad sales dominance. Read more at theverge.com.
A day doesn't go by when we don't recommend the password manager LastPass. We all use the corporate version at work and could not recommend it more highly. But for the second time in only two weeks we're hearing that a security vulnerability in LastPass could allow for remote code execution or password theft. Tavis Ormandy from Google tweeted about the exploit a few days ago, which he said he worked out in his head, while taking a shower. Let's hear it for shower thoughts. Read more at arstechnica.com.
Tinder wants you to give a swipe on your laptop. The popular dating app launched a desktop web version of its mobile app called Tinder Online. The company told Tech Crunch that the web version was built for singles in emerging markets who don’t have enough storage on their phone for the app or a big enough data plan for Tinder, which relies on photos that you either swipe right on to approve a potential match, or swipe left on to dismiss. The website only handles swiping and messaging and so far none of Tinder’s paid features like Tinder Boost or Super Like. Read more at techcrunch.com.
The Guardian reports that the FBI's facial recognition database contains nearly 412 million photos, but is wrong 15 percent of the time. The software that the FBI uses is more likely to misidentify black people and women, which means its especially wrong about identifying black women. The database acquires photos from mugshots, but also from IDs of people who have never committed a crime and from other sources. This means the FBI's policies are in direct violation of the Privacy Act of 1974 which places limitations on agencies’ collection, disclosure, and use of personal information maintained in their systems of records. Plus, according to a full house oversite committee on facial recognition reform, the FBI used facial recognition for years, without examining its impact on privacy. They didn't even have a privacy statement in place. Read more at theguardian.com.
For one app maker, the 12th time was a charm -- but only for a few hours. After an app that tracks US executed drone strikes was rejected by Apple a dozen times, the iPhone maker approved the app Metadata+ for the iOS App Store today. But the approval didn't last long. The app was pulled about 5 hours later. The app's creator, Josh Begley, posted on Twitter about his app being pulled, showing the App Store notification. He wrote in a piece for the Intercept, where he works as a research editor, that Apple said the app was booted for "excessively objectionable or crude content." Read more at theintercept.com.
Megan Morrone and Nathan Olivarez-Giles are joined today by Iain Thomson of The Register to talk about the US House of Representatives' vote to overturn broadband privacy rules that were put in place late last year. Tech News Today streams live weekdays at 4PM Pacific, 7PM Eastern at twit.tv/live. You can subscribe to the show and get it on-demand at twit.tv/tnt.