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Tech News Today for November 8, 2016

Tech News for Tuesday November 8, 2016

A browser extension called Web of Trust Services that allows users to rate sites on trustworthiness and child safety for other users was investigated by German TV channel NDR and found to be selling data it collected on its users to third parties. Not only that, although WoT claims its data was anonymized before being sold, journalists were able to identify more than 50 users with that sample data. The add-on has since been pulled from Firefox and Chrome repositories as a result. In a statement to the Register, a WoT spokesperson said that upon review, its data cleaning techniques didn’t appear to be totally sufficient in anonymizing all data logged from the extension, and that it is working on an update so that it can relaunch with improvements to user security, including a way to keep user data private while still using the service. Read more at theregister.co.uk.

9 to 5 Mac reports that Apple is now in the business of selling refurbished iPhones in its store. If you wondered why this is news, well, its because they've never done it before. Refurbished iPads, Macs, and other accessories they've sold, but this is a first for iPhones. Does this signal more bad news for the the company? Read more at 9to5mac.com.

When Samsung isn’t busy leaking details about next year’s flagship Galaxy S8 device, it’s still very concerned with public perception of its brand post-Note 7 battery debacle. Now the Korean company is taking out full-page apology ads in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, signed by Samsung Electronics North American President and CEO Gregory Lee. The copy reads “An important tenet of our mission is to offer best-in-class safety and quality. Recently, we fell short on this promise. For this we are truly sorry.” Ultimately, Samsung says it is dedicated to taking its time in reaching a conclusion as to what caused the battery explosions in the first place. Read more at theverge.com.

Project Wing, Alphabet’s Drone project, may be delivering Chipotle burritos to students, but it's not keeping them caffeinated. Sources to Bloomberg say that Starbucks Corporation was to become a partner in drone delivery of coffee, but Project Wing cancelled that arrangement, as well as putting a freeze on hiring and even going so far as to ask some of its staff to look for other jobs within the company. This is only the latest in a string of cutbacks that are hitting various bets within the company as it seeks to focus more on creating actual businesses instead of experiments. Read more at bloomberg.com.

Megan Morrone and Jason Howell are joined today by Mike Murphy of Quartz to talk about Snapchat's new World Lenses feature. Tech News Today streams live at 4PM Pacific, 7PM Eastern at twit.tv/live. Subscribe to the show and download it on-demand at twit.tv/tnt.

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