How to spot an Instagram scammer

2016.08.29 07

As a general rule, anyone who posts pictures of money and talks about investment opportunities is probably trouble. Those are the hallmarks of the “money flipper” scam, a criminal scheme that’s been troubling Instagram for years. The accounts boast a mysterious investment system, posting cash and other luxury goods as proof that it works. Then, in a direct message, they’ll offer to cut followers in on the deal. Sometimes the offer is to split a money order, other times it’s for access to an empty debit card account — but either way, the scammer abruptly walks off with a few hundred dollars and the mark is left to pick up the tab.

It’s a simple scam, but it’s become remarkably popular on Instagram. A report released today by the threat intelligence firm ZeroFox found a total of 4,574 unique instances of the scam on Instagram since 2013, spread across 1,386 different accounts. That’s just a fraction of the 2 million posts scanned by ZeroFOX, and an even smaller fraction of the 30 billion posts on the platform itself. Still, it suggests the scam has found a persistent niche on Instagram, and according to ZeroFox, it could present a long-term problem for any financial companies looking to use Instagram for more than just marketing.

How to spot an Instagram scammer

Opera’s free unlimited VPN service is coming to Android

2016.08.29 06

Opera previously launched an unlimited VPN service for iOS earlier this year as a result of its 2015 acquisition of SurfEasy, and now it’s doing the same for Android users.

Opera VPN will let you appear as if you’re in a different country such as the US, Canada, Singapore, Germany and the Netherlands in addition to allowing you to block ad trackers. You can effectively bypass content restricted by location with the VPN, and without a data limit you can use it as much as you want.

If you’re not well-versed in VPNs, the app automatically handles setting Android VPN settings for you and will also check the security and integrity of your current Wi-Fi connection. This feature may slow down your internet speed while you’re using it, as TechCrunch attests, but not so much that it’s too problematic to use while surfing.

If you’re interested in trying out the app, you can pick it up via the Google Play Store now.

Opera’s free unlimited VPN service is coming to Android

YouTube’s app for the big screen is being updated today

2016.08.29 05

YouTube may have originated on the desktop (more than a decade ago!), but now mobile and the living room are two of its most important platforms. The latter is receiving an update today: Game consoles, streaming devices like Roku, smart TVs and of course the Chromecast will all get a small but important change. Now, when you load up YouTube, you’ll be presented with a variety of different content tabs right at the top of the interface. It’s now much easier to flip through topics like sports, news, comedy, music, entertainment and so forth.

Google previously had similar categories hidden in the left-side menu bar, but the company thinks that moving them front and center will help users find content faster and keep them watching longer. The categories themselves have also been refined a bit, with some new additions and subtractions getting to the 14 total you’ll find now. It’s something YouTube has been working on ever since it started designing its own consistent interface across the big screen in 2013. Previously, YouTube had an open API that device makers could tap into and make their apps, but that led to inconsistent experiences and new features being left behind.

YouTube’s app for the big screen is being updated today

Android 7.0 Nougat: All the features of Google’s new mobile operating system and how to download it onto your smartphone

2016.08.29 04

Google’s latest operating system Android 7.0 Nougat is now available for certain phones to download. Read on for all the key features you need to know about Google has begun to roll out its latest software, Android 7.0, also known as Nougat. The tech giant has a long tradition of naming its updates after sweet treats, including Marshmallow, KitKat and Ice Cream Sandwich, and this year it opened the decision up to its fans.

Although the company has being releasing developer previews of Android N, as it was previously known, as far back as March, the final version is now finally available to download. Here are all the key features in the new update, and how you can download it.

Android 7.0 Nougat: All the features of Google’s new mobile operating system and how to download it onto your smartphone

Google Duo Aims to Make Video Calling Super-Easy

2016.08.18 02

Google on Monday launched Google Duo, a one-on-one video calling app that runs on iOS and Android.

The app will be available worldwide in the next few days, said Justin Uberti, principal software engineer at Google.

Duo switches from cellular service to WiFi, and transitions from high-speed to lower speed wireless service smoothly, promising to let users continue video calls irrespective of their location and service speeds, although video degradation may be apparent on slower services.

A separate account isn’t necessary to sign up for the app — a phone number will suffice.

Google Duo Aims to Make Video Calling Super-Easy

The $99 Peripheral that Turns Your Smartphone Into a Laptop

2016.08.15 01

There’s a good chance your smartphone has more processing power than a 1985 Cray-2 Supercomputer. What it doesn’t have is a display big enough for a spreadsheet, or a keyboard good for more than cramped fumbling.

Enter the Superbook, currently available for $99 through a Kickstarter campaign. It looks like a slim laptop, but it doesn’t have its own storage or processor. Instead, it gets its power and data connection from your Android phone, via a simple USB cable and a free app. In addition to the keyboard and screen, the Smartbook has a battery, which will last 8 hours and actually charge your phone as you use it.

Together, a phone and the Smartbook are plenty for basic word processing, email, and web browsing—all most people really need.

The $99 Peripheral that Turns Your Smartphone Into a Laptop

900 Million Androids Could Be Easy Prey for QuadRooter Exploits

2016.08.10 02Four newly identified vulnerabilities could affect 900 million Android devices, Check Point researchers told attendees at the DEF CON 24 security conference in Las Vegas this past weekend.

The vulnerabilities, which the researchers dubbed “QuadRooter,” affect Android devices that use Qualcomm chipsets. They exist in the chipset software drivers.

The drivers, which control communications between chipset components, are incorporated into Android builds manufacturers develop for their devices, so they’re preinstalled on devices and can be fixed only through installation of a patch from the distributor or carrier.

Exploiting any of the four vulnerabilities will let attackers trigger privilege escalations and get root access to the targeted device, Check Point said.

Attackers can exploit the vulnerabilities using a malicious app. Such an app would not require special permissions, and thus would not be easily detected.

900 Million Androids Could Be Easy Prey for QuadRooter Exploits

Google Beefs Up Phone App’s Spam-Fighting Skills

2016.08.02 03

Google on Tuesday released an updated version of its Phone app for Android with a new spam protection feature that warns users when an incoming call is likely to be spam. It also lets them block numbers and report spam.

The app is available on Google Play.

“Most mobile numbers aren’t listed anywhere, and so spamming has been [difficult] — but automation is rapidly eroding the protection of anonymity,” he told LinuxInsider. “It’s possible for call systems to quickly scan down a block of numbers, identify the ones that get answered, and compile lists of active numbers.”

Google Beefs Up Phone App’s Spam-Fighting Skills

Polaroid Swing Gives New Meaning to Moving Pictures

2016.07.26 05

Polaroid Swing, a new iOS app for creating animated photos, on Tuesday debuted at the App Store. The app has ties both to instant photography pioneer Polaroid and Twitter founder Biz Stone.

Polaroid Swing lets a “phonetog” capture 1-second videos posing as images that become animated when a phone is tilted, or when they’re swiped or tapped.

An Android version is coming soon.

Since the invention of photography, its essence has been “the moment” — a point in time that’s poignant, revealing or memorable. By creating images at 60-frames-a-second, Polaroid extends the idea of the moment, Rise explained.

“My whole life as a photographer has been trying to perfect that 250th of a second to capture a moment. Now I have 60 chances to do that,” he said. “We’re expanding what it means to hit a button and save a moment. We’re evolving what that means.”

Polaroid Swing Gives New Meaning to Moving Pictures

Apple Patents Tech to Foil Concert Pirates

2016.07.26 03

A patent for an infrared system that could be used to shut off iPhone cameras and microphones at live performances is one of dozens awarded to Apple last month.

The company first applied for a patent for the infrared camera system in 2011, according to Patently Apple, which noted the technology’s great potential.

The system could assist the music and movie industries by automatically disabling camera functions at movies or concerts. However, the technology could have other applications as well — for example, turning an iOS device into a museum or city tour guide, or a source of product information at a retail outlet.

How It Works

The camera described in Apple’s patent would detect more than an image. If the image contained an infrared signal with encoded data, the data would be routed to circuitry in the camera to decode the data.

One possible way of using the data the infrared signal delivered could be to display information to users about objects next to them — a painting in a museum, for example.

Another way of using the data could be to disable camera functions.

Apple Patents Tech to Foil Concert Pirates