Category: Apps

Uber’s safety report revealed over 3,000 sexual assault cases last year


Yesterday, Uber finally released its full safety transparency report, including stats around sexual assault and harassment over 2018 and part of 2017 in the US — something the company left out of its report when in its initial release last year.  “Uber’s US Safety Report includes information about Uber’s actions on safety, as well as data on the most serious safety incidents reported on our ridesharing platform in 2017 and 2018,” the document outlined. “This includes traffic fatalities, fatal physical assaults, and sexual assault.” Back in 2017, Uber said that 2,936 passengers reported incidents of sexual assault while using the…

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Google’s developing a feature to show brightly lit streets on Maps


It seems Google is working on a feature for Maps to highlight brightly lit streets at night. The new functionality — dubbed “Lighting” — aims to make your night time travels safer by helping you avoid streets with poor or no lighting. Well-lit streets will be marked in yellow, according to code hidden inside Maps beta release (v10.31.0) as spotted by XDA Developers. Unfortunately, there are no images of the feature in action, as it’s still under development. There’s also no telling if the feature will be available worldwide, or limited strictly to specific regions. Another missing piece of information…

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iPhone 11 Pro collects location data even when it shouldn’t, researcher says


It appears iPhone 11 Pro is collecting your location data even when it’s not supposed to, security researcher Brian Krebs has found. The curious bit? Apple insists it’s a feature, and not a bug. “One of the more curious behaviors of Apple’s new iPhone 11 Pro is that it intermittently seeks the user’s location information even when all applications and system services on the phone are individually set to never request this data,” Krebs writes in a blog post. Apple lets you easily turn off your handset’s location services with one swipe from settings (Settings > Privacy > Location Services, and then switching Location Services…

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This new app is leveraging blockchain to help sexual assault survivors


For the ongoing series, Code Word, we’re exploring if — and how — technology can protect individuals against sexual assault and harassment, and how it can help and support survivors. When many think of blockchain, they think of cryptocurrencies. But as one of the most exciting new fields of emerging technology, there’s an incredibly wide array of use cases for blockchain — as well as many empty promises and scams. When it comes to combating the age old problem of how to prevent sexual assault, it’s clear we need to look for new ways to do so. Blockchain’s ability to…

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Google rolls out a chat feature in Google Photos — use it before it’s axed


Google has a notorious habit of launching a new messaging app now and then. The lineup includes – both active and inactive – names such as Google Talk, Hangouts, All, Duo, SMS Messenger, and RCS-based Chat app. Now, it’s launching a messaging function in one of the unlikeliest places – Google Photos. You heard it right. You’ll be able to send your photos and videos through a chat interface in the app.   Google said it was always possible to share photos through links or albums, but it wanted to make the experience of sharing one-off photos easier: You’ve always been able…

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Reddit’s DataIsBeautiful is sick of bar chart races — so it’s banning them


You can forget about reveling in dramatic bar chart races on Reddit‘s DataIsBeautiful community for the time being. The subreddit’s moderator team has announced it’s temporarily banning all race charts until the hype has cooled off. “The subreddit is currently experiencing a large surge in racing bar charts,” moderator AskLubich said. “To make matters more transparent, we are now announcing a moratorium on racing bar charts.” “Unfortunately, some users took this as far as borderlining [sic] spam,” the moderator added. “Others took it beyond.” The announcement stresses this is only a temporary measure, which will be revoked once the trend slows down.…

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Instagram, Facebook, and Messenger are down — go back to work


Nope, it’s not just you. It appears Instagram, Facebook, and Messenger are all down at the moment. The three platforms, which all belong to the Mark Zuckerberg empire, are experiencing down time, according to numerous reports on DownDetector. Among other things, users report being unable to reload their feeds, post stories, or create posts. It remains unclear what’s causing the issue, but it seems to be affecting numerous regions across the globe, including the US East Coast, Central Europe, and East Asia (and India). Curiously enough, the Instagram outage seems to be mostly affecting Europe. The issue seems to affect only…

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How smartphones get African millennials addicted to sports betting


When one talks about young Africans using smartphones, the dominant narrative is that these gadgets serve mostly as platforms for connection so that users can communicate and share greetings and information via text and images. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp, and Signal take pride of place in that description, despite their murkier side. What has perhaps been overlooked is how smartphones are also affecting other facets of young people’s lives. One area is the ever-growing community of sports betting in Africa. The phenomenon of sports betting among African youths has taken the region by storm. Recent polls and anecdotal reports point…

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How Facebook crammed all its major features into a 2MB Lite app


Over the past few years, several major mature tech companies including the likes of Google, Uber, Spotify, and Twitter have been courting the ‘next billion users’ – people who are getting online for the first time ever with mobile devices, instead of desktops. Winning over this new audience requires optimizing services and software optimized for conditions prevalent in developing markets, like spotty connectivity, slow internet speeds, and wide proliferation of low-end mobile devices. Companies started to design a ‘lite’ version of their apps that can run on most phones and don’t take up much space on the device (less than…

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Popular Android apps are shipping with outdated bug-ridden software


Researchers have found that several popular Android apps, including Facebook, AliExpress, and WeChat, come with outdated software components that contain unpatched security flaws. Native vulnerabilities in third-party mobile apps are one kind. Those at the operating system level are another. Both necessitate that device makers and software vendors issue patches on a timely basis to mitigate the risk of such exploits. But what if these apps contain old software components that harbor vulnerabilities which have been long fixed? This is exactly what researchers over at cybersecurity firm Check Point Research set out to find. “To verify our hypothesis that long-known vulnerabilities…

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