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  1. Google is hiding 'coronavirus' apps from the Play Store – and it's not alone Misinformation is contagious (Image credit: Shutterstock) Google appears to have hidden apps related to coronavirus from search results in the Google Play store. The change, as reported by 9to5Google, is likely an attempt to stop the spread of misinformation about the virus. At the time of writing, searches for 'coronavirus' and 'Covid-19' (the official name for the disease caused by the virus) yield no results. Such searches worked as expected until very recently, and a search for 'covid' reveals dozens of apps containing both terms. Some apps about protecting yourself from the virus might be benign or even helpful guides, with information about correct hand-washing and how to quarantine yourself. However, apps could also be used to spread misinformation that's unhelpful at best, and dangerous at worst. It's also possible that unethical developers are attempting to cash in on the crisis, pushing out very simple apps that contain little information at all, and are mostly a means of showing ads or convincing worried users to sign up for premium features. Stopping the spread Google isn't the only tech company stepping in to curb the spread of misleading information about the virus. Last year, Pinterest decided to intervene when users search for information about vaccinations and cancer, showing only information from reputable medical publications. It's now taken the same approach with coronavirus, showing a set of information cards created by the World Health Organization (WHO) offering advice on limiting the spread of the virus. Facebook is taking a similar approach. Mark Zuckerberg says that the social network is giving WHO free advertising space, and redirecting searches for 'coronavirus' to information from the WHO or a local health authority. False claims and conspiracy theories will be swiftly removed, and anyone trying to exploit the situation by advertising miracle cures will find their accounts blocked. (Image credit: Twitter) Twitter isn't going so far as to block content, and a search for the virus brings up tweets containing all sorts of false information (including a tutorial on making an effective face mask using a piece of toilet paper and rubber bands). These are preceded by a notification box marked 'Know the facts' with a link to a verified local health provider, but the site might choose to follow Google and Facebook's example, and tighten up its policy in the coming weeks. Source: Google is hiding 'coronavirus' apps from the Play Store – and it's not alone (TechRadar)
  2. These Crappy Android Cleaner Apps Are Actually Malware While the latest Android malware you should look out for hasn’t been as popular as the scammy apps that recently drove 382+ million downloads, it’s plenty serious. Security researchers from Trend Micro recently called out a number of Android apps—with more than 470,000 total downloads combined—for being bogus system-cleaning utilities that actually had the potential to install more than 3,000 other malware apps on a user’s device. Worse, these shitty apps could also log into these other shitty apps using your Facebook or Google credentials to help perpetuate advertising fraud (and likely get the malware’s creators a decent payout, until caught). As Trend Micro describes: "Based on our analysis, the 3,000 malware variants or malicious payloads (detected by Trend Micro as AndroidOS_BoostClicker.HRX) that can be possibly downloaded to an affected device with this campaign pretend to be system applications that do not show app icons on the device launcher or application list. The cybercriminals behind this campaign can use the affected device to post fake positive reviews in favor of the malicious apps, as well as perform multiple ad fraud techniques by clicking on the ads that pop up." Though odds are good that you haven’t been infected by the original apps or the malware they dump on your device, here’s a quick list of the apps you’d want to look out for (just in case): Shoot Clean-Junk Cleaner,Phone Booster,CPU Cooler Super Clean Lite- Booster, Clean&CPU Cooler Super Clean-Phone Booster,Junk Cleaner&CPU Cooler Quick Games-H5 Game Center Rocket Cleaner Rocket Cleaner Lite Speed Clean-Phone Booster,Junk Cleaner&App Manager LinkWorldVPN H5 gamebox What’s more important in this case is Trend Micro’s takeaways for avoiding shitty apps like these on the Google Play Store. But first, I’m going to give you my advice: You don’t need cleaner apps for your Android. Sample size of one here, but I’ve never used (or needed) a cleaner app in all the countless years I’ve used Android, and my devices have never suffered. Besides, you’re only asking for trouble if you actually think that an app with a scammy-sounding title like “Super Clean-Phone Booster,Junk Cleaner&CPU Cooler” is going to do anything helpful for your phone. If you really, really feel like your device’s performance is terrible, consider backing up your photos and videos to the cloud, factory reset your device, and set it up from scratch again. Odds are good your device will still feel slow, since newer apps and operating system updates might have more demanding requirements than when you first purchased your smartphone, but you might at least be able to clear up some system resources by mass-clearing out any background apps you forgot about. And if your phone was nearly maxed out with data, clearing up some space might make Android feel a little faster. As for Trend Micro, they have a great observation about how it’s difficult to verify an app’s legitimacy by only looking at its reviews and ratings—if you’re just focusing on numbers and stars, that is. "Verifying an app’s legitimacy is typically done by checking user-created reviews on the Play Store. However, in this particular case, the malicious app is capable of downloading payloads that can post fake reviews unbeknownst to the user. Despite the slew of positive reviews, it does leave some red flags — even though different users left positive reviews, the comments they leave contain the same, exact text: ‘Great, works fast and good.’ They also gave the app the same four-star rating." As always, stick to downloading apps from Google Play and turn off your device’s ability to install apps from unknown sources, if you’ve ever used that to sideload an app and forgot to reset it. When you’re considering installing a new app on your device, even from Google Play, ask yourself whether it’s truly necessary. Do a web search to see if more trustworthy alternatives exist from well-known app developers and brands. Read the reviews to see if they sound off. Has the app been around for years and received regular updates, or is this an app’s very first version—and, somehow, it’s racked up a ton of reviews despite only being a few days old? Unfortunately, the onus is on you to keep your device free of crappy apps. Google can help, but it can’t catch everything in advance—as we’ve seen. And make sure you’re giving your friends this advice, too; you might be smart, but your loved ones who are a bit less tech-savvy are probably going crazy with cleaner and other crapware downloads. Help them! Source
  3. Google releases a trio of apps designed to help curb your phone addiction For the last couple of years, Google has been addressing phone addiction concerns via initiatives like Digital Wellbeing. Since then, the feature has seen numerous additions and tweaks. Most recently, we've seen additions like a Focus mode, a thirty-minute pause to Wind Down, and the launch of a standalone initiative dubbed Digital Wellbeing Experiments. Today, Google has taken yet another step in curbing phone addiction by releasing a trio of apps meant to address the issue directly. The three apps are as follows: Envelope Activity Bubbles Screen Stopwatch First up, Envelope, supported only on the Pixel 3a currently, transforms one's phone into a device that is capable of doing the bare essentials. The implementation is certainly interesting; you basically print out an envelope and insert your Pixel 3a inside it. Leaving the fingerprint reader and the main camera uncovered, the enveloped phone will allow you to make calls, check the time, and snap some photos and videos, all with some caveats. It sounds weird, but here's a video demonstration of the application: Then we have Activity Bubbles. This app strives to present a visual representation of your phone usage through bubbles that grow larger as your phone usage increases. Screen Stopwatch does something similar, but instead, it displays the time you've used your phone. From the moment you unlock the phone, the app begins to count the time and like Activity Bubbles, it displays it via a live wallpaper on your home screen. Activity Bubbles Screen Stopwatch All three applications are under the umbrella of Digital Wellbeing Experiments and you can grab them for free on the Play Store (links above). However, as stated before, Envelope is Pixel 3a exclusive right now. Source: Google releases a trio of apps designed to help curb your phone addiction (Neowin)
  4. What Apps Do You Wish Linux Had, Or Can’t Find a Replacement For? If you could magically, instantly, create any sort of app for the Linux desktop right now, what would it be? This question has been tumbling around my brain all weekend thanks to some new (totally spammy) comments being left on an article of mine from 2013 — an article in which I decried the lack of “simple, purposeful” Linux desktop apps. Now, don’t misunderstand my intention in asking you what you’d create if you could. I am not saying Linux has an app gap. I am not implying that open-source suffers from any sort of major software malaise. Those of us who use Linux full time know that we’re not short of drop-in replacements for a broad range of well-known software types. GIMP is, for most of us, every bit as capable as Adobe Photoshop; Kdenlive, Blender and Lightworks all cater to different types of Linux-based video editors; and between Geary, Nylas N1, Evolution, Thunderbird, Sylpheed, K9, there’s barely any e-mail need left uncatered for. No, I’m asking more about tools that fill a specific need in a specific way. “App” apps if you will. What sort of app do you find yourself searching for only to come up empty? LINUX Y U NO MEME APP? There are apps on my phone I can’t wait to use on the desktop I used to really, really long for a desktop meme-maker. Why? App envy. I subscribe to many awesome sites, like Lifehacker, that spotlight awesome apps. I used to see really nifty meme generators that were Windows and Mac OS X only. I really wanted someone to create a simple GTK+ app that could let me hammer out impact bold witticisms over a well established meme template, and let me quickly upload my creations to sites like imgur, in-app. I’ve since outgrown that desire. A desktop meme maker would be overkill now that many competent online tools exist for the job. But I feel the point I was making still (somewhat) stands: there are apps that I love using on mobile platforms for which a decent, comparable alternative on the Linux desktop is (currently) missing. Hope for the future There’s reason to be hopeful. Though I’d wager that native app development for Ubuntu on Phones and Tablets is far scarcer than it should be, the lure of Convergence is poised to bring apps like Dekko, Music and Calendar to the Ubuntu desktop. One of my favorite Ubuntu Touch apps is Pockit, an offline-equipped Pocket reader, one I’d dearly love to see make the transition (Pocket offer a native desktop app for OS X). Snaps will also offer app makers a really clean, sane way to distribute software free of the usual packaging hurdles and distribution headaches. Back to the question, and over to you But back to the question: If you could make any sort of native app for your Linux desktop what would it be? Share your app ideas, inspirations, rants, wants, mockups, etc. in the comments section of source article and please do mention in the comments section below. To keep this a realistic discussion — app developers be lurking — let’s avoid the usual clamour for Adobe products and focus on more general themes, such as “a photo manager comparable to iPhoto”, “a native GTK+ Pocket app” , “an e-mail client that handles Exchange”, etc. Source
  5. If you’re running Android 10, several apps now give you the option to retain app data when you uninstall them. This allows you to reinstall the app at a later time and resume from where you left off. Right now, the feature is not widely available but is available in a couple of apps including WhatsApp. According to Android Police, which was tipped off about the new feature, when you uninstall one of the compatible apps from the home screen or app settings menu a pop-up will appear with a checkbox. The checkbox label will ask if you want to retain the data and it’ll let you know how much storage it’s using up. If you uninstall an app directly from the Play Store, however, you will not be presented with the option to retain the data. Aside from having your data ready to resume usage of apps, the feature could also be useful in those situations where you need to make room on your device for another app. By retaining app data, you can retrieve space by removing the app but not have to start over again when you re-install it. The feature should also be handy if there’s a bug that can only be fixed by re-installing the app, using this option, you don’t lose your data. Right now, the apps that use this feature are very limited with WhatsApp and ASR Voice Recorder being known to use it. Hopefully, other developers will decide to add this option to their apps and it’s likely they will as the usage of Android 10 grows. Source: 1. Apps on Android 10 allow you to retain data after uninstalling (via Neowin) 2. Some apps like WhatsApp offer to keep app data when uninstalled in Android 10 (via Android Police)
  6. Bitdefender researchers recently analyzed 25 apps that made it into Google Play, at least for a time, packing aggressive adware SDKs that bombarded users with ads and avoided removal by hiding their presence. Cumulatively, the apps were apparently downloaded almost 700,000 times by Google Play users. While Google has gone to great lengths to ban malicious or potentially unwanted applications from the official Android app store, malware developers are nothing if not imaginative when coming up with new ideas to dodge Google Play Protect. Some of the key techniques found for dodging security vetting revolve around using open source utility libraries (used by Evernote, Twitter, Dropbox, etc.) to run jobs in the background, using different developer names to submit identical code, and even hiding code that is triggered remotely by command & control servers. Key techniques found for dodging security vetting: Main logic is encrypted and loaded dynamically Check that system time is at least 18 hours after a specific time using a hardcoded numerical value for the time (not a time object), then it starts hiding its presence Use an open source utility library (used by Evernote, Twitter, Dropbox, etc.) to run jobs in the background Longer display time between ads (up to 350 minutes) Adware SDK, written in Kotlin, with debug symbols present and lack of obfuscation, possibly mimicking clean SDKs Use different developers to submit identical code base Hiding code that is triggered remotely by server config or command, no more used timers Uploading an initially clean application and then adding a malicious update For a more detailed technical analysis, please check out the technical paper below: Dozens of Apps Still Dodging Google’s Vetting System Source
  7. Every Android device comes preloaded with a few different sets of apps, some chosen by the OEM, some by the cell carrier, and usually a set of Google apps. We’ve now learned precisely which apps Google has mandated inclusion on Android 10 and Android Go phones with Google services, which includes some surprising additions. 9to5Google was provided a copy of the latest version of the Google Mobile Services (GMS) agreement that OEMs have to abide by. This document lays out requirements for Android device makers, and it reveals a lot of interesting information about what device makers have to be compliant with. In the document, we found several sections laying out the default apps for Android 10 and Android Go devices. Android 10 Google apps For a new device to be compliant with Google’s rules and provide Google services, OEMs need to include a minimum set of Google apps — or “Core apps” — at first boot. Over the years this list has evolved, and we now have the most recent list of required Google apps for Android 10 devices. Of course, as some of these apps may not be available in all countries, Google allows OEMs to not include them if that is the case. Google Play Store Google Search Chrome Browser Google Drive Gmail Google Duo Maps Google Play Music Google Photos Google Play Movies YouTube Just below the list, in our copy of the document, there’s a note about a change that hasn’t gone into effect yet. Apparently beginning next month, YouTube Music will be a “Core app,” replacing Google Play Music. YouTube previously outlined that change publicly, though there was no date attached in their announcement. Another interesting footnote reveals that, in November of last year, Google Duo replaced Hangouts as a Core app for “non-Telephony” devices, like tablets. The timing of this change actually predates our original report on the shutdown of Google Hangouts ‘classic’ by almost a month. Note on Android Auto Further down in the document, there’s also a special note about Android Auto. According to the documentation, all devices launching on or upgrading to Android 10 — excluding Android Go phones and non-telephony devices like tablets — “MUST preload the Android Auto app as a privileged, headless Core service app in the system image.” By “headless,” they most likely mean that there’s no app icon in the app drawer, normally used to launch the “phone screen” experience for Android Auto, which is slowly being deprecated in favor of Google Assistant Driving Mode. This also lines up with some changes that happened to Android Auto during the Android Q Beta period that led to the app’s icon disappearing from the app drawer for some. Regardless, this means that all Android 10 devices will be able to connect to an Android Auto head unit without needing to first install the Android Auto app. Android Go Google apps Elsewhere in the document, we find a list of the Google applications required to be included on Android Go phones. Below the list, there’s a note that Gallery Go is only a “Core app” as of the beginning of next month. It’s interesting that Files by Google, previously known as “Files Go,” is not considered a “Core app” for Android Go phones. Gboard (lightweight version for Go) Assistant Go Chrome Gallery Go Gmail Go Google Go Maps Go Play Store YouTube Go (or YouTube if allowed in country) Source: These are the new default Google apps for Android 10 and Android Go (via 9to5Google)
  8. Facebook said that it's suspended tens of thousands of apps as a result of an investigation into its software developer ecosystem that was launched following the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The suspended apps are associated with 400 developers, the company said. Facebook also banned a number of apps for various inappropriate uses of data. Facebook on Friday said that it's suspended tens of thousands of apps as a result of an investigation into its software developer ecosystem that was launched following last year's Cambridge Analytica scandal. "To date, this investigation has addressed millions of apps," the company said in a blog post. "Of those, tens of thousands have been suspended for a variety of reasons while we continue to investigate." Facebook began the probe after data firm Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed the data of 87 million Facebook users and used it, in part, to target ads for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election. The suspended apps are associated with 400 developers and were booted for a variety of reasons, Facebook said. Some failed to respond to Facebook's request for information. The company said it also banned a number of apps for "inappropriately sharing data obtained from us, making data publicly available without protecting people's identity or something else that was in clear violation of our policies." Facebook has also sued a number of developers for failing to cooperate with the investigation, using their apps to spread malware or to scrape user data from Facebook, among other reasons. Source
  9. In the wake of the hearings about Facebook’s new Libra blockchain, it is more important than ever that we all understand the difference between trustworthy and trustless apps. A trustworthy app is an app whose developers are known and trusted by the community. The developer’s reputations and businesses are on the line, so they are motivated to make sure their applications have few bugs and no malicious code. A trustless app is an app whose code is open source, so that the community can see for themselves that the code has few bugs and no malicious code. Trustless apps are cryptographically signed by the developers so that users know that the application they download corresponds to the open source code. Trustless apps also don’t move user data unless it is encrypted by keys only the user holds. Facebook is at best a trustworthy app. They say they will keep our information secure, and our only choice is to trust them. When they inevitably fail to secure user data, congress comes down hard on them, but fails to understand the problem. User data should be trustless. Which is better? Ideally an application is trustworthy and trustless. It is open source and manages user data properly, which can be verified by the users and community. It also means that the developers aren’t anonymous and are available in case something goes wrong. However, if you have to choose between a trustworthy and a trustless app, trustless is better every time. “Don’t trust, verify” is the best motto when it comes to your private data. For this reason Bitcoin is better than banks, and opensource security software will always be safer than proprietary solutions. Stay safe out there and always do your own research! Source
  10. Every installation of Windows 10 includes a huge collection of built-in apps. Some are Universal apps that are updated from the Microsoft Store. Others are legacy apps that hang around because other programs expect them to be there. If you prefer a tidy system, many (but not all) of these apps can be uninstalled, especially if you prefer a third-party alternative. This gallery offers a comprehensive look at how to unclutter your copy of Windows 10. Most (but not all) Windows 10 apps can be uninstalled Microsoft has done a decent job of migrating the old Add-Remove Programs dialog box to the new Windows 10 user experience: Settings > Apps > Apps & Features. Click any app in that list and, most of the time, you'll expose an Uninstall button like the one shown here. Using that button, you can systematically remove most of Microsoft's built-in apps. Most, not all. As you'll see in this gallery, however, the Uninstall button is missing from the listings for a small but significant number of built-in apps. Uninstalling a Windows 10 Universal app removes it from your user profile, but it doesn't remove it from the system. If you set up an additional user account, you'll need to go through the uninstall routine again. <snip> Poster's note: The original article is a 20 part gallery. To view the full article, please visit the link below. Source: Windows 10 apps: Which are worth keeping? Which ones should you dump? (ZDNet - Ed Bott)
  11. Hello So i have a few apps that i've set them to start at windows start-up but they wont start right away but only after i've inserted my windows login details Is there a way, while i login to windows 10 for those apps to allready be started and ready ? Thanks
  12. A day after Facebook was dinged for shady iOS distribution techniques of its data-collecting research app, Google was discovered using the same methods for its own app. Google has found itself in hot water for a research app that may have violated Apple’s policies by collecting user data in exchange for gift cards. The tech giant said it has now disabled Screenwise Meter“audience measurement” app – which voluntarily collects data from users’ phones, browsers and even routers – from iOS devices. The app was using a similar method as the recently-highlighted “Facebook Research” app to sidestep the Apple App Store’s strict data collection policies, according to a TechCrunch report. This involved distributing the app via Apple’s developer enterprise program, meant for companies who want to create apps for their own employees. “The Screenwise Meter iOS app should not have operated under Apple’s developer enterprise program — this was a mistake, and we apologize,” a Google spokesperson told Threatpost. “We have disabled this app on iOS devices.” Developer Enterprise Program The developer enterprise program enables companies to create apps for their own employees – so the apps don’t go through the public App Store. Apple has strict data-collection policies as part of its developer policies, which bar the collection of data about usage of other apps or data that’s not necessary for an app to function, as of June. “Apps should only request access to data relevant to the core functionality of the app, and should only collect and use data that is required to accomplish the relevant task,” according to Apple’s policy. It was discovered earlier this week that Facebook had used a similar method for its own A Tuesday TechCrunch report uncovered that the social-media giant has been paying users (between the ages of 13 to 35) up to $20 a month to install the app, referred to as Project Atlas, on iOS or Android. The app gave Facebook full data access – including how and when users utilize the apps on their phone, their internet browsing history, and even screenshots of their Amazon order-history page, according to the report. In response, Apple revoked Facebook’s enterprise iOS developer certificateand banned the app from its ecosystem. A Facebook spokesperson however told Threatpost that key facts about the market research program are being ignored. “Despite early reports, there was nothing ‘secret’ about this; it was literally called the Facebook Research app,” the spokesperson said. “It wasn’t ‘spying,’ as all of the people who signed up to participate went through a clear on-boarding process asking for their permission, and were paid to participate. Finally, less than 5 percent of the people who chose to participate in this market research program were teens. All of them with signed parental consent forms.” Apple did not respond to a request for comment from Threatpost about Google’s app. Screenwise Meter Google’s own app came to the forefront a day after Facebook’s app was banned from the iOS ecosystem. The app, which has been running since 2012, dishes out gift cards to users in exchange for their data across their mobile devices, web browsers, routers and even televisions. Screenwise Meter appears to still be available on Google Play, where a description of the app reads: “The Screenwise Meter mobile app is used to manage registered panelists’ participation in market research panels. If you are not a registered panelist with Google, this app will not function; please do not download or use this app. This app works in sync with external Screenwise measurement devices.” In order to download the app, Google gives users a special code and they can then go through the registration process using Apple’s Enterprise Certificate. This is a similar process to how Facebook’s research app was downloaded. According to the app’s panelist eligibility requirements, users must be 18 years or older while “household-invited secondary panelists” must be 13 years or older, with parental consent. A Google spokesperson told Threatpost that the app “is completely voluntary and always has been.” “We’ve been upfront with users about the way we use their data in this app, we have no access to encrypted data in apps and on devices, and users can opt out of the program at any time,” the spokesperson said. Source
  13. Hello ! Can u guys name some apps that can limit and controll wich devices are connected to my wifi network ? If possible, i want a desktop app that can show me like : Hey ! This device (phone, tablet, whatever....) is connected to your wifi net : and then show me some options like letting that device to stay connected to internet for an amount of time a day and to be able to turn off internet remotely for that device/s I knew i used in the past an windows app something called Connect......and whatever but pls, show some other apps I want as many options as possible Thank u and Merry Christmass !
  14. The Federal Trade Commission is being asked to investigate how apps that may violate federal privacy laws that dictate the data that can be collected on children ended up in the family section of the Google Play store. A group of 22 consumer advocates filed a formal complaint against Google on Wednesday and asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether the company misled parents by promoting children’s apps that may violate the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and Google’s own policies. “The business model for the Play Store’s Family section benefits advertisers, developers and Google at the expense of children and parents,” Josh Golin, executive director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, said in a statement. “Google puts its seal of approval on apps that break the law, manipulate kids into watching ads and making purchases.” Among the examples cited in the complaint are a “Preschool Education Center” app and a “Top 28 Nursery Rhymes and Song” app that access location, according to an analysis by privacy research collective AppCensus. Other apps, including "Baby Panda's Carnival" and "Design It Girl - Fashion Salon," were among those listed that sent device identification data to advertising technology companies, allowing them to build a profile of the user. The complaint also spotlights several apps that may not be age appropriate, including “Dentist Game for Kids,” which lets the player give the virtual patient shots in the back of their throat. Another game, “Doctor X & the Urban Heroes,” requires players to cut clothing off of a patient. A number of apps were also spotlighted based on parent reviews complaining about excessive in-app purchases. A Google spokesperson said the company takes “these issues very seriously and continues to work hard to remove any content that is inappropriately aimed at children from our platform.” “Parents want their children to be safe online and we work hard to protect them. Apps in our Designed for Families program have to comply with strict policies on content, privacy, and advertising, and we take action on any policy violations that we find,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement. Google marks apps that are suitable for children with a star and the recommended age group. Google said it removed thousands of apps this year from its family program after it found policy violations. In addition, Google said one-third of applicants to the program were rejected in 2018. The complaint is just the latest scrutiny of the Google Play store. Earlier this year, researchers analyzed 6,000 free children’s Android apps and found that more than half shared details with outside companies in ways that could violate COPPA. A study from the University of Michigan looked at 135 apps marketed by Google to children under the age of 5 and found that 95 percent of the apps had some kind of advertising. Additionally, more than half had pop-up ads that were difficult for a young child to close, according to the study. And in September, Google was named in a lawsuit filed by New Mexico’s attorney general, accusing app maker Tiny Lab Productions of sending location data of its young users to other companies. The FTC has a history of taking action against app makers who have been found to violate COPPA. TinyCo, a company that makes gaming apps including Tiny Pets, Tiny Zoo, Tiny Monsters, Tiny Village and Mermaid Resort, was fined $300,000 in 2014 and ordered to delete any information it collected from children under the age of 13. The app had offered extra in-game currency if users shared their email addresses, however there was not an option for parental consent, according to the FTC. In 2016, the FTC settled a case against InMobi for $950,000 for tracking the location of children using the app without first getting parental consent. Google removed an app based on the show “Blaze and the Monster machines” in January after a sinister recording of a voice in the app threatening children with a knife went viral, prompting parents in the U.K. to complain. source
  15. Facebook will now freely allow developers to build competitors to its features upon its own platform. Today Facebook announced it will drop Platform Policy section 4.1, which stipulates “Add something unique to the community. Don’t replicate core functionality that Facebook already provides.” That policy felt pretty disingenuous given how aggressively Facebook has replicated everyone else’s core functionality, from Snapchat to Twitter and beyond. Facebook had previously enforced the policy selectively to hurt competitors that had used its Find Friends or viral distribution features. Apps like Vine, Voxer, MessageMe, Phhhoto and more had been cut off from Facebook’s platform for too closely replicating its video, messaging or GIF creation tools. Find Friends is a vital API that lets users find their Facebook friends within other apps. The move will significantly reduce the risk of building on the Facebook platform. It could also cast it in a better light in the eyes of regulators. Anyone seeking ways Facebook abuses its dominance will lose a talking point. And by creating a more fair and open platform where developers can build without fear of straying too close to Facebook’s history or road map, it could reinvigorate its developer ecosystem. A Facebook spokesperson provided this statement to TechCrunch: The change comes after Facebook locked down parts of its platform in April for privacy and security reasons in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Diplomatically, Facebook said it didn’t expect the change to impact its standing with regulators but it’s open to answering their questions. Earlier in April, I wrote a report on how Facebook used Policy 4.1 to attack competitors it saw gaining traction. The article, “Facebook shouldn’t block you from finding friends on competitors,” advocated for Facebook to make its social graph more portable and interoperable so users could decamp to competitors if they felt they weren’t treated right in order to coerce Facebook to act better. The policy change will apply retroactively. Old apps that lost Find Friends or other functionality will be able to submit their app for review and, once approved, will regain access. Friend lists still can’t be exported in a truly interoperable way. But at least now Facebook has enacted the spirit of that call to action. Developers won’t be in danger of losing access to that Find Friends Facebook API for treading in its path. Below is an excerpt from our previous reporting on how Facebook has previously enforced Platform Policy 4.1 that before today’s change was used to hamper competitors: Voxer was one of the hottest messaging apps of 2012, climbing the charts and raising a $30 million round with its walkie-talkie-style functionality. In early January 2013, Facebook copied Voxer by adding voice messaging into Messenger. Two weeks later, Facebook cut off Voxer’s Find Friends access. Voxer CEO Tom Katis told me at the time that Facebook stated his app with tens of millions of users was a “competitive social network” and wasn’t sharing content back to Facebook. Katis told us he thought that was hypocritical. By June, Voxer had pivoted toward business communications, tumbling down the app charts and leaving Facebook Messenger to thrive. MessageMe had a well-built chat app that was growing quickly after launching in 2013, posing a threat to Facebook Messenger. Shortly before reaching 1 million users, Facebook cut off MessageMe‘s Find Friends access. The app ended up selling for a paltry double-digit millions price tag to Yahoo before disintegrating. Phhhoto and its fate show how Facebook’s data protectionism encompasses Instagram. Phhhoto’s app that let you shoot animated GIFs was growing popular. But soon after it hit 1 million users, it got cut off from Instagram’s social graph in April 2015. Six months later, Instagram launched Boomerang, a blatant clone of Phhhoto. Within two years, Phhhoto shut down its app, blaming Facebook and Instagram. “We watched [Instagram CEO Kevin] Systrom and his product team quietly using PHHHOTO almost a year before Boomerang was released. So it wasn’t a surprise at all . . . I’m not sure Instagram has a creative bone in their entire body.” Vine had a real shot at being the future of short-form video. The day the Twitter-owned app launched, though, Facebook shut off Vine’s Find Friends access. Vine let you share back to Facebook, and its six-second loops you shot in the app were a far cry from Facebook’s heavyweight video file uploader. Still, Facebook cut it off, and by late 2016, Twitter announced it was shutting down Vine. Source
  16. The Chinese market is very important to Apple. Apple continues to remove third-party applications from the Chinese version of the App Store for violating its terms of service. It reportedly removed 718 apps this week. This isn’t the first time there’s been a purge from this software store. But this time none of the applications were breaking Chinese law, just Apple’s own rules. Apple insists that all iOS software updates come through its App Store. The software just purged had all found ways around this rule, according to The Telegraph. These weren’t offerings from no-name developers. Some well-known chinese’s businesses saw their apps pulled, including the Sogou search engine and the Pinduoduo social commerce company. When something is removed from the App Store, the change just prevents new downloads. It doesn’t affect copies already installed on iPhones and iPads. Far from the largest such App Store purge A mere 700+ applications doesn’t hold a candle to the 25,000 apps kicked out of the Chinese App Store this summer. Many of these were gambling related, which is illegal in that country outside of state-sanctioned lotteries. China has been urging Apple to take greater control over what’s in its online software store. Clearly, it’s trying. And with good reason: CEO Tim Cook has often said his company considers China its biggest potential market. Source
  17. We’ve all heard stories of daring robberies like that of D.B. Cooper, and in a way are almost swept away by the romantic anarchy of them. But there’s another end to that spectrum as well: the capers that, despite their size, are so mundane that getting a job at a cracker factory would be wild in comparison. Case in point is the arrest of 29-year-old Daigo Sugano for attempting to cheat one of Japan’s largest shopping center chains, Aeon, out of roughly 5,380,000 yen (US$47,000) in loyalty points. Using the Aeon app, people can receive two yen ($0.02) worth of points simply by setting foot in one of the company’s many malls and department stores. Under this program, Sugano stands accused of pretending to have entered an Aeon establishment nearly 2.7 million times. Time constraints aside, the likelihood of Sugano actually accomplishing this is next to zero as all of the stores he “went to” were on the southern island of Kyushu, clear across the country from his home in the northernmost island of Hokkaido. He reportedly did this by faking the GPS data on his computers to appear as if he entered an Aeon when he really didn’t. The large numbers were achieved with the help of 45 laptops and about 1,000 accounts. After allegedly having successfully stolen points amounting to 140 yen ($1.23) he appeared to have gone for one big score. And despite his efforts to spread the wealth among fake accounts, the rapidly increasing number of visits was still enough to raise a flag at Aeon who reported the anomaly to the police. At this point you might suspect Sugano had some ultimate goal with his significant sum of cash – perhaps funneling it to an offshore account and then moving to the freedom of a tropical island. Or could there have been an urgent need like a sick relative with expensive medical bills? “I was going to use the points for shopping,” Sugano reportedly told police while admitting to the charges of fraud and attempted fraud filed against him. Readers of the news online were less than sympathetic for the accused, especially as he was reported to be “unemployed” at the time of the arrest. The investigation is still ongoing, but it at least seems as if the police have found their man. And with a conviction, another criminal’s dream of hitting the big-time will have gone up in smoke. There are those who use point programs like Aeon’s to their fullest and earn a nice, legally-acquired chunk of change because of it. However, let this case be a reminder to those who are handed a stamp card at a sandwich shop and think that’s their ticket to ill-gotten riches. It just isn’t worth it. Source: Sora News 24
  18. (Reuters Health) - Those cute little apps your child plays with are most likely flooded with ads - some of which are totally age-inappropriate, researchers have found. A stunning 95 percent of commonly downloaded apps that are marketed to or played by children age five and under contain at least one type of advertising, according to a new report in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics. And that goes for the apps labeled as educational, too, researchers say. Often the ads are intrusive, spread across in a banner or even interrupting play, said study coauthor Dr. Jenny Radesky, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Michigan and the University of Michigan C. S. Mott Children’s Hospital. Perhaps the most insidious ads are the ones you need to click a little “x” to get rid of, Radesky said. “The little ‘x’ doesn’t show up for about 20 seconds,” she explained. “If you’re a 2- or 3-year-old you might think the ad is a part of the game. And you don’t know what to do. You might click on the ad and that could take you to the app store. Many of these ads require you to do things before the ‘x’ will appear.” Some ads are for products that aren’t appropriate for kids, Radesky said. “I’ve seen banner ads for bipolar treatment in some of these apps,” she added. One app geared to young children had a popup that linked to a political game showing “a cartoon version of Trump trying not to push the red button that will send nukes,” Radesky said. “My son asked, ‘what is he talking about, is he going to blow up the world?’” One big problem with ads in apps aimed at very young children is the kids often can’t tell where the game leaves off and the ad begins. “There’s science to show that children aged 8 and younger can’t distinguish between media content and advertising,” Radesky said. Radesky originally was working on a study to explore how parents use their mobile devices. After noticing the kid-oriented apps on the parents’ phones, she and her colleagues decided this was a topic that should be looked at. The researchers scrutinized 135 of the most downloaded free and paid apps in the “age five and under” category in the Google Play app store. Among them were free apps with 5 to 10 million downloads and paid apps with 50,000 to 100,000 downloads. Of the 135 apps, 129, or 95 percent, contained at least one type of advertising, which included use of popular cartoon characters to sell products, teasers suggesting the purchase of the “full” version of the app, and advertising videos that interrupted play to promote in-app purchases or purchases of other products. “What we found,” Radesky said, “was lots and lots of advertising.” The new findings “are frightening,” said Dr. Albert Wu, an internist and professor of health policy & management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “This strikes me as a Trojan horse for tots. Even being charitable to all these companies, I think these apps are deceptive at best and unethical at worst.” Wu was especially disappointed to find “this even applies to apps labeled as educational. It’s giving ‘educational’ a bad name. And it really does beg for a bigger role for the government in regulation even if there are some voices out there calling for less government. I think it would be important for the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) to step in.” The idea that there is so much advertising in the apps, “is giving me even more reason to want to restrict screen use in my own children,” Wu said. The new findings have prompted advocates to file a complaint with the FTC. The Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, along with other child advocacy groups, plans to file the complaint in conjunction with the release of the study results. Source
  19. Mobile app developers are going through the same growing pains that the webdev scene has gone through in the 90s and 2000s when improper input validation led to many security incidents. But while mobile devs have learned to filter user input for dangerous strings, some of these devs have not learned their lesson very well. Business logic on the client-side... like it's 1999 In a research paper published earlier this year, Abner Mendoza and Guofei Gu, two academics from Texas A&M University, have highlighted the problem of current-day mobile apps that still include business logic (such as user input validation, user authentication, and authorization) inside the client-side component of their code, instead of its server-side section. This regretable situation leaves the users of these mobile applications vulnerable to simple HTTP request parameter injection attacks that could have been easily mitigated if an application's business logic would have been embedded inside its server-side component, where most of these operations belong. But while leaving business logic on the client-side might sound more of an app design mistake, it is actually a big security issue. For example, an attacker can analyze a mobile app (that he installed on his device) and determine the format of the web requests sent to the mobile app's servers after the user's input is validated. The attacker can then modify a few parameters of these requests in order to poison the desired action Millions of apps potentially affected In a research paper titled "Mobile Application Web API Reconnaissance: Web-to-Mobile Inconsistencies & Vulnerabilities," Mendoza and Gu have recently taken a look at this ancient, yet still valid, attack vector. The two researchers created a system named WARDroid that mass-analyzes mobile apps, determines the format of their web requests, and tries to determine if these are vulnerable to these types of attacks. Researchers said they tested WARDroid on a set of 10,000 random popular apps from the Google Play Store. "We detected problematic logic in APIs used in over 4,000 apps, including 1,743 apps that use unencrypted HTTP communication," researchers said. Bt since WARDroid was not a secure indicator that the app's communications template was vulnerable, the two researchers also manually analyzed 1,000 random apps from the ones flagged by their system, confirming that 962 used APIs with validation logic problems. Extrapolating this numbers to the whole Google Play Store, the two academics believe millions of apps might be vulnerable. Issues found in banking and e-commerce apps For example, some of the apps where they found problematic API logic include a banking app, where they said they were able to modify transaction details. Similarly, they also found validation logic flaws in gift card apps that allowed them to load a test account with money to spend at various stores, and similar validation logic flaws in the communications model of apps build using the Shopify SDK. This latter flaw allowed the research team to buy products for negative prices, creating discounts inside Shopify-based mobile stores. "You never wanna trust the client input. This is a harsh lesson that should have already been learned from the lessons on the web platform and web applications," Mendoza said on stage while presenting his research at the 39th IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, held in San Francisco two weeks ago. "This work highlights that this continues to be the problem —input validation and just being very cognisant of validating or sanitizing input," said Mendoza, also highlighting that server-side business logic should be as strict as the client-side validation logic, if not stricter. Source
  20. Dropbox has announced in a blog post today that it's making significant improvements to its mobile apps to improve the collaboration experience on the platform. The new improvements to Dropbox come just one day after Microsoft announced its own set of improvements to OneDrive. For starters, the company is introducing a new File Activity feature. This will allow users to see all the actions taken by other teammates on each file. This includes the history of edits and shares for all users, but users in the Dropbox Professional and Business Advanced tiers will even be able to see the viewer history from the file preview without having to leave the app. This feature is rolling out to the iOS version of the app, but it will be coming to Android soon. The file preview page will also let users add comments and feedback to a file for other teammates to see, and the sharing experience has been made easier across the app, with more visible share buttons. The apps are also getting a redesigned home screen, which gathers the user's starred items and recent files in a centralized place. This should make it easier to find the most relevant files whenever the user opens the app. Lastly, the company says it recently added drag and drop support in iOS 11, which works inside the app and - on the iPad - across apps in split-screen mode. Source < Here >
  21. THE 25 BEST NEW APPS OF 2017 From all-new upstarts to dramatically improved old favorites, these apps for phones, tablets, PCs, and the web offer something for everyone. For all the talk of peak app, 2017 was a surprisingly inventive year for makers of apps and software, from the industry’s giants to intrepid startups. Many of this year’s best apps reflect broader trends in technology, including machine learning, augmented reality, cord cutting, and the rise of virtual assistants. Meanwhile, we’ve seen plenty of meaty improvements from apps that have been around for years. Here are the year’s best new apps, new software, and substantial updates. Productivity Boosters Talk to Google. Voice search on Android phones got a major overhaul this year with Google Assistant, but iPhone users needn’t feel left out. The standalone Google Assistant app for iOS has the same conversational skills, smart home controls, and ability to bring up personal info such as flight details and package arrivals. It also integrates with other Google apps such as YouTube and Google Maps, so while it’ll never have the same deep hardware integration as Apple’s Siri assistant, it might still be faster than tapping around on a touch screen. [iOS, Android] Clipboard on steroids. In one of the most clever applications of iOS 11’s new drag-and-drop feature, Yoink provides a central location for links, text snippets, images, and anything else you might want to drag between apps. You can load the app in Split View, as a Slide Over window, or as a “keyboard” along the bottom of the screen, and you can even look up stored items with iOS 11’s Spotlight Search. It’s an invaluable tool for folks who’ve gone all-in on iPad multitasking. [iOS] Firefox reborn. Although Firefox is more than 13 years old, Mozilla says version 57 is the most substantial upgrade to date, and it shows. The new Quantum browsing engine eliminates the slowdowns that were once a Firefox staple, and interface overhaul trades Firefox’s previously bubbly aesthetic for sharp edges and solid colors. The result is a more viable alternative to Google’s dominant Chrome browser, and a breath of fresh air in the desktop browser wars. [Windows, Mac, Linux] Google-ize your keyboard. Google’s Gboard software keyboard expanded far beyond the realm of typing with a slew of updates this year. Android users can now send stickers and Bitmoji into any app that supports image pasting, and can get suggested GIFs and emoji to share while typing. (It even recognizes hand-drawn emoji, in case that’s easier than searching.) On the iOS side, users can share YouTube and Google Maps links directly from the keyboard, and can also send hand-drawn images. If your phone doesn’t ship with Gboard built in, now’s the time to give it a try. [iOS, Android] Cintiq without the Cintiq. Astro HQ’s most brilliant new idea for Astropad, which lets you use an iPad as a graphics tablet for a Mac, was to repurpose the iPad’s front-facing camera as a button that provided access to settings without cluttering the screen. Sadly, Apple nixed the concept. Even so, Astropad does something really useful for artists who might otherwise drop a tidy sum for one of Wacom’s Cintiq tablets. And its makers dramatically improved its performance this year. It’s particularly at home on a 12.9-inch iPad Pro with a Pencil. [Astropad] News without the noise. The news app Nuzzel has been a useful aggregator of links from Facebook and Twitter since 2014, but those networks don’t always provide the most high-quality reads. That’s why Nuzzel added support for LinkedIn this year. The volume of content coming from LinkedIn tends to be lower, but the network’s professional vibe usually sets a higher bar for quality. Nuzzel added a dedicated section for videos to its apps this year as well. [iOS, Android] A Microsoft makeover for Android. Microsoft has experimented with alternative Android home screens, or “launchers,” a couple of times in recent years, but Microsoft Launcher is its best and most polished effort. Swipe right from the main screen, and you’ll get quick access to favorite apps, contacts, recent text messages, third-party widgets, and other important info. You can also pin those informational cards anywhere else on the home screen, and get a steady stream of gorgeous wallpapers from the web. Just be sure to dive into Launcher’s settings if you’d rather use another search engine besides Bing. [Android] Creative tools Add pizzazz to iPhone video. Apple’s own video editing app for iOS, Clips, turns out to be one of the best, allowing you to pan, zoom, add stickers, and translate speech to on-screen text. iPhone X users can also create “Selfie Scenes” that swap the background with a canned image in front-facing camera videos. Clips first launched in April, and received a major update in October, adding iCloud sync for edits, new stickers and soundtracks, and “artistic” filters that can make videos look like oil paintings or charcoal sketches. [iOS] Change your face. Using neural networks, FaceApp can analyze portrait images and change faces from frowning to smiling, young to old, or even man to woman. The fact that it actually works has helped propel FaceApp to more than 45 million downloads since its launch in January, but not without a couple of embarrassing missteps. The makers of Faceapp apologized in April for a “beautifying” filter that made black people’s faces look whiter, and again in August for a short-lived set of “ethnicity filters.” FaceApp encapsulates both the power of AI and the fallibility of the humans programming it. [iOS, Android] Industrial-strength phone photography. For a long time, VSCO’s image filters have been a favorite tool among serious smartphone photographers, but this year they became available for video as well. The video editor lets you make fine-grained adjustments to color and lighting, and of course it offers a slew of preset filters. The only catch? Video editing is behind a $20 per year VSCO X paywall. [iOS, Android] Every tool a cartoonist needs. Creating comics has always been an obvious application for the iPad Pro and Pencil. Weirdly, though, there hasn’t been a powerful app for that purpose until now. Clip Studio Paint EX is the first iPad version of the dominant comics-creation app, and although its creators have done little to rethink it for Apple’s tablet—its menus make it look like PC software—they’ve stuffed it with features, from sketching tools to word-balloon options to animation capabilities. After a free trial, Clip Studio is $9 a month, but it delivers a lot of bang for those nine bucks. [iOS] Shopping Assistants Assembly still required. As one of many apps that uses Apple’s ARKit framework, Ikea Place solves the age-old problem of figuring out what a piece of furniture would look like in your abode. Just pick an item from Ikea’s catalog, and the app will map it onto 3D space as you point your iPhone or iPad camera around. Although several other furniture apps also do this, Ikea gets credit for being among the first—and for willingly sparing customers from wandering the endless maze of its stores. [iOS] Travel agent in your pocket. Most flight search apps follow the same, stale formula: Enter the destination, enter the date, then sift through the results to find the most tolerable option. Hitlist takes a different approach, asking you to pick a destination, and then telling you the best time to travel there. The app also brings weekend getaways and other deals to the surface in case the urge to get out of town strikes. Although Hitlist first launched in 2014, it finally launched on Android this year. [iOS, Android] Great Entertainers A fresh take on TV. It isn’t the first streaming channel bundle to take on cable, but YouTube TV is the most polished of the bunch. The app for iOS and Android is a master class in balancing simplicity and complexity. Recordings, live channels, and suggestions appear up front, while sports teams, genres, channels, and other browsable menus hide behind the search button. Meanwhile, each individual content page provides a wellspring of supplemental details and related content. The $35 per month price tag—lower than other streaming bundles with a similar mix of channels—doesn’t hurt, either. [iOS, Android] TV Guide for the net. One of several apps that helps you navigate across streaming video services, Reelgood, is the most comprehensive with support for more than 250 video sources. You can create watch lists, get notified when new episodes arrive, filter out services you don’t care about, and browse through a long list of suggestions on what to watch. Once you’ve found something, Reelgood will take you directly to the appropriate streaming app. [iOS] Not so trivial. On some level, HQ Trivia is an ordinary multiple-choice trivia game, but it has a few standout features that have turned it into a phenomenon. There’s the lure of real money, shared between everyone who answers every question correctly, and the dad-like banter of host Scott Rogowsky, with whom people have become weirdly obsessed. Add in live chat among players and the game’s scheduled nature (3 p.m. and 9 p.m. Eastern weekdays, 9 p.m. weekends), and you have a recipe for over 100,000 players per session. Now all HQ has to do is figure out how to make money—and rein in any future CEO freakouts. [iOS] Highlights for children. Once exclusive to Amazon’s Fire tablets, Amazon Freetime arrived on Android this year to spare your kids from inappropriate content. The app acts as a portal to age-appropriate videos and websites, largely from established brands like Disney and Nickelodeon. A Freetime Unlimited subscription ($3 per month for Amazon Prime members, $5 per month for non-Prime members) adds even more content, including apps, games, and books. As an electronic babysitter, it beats sending your kids into the wilds of YouTube. [Android] Storytelling 3.0. Director Steven Soderbergh indulges his experimental side with Mosaic, a murder mystery in which you choose how the narrative plays out. It’s not exactly a Choose Your Own Adventure—the outcomes stay the same no matter which branch you follow—but it does allow you to decide which plotlines to focus on. Alternatively, you can go the completionist route and watch every video, or wait for Mosaic to appear in miniseries form on HBO next year. [iOS] Prime for your ears. If you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber, Amazon Music could be the best app you’re not using. It includes 2 million on-demand streaming tracks with no ads, plus the option to add millions more with a $10 per month Music Unlimited subscription. This year, Amazon added a built-in version of its Alexa assistant, letting you queue up music and control playback by voice. The Android version also gained support for Google Chromecast—a surprising addition given the two companies’ ongoing animus. [iOS, Android] Social Standouts Know your neighborhood. Whether it’s a genuine threat to Yelp or not, Facebook Local is a fine alternative for finding out what’s happening nearby. Beyond just restaurants and other local businesses, the app lets you browse through nearby events and of course invite your Facebook friends. Keep it in mind next time you’re figuring out what to do on the weekend. [iOS, Android] Networking without negativity. Unlike other social media apps, TBH set out with the explicit goal of making you feel better. The teen-centric app asks users to poll themselves about one another, but only provides positive questions, such as who’s the most well-rounded, or who is “wild like Tarzan.” Social media could use more good vibes like this, but whether TBH has staying power is another matter: Its App Store rankings have tanked since Facebook acquired the app in October. [iOS] The Kitchen Sink Blackmail yourself. Perhaps the most devious use of Fitbit to date, Lazy Jar asks you to put a “security deposit” on the line as you track weekly fitness goals over six months. Each time you fail, Lazy Jar takes some money out of the deposit, with 80% going to charity and 20% going to the developers. So whether you exercise or not, at least you can feel good about it. [iOS, Android] Outsmart your insurer. If you’ve ever had to jump through hoops just to have health insurance pay what it’s supposed to, Better might sound too good to be true. Just take a photo of your bill, and Better will go to work on getting you paid back. The company says it’s ideal for out-of-network services including therapy, optometry, and dental care, and while we haven’t tried it ourselves, TechCrunch’s Sarah Buhr reported getting a $1,000 out-of-network bill slashed to a couple hundred dollars through the app. Better takes a 10% cut, which seems like a fair deal, considering how much time health care bureaucracy can chew up. [iOS] Citizenship in your pocket. One of many apps to help channel outrage in the Trump era, 5 Calls presents a list of pressing political issues on which to call your representatives in Congress, along with direct contact numbers and a suggested script. (The app’s name comes from the idea that if you have five minutes to spare, you can make five phone calls.) So far, 5 Calls has logged nearly 2 million calls to Washington, and while it’s clearly a left-leaning app, TechCrunch notes that the open source code could be adapted by anyone along the political spectrum. [iOS] SOURCE About the author : Jared Newman covers apps and technology for Fast Company from his remote outpost in Cincinnati. He also writes for PCWorld and TechHive, and previously wrote for Time.com.
  22. How to remove built-in apps on Windows 10 This is a simple way to remove the apps without using tool and twerks Before starting these steps, make sure you close any running apps on your PC. Failing to do so can cause problems when you're uninstalling built-in apps. Right-click the Start button. Click Search. Right-click Windows PowerShell. Click Run as administrator. Type a command into PowerShell. For example Movies & TV by typing Get-AppxPackage *zunevideo* | Remove-AppxPackage Hit Enter on your keyboard. A notification will pop up below your command letting you know that the program is being uninstalled. That's all there is to it. You can search for the app, but it should no longer appear. The above command removes the Movies & TV app, and there are plenty more apps you can uninstall, as well. List of commands to remove Windows 10 apps: Here is a full list of built-in apps you can remove and the corresponding commands to type or copy and paste into PowerShell. To prevent Apps from Reinstalling when restart: To get the built in apps back working on windows Run powershell as admin typ th following command Source
  23. The “Unknown Sources” security option in Android is known by many. This is what needs to be ticked in order to install apps downloaded from outside of the Google Play Store, whether it’s an app that hasn’t officially rolled out yet, an app not available in your region, APKs from one of the Humble Mobile Bundles, or something else. In Android Oreo, Google has changed the way in which this works in order to make Android safer. Rather than being a single switch for all unknown sources, this option now comes in the form of an individual Install Unknown Apps permission that needs to be approved each time you install an app downloaded from outside of Google Play. “When used on a device running Android O and higher, hostile downloaders cannot trick the user into installing an app without having first been given the go-ahead,” states Android Security Product Manager Edward Cunningham on the Android Developers blog. This should mean that Oreo users won’t fall foul to installing a malicious app masquerading as something innocuous, just because they ticked a box for a completely different app sometime earlier. Like other permissions, a user can also revoke the Install Unknown Apps permission at any time. This change follows a number of recent Google efforts aimed at tightening up Android security, such as its Play Protect suite, which began rolling out a few weeks ago. As the owner of software that’s in operation on more than 2 billion devices, security is obviously an important issue for Google. In the post on the changes to unknown apps, Cunningham took the opportunity to reaffirm that the Play Store continues to be “one of the safest places” for Android users to install apps. Still, try to be mindful when installing anything on your phone. View: Original Article
  24. Caffeine is a free Android app that can prevent phone from going into sleep mode for specific apps. That means you can select individual apps and choose to keep the screen of your device on until you exit from those apps. It can also prevent the screen brightness level from going down after system display times out. This app can be very useful in scenarios when you want your phone to stay awake while using certain apps, but the phone keeps on going into the sleep mode due to default screen timeout settings. In that case, you have to manually change the screen timeout settings to use those apps uninterruptedly and revert back the settings after you have used those apps. This is where Caffeine fills in the gap as it simply gives you the option to select specific apps and then prevent phone from going into the sleep mode while you are using them. The best part is that you don’t have to play with your phone screen timeout settings as it will override screen timeout settings when you are on those apps and as soon as you exit from them the system screen timeout settings will come into play. This app reminds me of an Android app called Brightness Control which I reviewed earlier. This app allowed to set different brightness level for different Android apps. In this app, you can choose to select whether the device should be prevented from going into sleep mode or not while using specific apps. I will also recommend you to check out this tutorial which explains how to restrict background data usage by specific Android apps. How to use this app to prevent phone from going into sleep mode for specific apps: Getting started with Caffeine is really easy, just install it from the link at the end of this review and open it. Do note that users with Android 5.0 and above will first need to enable its Accessibility options from the settings. After that, you just need to toggle its “On” option on top of its main screen, as shown in the main screenshot above. This will activate Caffeine and now your phone will not sleep or even dim brightness. Do note that in this mode your phone will not go into the sleep mode as you haven’t selected any app. In order to choose apps, open its preferences screen and select “Activate caffeine for applications” option, as shown below. This will open another screen from which you can select apps. After selecting apps, simply press the back button of your phone and your preferences will be saved automatically. From now on, as long as Caffeine is activated in the background, your phone will not go into sleep mode as long as you are using the selected apps. Additional features of Caffeine: Can automatically start at boot. Can automatically activate and prevent your device from going into the sleep mode when connected to a power source. Choose to keep the device brightness unchanged or dim after the system display timeout. Widget in the Android Notification area which lets you quickly enable or disable Caffeine. A widget can also be added to your home screen which also lets you quickly toggle Caffeine. Verdict: In this article, I introduced you to a fantastic Android app which can prevent phone from going into sleep mode for specific apps. This app is really handy as you won’t have to change the default screen time out of your phone before using certain apps which require no interaction and your phone stubbornly falls into sleep mode due to screen timeout settings. With this app, you can simply select specific apps and it will then prevent your phone to automatically lock and even dim the screen brightness irrespective of your phone display settings. I will definitely recommend you to check out this app as I have already decided to keep it for a long time. Get Caffeine. Article source
  25. MITM, remote code execution If you use an app called eVestigator, billed as checking Android phones for compromise, delete it. That's the word from someone signing their name as MaXe from InterN0T, who looked at what the Android app does. The app claimed to test Android phones to see if they've been compromised, but MaXe found it ran a connect() scan across every available TCP port – all 65,535 of them – and tell the user there are “87,375 threats” on their phone. The “report” button didn't do anything much apart from sending the user's external IP address back to the developer, “along with other details about the Android environment + user-entered details”, the advisory says. The app is vulnerable to remote code execution via a man-in-the-middle attack, the note says: “If an attacker performs a MITM attack against "api.ipify.org" by e.g. hijacking the domain name, DNS, IP prefix, or by serving a malicious wireless access point (or hijacking a legitimate one), or by hacking the server at "api.ipify.org", then the attacker can instruct the Android application to execute attacker controlled Java code that the phone will execute in the context of the application. “The root cause of this vulnerability is caused by addJavascriptInterface() within the WebViewer, which in older API versions can be used to execute arbitrary Java code by using reflection to access public methods with attacker provided JavaScript.” MaXe says the vendor was notified on June 25, responded with a legal threat, the vendor pulled the app from Google Play, and tried to get YouTube to pull the video below, before MaXe went ahead with publication. Youtube Video: eVestigator Forensic PenTester v1 - Remote Code Execution via MITM Article source
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