by on July 27, 2019
Google’s smart speakers are recording users when they least expect it, according to temp worker language experts hired by the company to listen to the snippets – which include some of users’ most private moments. Google is able to claim it does not listen to the recordings Google Home devices are constantly generating only because it contracts the job out to temp workers. These “language experts,” as they are called, use a collaborative system built by the company to share and analyze sound snippets, assisting Google’s AI assistant in deciphering the nuances of human speech. While Google emphasizes that it anonymizes the snippets, replacing the user’s name with a serial number, Belgian broadcaster VRT found that matching a voice snippet with its owner was not very difficult, given the ample supply of addresses and sensitive information found on the recordings they were given. They listened to over 1,000 excerpts supplied by a Dutch contractor and discovered that more than 15 percent of them - 153 recordings in all - were recorded without the user’s knowledge.
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by on July 27, 2019
Apple’s Siri AI assistant sends audio of sexual encounters, embarrassing medical information, drug deals, and other private moments recorded without users’ knowledge to human ‘graders’ for evaluation, a whistleblower has revealed. Recordings from Apple’s Siri voice assistant are fed to human contractors around the world, who grade the AI based on the quality of its response and whether its activation was deliberate, according to an anonymous contractor who spoke to the Guardian. They claimed accidental activations are much more frequent than Apple lets on, especially with Apple Watch users – and wants the company to own up to the problem. “There have been countless instances of recordings featuring private discussions between doctors and patients, business deals, seemingly criminal dealings, sexual encounters and so on. These recordings are accompanied by user data showing location, contact details, and app data,” the whistleblower revealed.
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by on July 30, 2019
Warning against fake news, which is made up and circulated in social media, Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) Director General Ibrahim Eren said Tuesday the mainstream media was regaining its space thanks to its reliability. ''The most important thing that the people seek is a reliable news source,'' he said. ''For this reason, the mainstream media and journalism have started to return to the center stage,” Eren told Anadolu Agency on the sidelines of the 5th Global News Forum (GNF), one of the most important events of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU). The world was going through a process of transformation and adaptation, Eren, who is also vice president of the ABU, said, and added that the social media and mainstream media have been interacting over past 10 years. The forum, hosted by TRT in Istanbul, has brought together 120 guests from 35 countries under the theme of “Trust and Truth in Journalism”. Eren said the latest developments have proven the importance attached to reliability of the source of news. “The audience should choose the news sources again and detect the ones that are reliable,” he said. He added that the public broadcaster TRT has always been thoughtful of conveying the correct news with accurate information. “Our nation trusts all the news that TRT produces,” Eren said, revealing that the ratings of TRT News channel have hit the highest in the country over past one year. Earlier, while welcoming guests, Eren said the aim of the forum was to discuss about the dynamics of journalism being affected or influenced by the developments in real or virtual world. 
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by on July 27, 2019
TECH guru Steve Wozniak has recommended that Facebook users ‘figure out a way to get off’ the social network due to ongoing privacy concerns. Wozniak deleted his Facebook account in 2018 after the Cambridge Analytica scandal. “There are many different kinds of people, and some [of] the benefits of Facebook are worth the loss of privacy,” Wozniak told TMZ tabloid, which spoke with the tech guru at Reagan National Airport in DC. “But to many like myself, my recommendation is – to most people – you should figure out a way to get off Facebook.”
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by on July 30, 2019
The expansion of home tech products to make life increasingly convenient requires consumer privacy sacrifices, the full extent of which won’t be revealed for years to come, but have been hinted at through a slew of missteps. This past week Amazon hit headlines after its virtual assistant Alexa was caught passively recording couples arguing, having intimate family discussions and even having sex (apparently sex noises can trigger Alexa-activated Echo speakers).
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by on December 28, 2019
Firefox is a convenient, fast and lightweight browser. Moreover, it is the only mainstream open-source browser, and its code has been thoroughly researched and scrutinized by the community.Thus, you can be sure that there are no dodgy widgets hidden inside. Firefox is also quite secure. Like other major market players, it offers a private browsing mode that includes tracking, malware and phishing protection, pop-up blocking, and anti-fingerprinting protection. You can use its extensive customization possibilities pretty easily, but just be sure to disable the telemetry function, which sends your usage and performance data to Mozilla. Firefox also has an impressive collection of security-focused add-ons that can be used to make its experience safer. Firefox contains some functions that might concern privacy-oriented users, like Pocket, Telemetry, and startup profiling. However, you can disable them by tweaking the settings. Firefox is available for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. Our rating (out of 5): ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Conclusion: the best browser for privacy With privacy settings slightly tweaked and a few security add-ons installed, Firefox is the best private browser solution among mainstream browsers with greater extension compatibility and ease of use. If your anonymity needs are more advanced or you want to access the dark web, Tor is the one you're looking for. However, please bear in mind that no safe browser is perfect – each of them has its respective strengths and weaknesses. Research your favorites on this list to see which is right for you. Use them in combination with other tools, such as tracker blockers and VPNs. Other privacy tools When choosing your new, more-secure browser, you may also want to consider which extensions it does or doesn't work with. There are a ton of excellent privacy tools out there, but they don't all work with every browser. To find the right browser privacy extensions for you, click here. Another essential privacy tool is a VPN. NordVPN's encrypted VPN tunnel will hide your traffic from hackers, ISPs, and governments, and protect you from numerous attacks as well. Use it in combination with a secure browser to ensure optimal online browsing security.
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by on July 30, 2019
The “Five Eyes” intelligence chiefs are demanding backdoor access to encrypted messaging apps, arguing Big Tech should give up users' privacy to combat terrorism and child predators. “Tech companies should include mechanisms in the design of their encrypted products and services whereby governments, acting with appropriate legal authority, can obtain access to data,” the Five Eyes – an alliance of intelligence agency directors from the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand – declared in an official statement on Tuesday following their annual two-day security summit held in London
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by on November 28, 2019
This course will be the third of a multi-course track to prepare you for the role of a GCP Network Engineer. The Hybrid Network course will build on top of the fundamentals covered in the previous two courses, and expand on it by covering hybrid connectivity solutions, which connect your network to Google Cloud. We will also cover private network solutions to enable necessary communications for both GCP and on-premises resources without exposing them to the public Internet.
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by on May 4, 2020
Remove Google from your life? Yes, it can be done! Google trackers have been found on 75% of the top million websites. This means they are not only tracking what you search for, they're also tracking which websites you visit, and using all your data for ads that follow you around the Internet. Your personal data can also be subpoenaed by lawyers, including for civil cases like divorce. Google answered over 120,000 such data requests in 2018 alone! More and more people are also realizing the risk of relying on one company for so many personal services. If you're joining the ranks of people who've decided Google's data collection has become too invasive, here are some suggestions for replacements with minimal switching cost. Most are free, though even those that are paid are worth it — the cost of not switching is a cost to your personal privacy, and the good news is we have a choice! Google Search → DuckDuckGo (free) Let's start off with the easiest one! Switching to DuckDuckGo not only keeps your searches private but also gives you extra advantages such as our bang shortcuts, handy Instant Answers, and knowing you're not trapped in a filter bubble. Gmail, Calendar & Contacts → FastMail (paid), ProtonMail (free with paid options), Tutanota (free with paid options) FastMail is an independent, paid service that also includes calendar and contacts support across all devices. There are also several ways to get encrypted email between trusted parties by integrating PGP encryption tools. Even more private email alternatives are ProtonMail and Tutanota, both of which offer end-to-end encryption by default. YouTube → Vimeo (free with paid options) For videos that are only on YouTube (unfortunately, a lot), you can search for and watch them on DuckDuckGo for better privacy protection via YouTube's "youtube-nocookie" domain. If you're creating and hosting video yourself, however, Vimeo is the best-known alternative which focuses on creators. Google Maps → Apple Maps (free), OpenStreetMap (free) For iOS users, Apple gives you an alternative built in via Apple Maps, so no installation is necessary. For wider device support, check out OpenStreetMap (OSM) which is more open, though may not have the same ease-of-use or coverage quality as Apple Maps. Google Drive → Resilio Sync (free with paid options), Tresorit (paid) Resilio Sync provides peer-to-peer file synchronization which can be used for private file storage, backup, and file sharing. This also means your files are never stored on a single server in the cloud! The software is available for a wide variety of platforms and devices, including servers. An alternative cloud storage and backup service with end-to-end encryption is Tresorit. Android → iOS (paid) The most popular alternative to Android is of course iOS, which offers easy device encryption and encrypted messaging via iMessage by default. We also have tips to increase privacy protection on your iPhone or iPad. Google Chrome → Safari (free), Firefox (free), Brave (free), Vivaldi (free) Safari was the first major browser to include DuckDuckGo as a built-in private search option. A more cross-device compatible browser is Mozilla's Firefox, an open source browser with a built-in tracker blocker in private mode. Brave goes one step further with tracker blocking switched on by default. There are also many more browsers that come with DuckDuckGo as a built-in option, such as Vivaldi, which is well suited for power-users. Blogger → Ghost (paid), WordPress.com (free with paid options) Ghost is both a hosted (paid) and self-installable blogging platform, tracker-free by default and run by a non-profit foundation. We like it so much we use it for our own blog! A free alternative is WordPress, powering an estimated 33% of the world's websites. It's also available both for self-installation and as a hosted service with no third-party trackers by default. The community is huge with extensive multilingual documentation and many themes to choose from. Google Hangouts/Meet → Jami (free), Apple FaceTime (free), Microsoft Teams (free with paid option) Jami is a cross-platform service that offers end-to-end encryption, and its privacy policy states that the only data it collects is "anonymous and aggregated data for the analysis of Jami website visits statistics." If everyone involved has access to an Apple device, FaceTime is another alternative that is easy-to-use and supports end-to-end encryption. For enterprise-level support, Microsoft Teams is widely used and they note that they do not to use your Teams data to serve ads, or to track participant attention. Google Duo and Android Messages → Signal (free) There are several services offering private messaging but, as we've mentioned before, Signal gets our recommendation. It offers free, end-to-end encryption for both messages and private calls. It's also recommended by Edward Snowden and renowned security expert Bruce Schneier, among others. Google Groups → MeWe (free with a paid version), Discourse (paid, or free if self-installed) MeWe is a social network based around groups that can be made private or public. Their privacy policy makes clear that they don't collect or share personal data. Alternatively there's Discourse, which is an open source discussion platform, offering public and private conversations with a trust system and spam protection. Paid hosting is offered but the software is also freely available for administrators to host on their own servers. Google Analytics → Fathom (paid), Simple Analytics (paid) If you run a website that uses Google Analytics, you're letting Google collect data on every visitor, which they can then tie to data collected from millions of other websites. Switching to Fathom or Simple Analytics will still give you visibility into how visitors are using your website, but you'll also be respecting their right to privacy. Both of these services are GDPR-compliant by default, do not use cookies and therefore don't require those annoying cookie agreement popups. Google Ads & AdSense → CodeFund CodeFund is currently limited to developers and designers, but if that's your audience this is a platform for both advertising and hosting ads with a focus on ethics, using contextual advertising (i.e. based on the content of websites) rather than behavioral. They take steps to avoid tracking users, such as by not saving IP addresses, and the platform code is open source for anyone to verify. As you can see, moving away from Google needn't be hard. In fact, you might find you prefer the alternatives while also getting better privacy!
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by on December 7, 2019
Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk: Today’s business role models are those who have created technology products that define and shape the behavior of millions - the iPhone, Facebook, Tesla, PayPal. And none of them could have got where they were without coding. Take Elon Musk - he wrote his first computer game aged 12 and successfully sold it for $500. Coding is Now a Core Skill Elon probably doesn’t code that much anymore, he has employees to do that for him - but the principles and skills he learnt are essential for managing his employees, coming up with new business ideas, and running his company. And that’s why coding is so essential. Even if you’re not coding yourself on a day-to-day basis, you’ll probably be either supervising programmers or working alongside them in some capacity. Half of all programming openings aren’t in the ‘technology’ industry. Instead, they are in finance, science, engineering, healthcare, and more (source: Burning Glass). Coding is no longer a specialist skill; it’s a core skill. Let’s look at an example - the fashion industry. Wearable technology today means bracelets and smartwatches, but in a few years’ time there will be smart clothing that can do everything your phone does today and more. Workout clothes that track your performance, shirts that can call a taxi at the end of your night out, underwear that monitors your health: the possibilities are almost endless. Faced with that future, which fashion student is more hireable: Student A with just a fashion degree, or Student B, who has a fashion degree too, but has also taught themselves to code? I know which one I’d hire. Student B will be able to understand and communicate with the specialists creating the tech easily and will require significantly less training. Future Trends Are Tech-Focused It’s been said that children today will have as many as seven different jobs, and five of those haven’t even been invented yet. That might be true, but by looking at new, disruptive technologies starting to come into play today, we can see that there will be a high demand for coding skills: Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), Wearable Technology, Virtual Reality; almost all future trends will require coding skills. Meanwhile, traditional jobs - manufacturing, transportation, even financial trading - are at risk from artificial intelligence. Even law, a traditionally ‘safe’ job with good prospects, is at risk of contracting, as artificial intelligence learns to do much of the legwork that makes up a lawyer’s day-to-date job. Now even more worried about your future career prospects? Don’t be. You’ve got time to learn to code if you want to and there are tools that allow you to teach yourself, for free. Whatever your chosen industry, learning to code could be one of the best career choices you make.
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by on January 4, 2020
Leaves are turning. Temperatures have dipped. These are sure signs—if you live in the Northern Hemisphere, at least—that Canonical's Autumn release is upon us. Things are a bit different in 2019, however. Not only is Ubuntu 19.10 nicknamed Eoan Ermine (no, I don't know how you pronounce it either), but it's the best non-LTS Ubuntu release Canonical has ever put out. I should qualify that statement somewhat, because really, as the newest version, it had damn well better be the best Ubuntu ever. But there's more than recency bias behind the sentiment. I've been reviewing Ubuntu for 10 years now, and I was using and interacting with this distro in some form or another for another three or four years before that. After spending recent weeks with Ubuntu 19.10, I can say confidently it is quite simply the best Ubuntu Canonical has ever released. The first reason I like 19.10 so much is that it feels insanely fast. Everyday tasks like opening applications, dragging windows, activating the search interface, and even just moving the cursor around are all noticeably faster than in 19.04. The speed boost is immediately noticeable from the minute you pop in the live CD, and it's even faster once you have 19.10 installed.
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by on December 7, 2019
Try to search first There are thousands of forum posts, and it's likely that someone else has a question similar to yours. Use the Search feature and try different combinations of keywords. If you don't find answers, or if the answers you find aren't satisfactory, then ask your question. Note: When writing a new post, try to add relevant and descriptive tags to make it easier for future users with the same issue to find the solution!   Title is king Your title should include a brief description of the question. A good title helps attract attention, and you should have prompt responses. It also helps other users decide if they're able to help you without having to read the whole message.   Describe the issue carefully Including all necessary details in the body of your question maximizes your chances of receiving useful answers. General questions ("My program throws an error; please help.") with no descriptions will just attract generic responses ("What error?"). It's much better to include specifics: "My program throws an IndexOutOfRangeException on line 9. The code is below." This makes it easier to get helpful information from people who are knowledgeable about your problem and who are happy to help you.   Writing in CAPITAL LETTERS doesn't help! Writing in capital letters is usually unwelcome. It's difficult to read, and in the long-term it can deteriorate your online reputation.   Avoid being overly friendly It's important to be polite at all times, while also keeping your posts direct and to the point. Avoid the overly friendly "My dear friends" or "Dear fellow programmers". Also, anything that sounds desperate ("Help!", "Urgent!", "Please Help!") should be avoided. People are likely to ignore such posts.   Don't post your homework If you post your homework with the aim of having others to do it for you, you'll end up with a pile of Down votes. It's okay to ask for hints, but not for entire solutions. Those questions are for you to work out, so you can learn from the experience.   Avoid asking multiple questions in one post If your original question has been answered, don't use the same post to ask a different question. It may not be answered, because your new topic doesn't match the post's title. If you have a new question, create a new topic
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