Capitalizing on stay-at-home orders and lockdowns, Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) accelerated the launch of a dedicated gaming stream app.
Facebook Gaming, a mobile app that allows gamers to watch streams from their favorite gamers, share smartphone screens and leave comments, was launched on Monday.
The free app, which was scheduled for launch in June, was released earlier to provide an alternative outlet for 700 million of the 2.5 billion Facebook users already engaged in gaming content, according to The New York Times.
Facebook Gaming will compete with apps and services such as Amazon Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) Twitch, Microsoft Corporation’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) Mixer and Alphabet Inc.’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG) YouTube.
Why It Matters
“We’re seeing a big rise in gaming during [the] quarantine,” said Fidji Simo, Head of Facebook App. According to the Times, the gaming business is booming and is currently valued at $160 billion.
The app is already available on Google’s Play store and will be available on Apple’s App Store after the company grants its approval.
Facebook has had some success in attracting streamers to its gaming platform, according to Esports Observer. It offered exclusive contracts to Jeremy “Disguised Toast” Wang, a top streamer of Activision Blizzard Inc.’s (NASDAQ: ATVI) Hearthstone, and former world no. 1 professional player of Nintendo Co., Ltd’s (OTC: NTDOY) Super Smash Bros, Gonzalo “ZeRo” Barrios. Both streamers were formerly on Twitch.
The social media giant has also signed a streaming deal with former UFC fighter Ronda Rousey.
What Else Is There
Spurred by a 100% increase in audio and video calling, this month Facebook also launched a desktop app for Messenger on both iOS and Windows platforms.
Facebook shares closed the regular session 0.56% lower at $178.24.
© 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
Cyber Security Today – A new ransomware threat, a warning for GitHub users and Apple security updates. – IT World Canada
A new ransomware threat, a warning for GitHub users and Apple security updates.
Welcome to Cyber Security Today. It’s Wednesday June 3rd. I’m Howard Solomon, contributing reporter on cybersecurity for ITWorldCanada.com.
For an organization being infected with ransomware is scary. Ransomware scrambles corporate data, with the criminals demanding money to get the decryption key. But a hacking group has found a new weapon to add to it: The threat of auctioning off stolen data to other criminals. So pay up to get the decryption key or not only won’t you get access to your data, any data we also copied will be sold to others. Then you’ll look really bad to customers. One of the first victims is a Canadian agriculture services company. To convince the company the crooks really have stolen data they released a couple of documents. One is a loan application with the customer’s name, address, social insurance number and date of birth. That information can easily be used for impersonation. Organizations used to be able to protect themselves with data backups. No more. With this evolution there’s more pressure on victim firms to pay up. Ransomware has emerged as one of the biggest threats to companies and governments. The best way to fight it is by regularly training employees to slow down and think before clicking on attachments. Malicious attachments can carry ransomware. Another defence for firms to make sure employees use multifactor authentication on top of usernames and passwords for logging into systems and applications.
Bad news for software developers who use the GitHub website for open source projects: Some have been infected with malware. For those who don’t know GitHub is a place where developers can use open source tools for honing software code. Some developers also allow others to collaborate on projects in an open source process. But this week GitHub’s security team issued a warning that 26 open source projects using a development environment called Netbeans had been compromised. The malware that had been installed is called a backdoor. It would have allowed hackers to secretly get into whatever company had installed the final version of each software application and copy data. The application developers didn’t know their projects had been hacked. One problem with GitHub is some developers allow all or parts of their projects to be copied by others. If their code is infected, that spreads to other projects. So GitHub — which is now owned by Microsoft — scans code to warn of vulnerabilities. But GitHub developers also have to use security scanning tools of their own to make sure their code hasn’t been tampered with.
Police in New York City have charged a man with conspiracy to engage in computer hacking, trafficking in stolen payment card numbers and money laundering. This comes after his arrest in March after flying into the city from Ukraine carrying computers and other digital media with hundreds of thousands of stolen credit and debit card numbers. It is alleged the man was part of a gang that hacked into systems to steal data and sell it on criminal websites.
Finally, Apple device owners including those with iPads, iPhones, Mac computers, Apple TVs and Apple Watches should make sure they’re receiving security patches. A big one was released this week that plugs a big hole that can be created if users jailbreak their operating system. Jailbreaking allows users to install custom tweaks and apps not sold in the Apple store. However, they can also create security vulnerabilities. This patch also erases any jail breaking that has been done. Also recently fixed is a problem with the ‘Sign in with Apple’ capability that allows users to sign into websites with their Apple devices. Skilled owners of Android devices can also jailbreak their smart phones and tablets. It’s a dangerous activity on any platform that should be avoided.
That’s it for Cyber Security Today. Links to details about these stories can be found in the text version of each podcast at ITWorldCanada.com. That’s where you’ll also find my news stories aimed at businesses and cybersecurity professionals. Cyber Security Today can be heard on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or add us to your Flash Briefing on your smart speaker.
Lawsuit accuses Google have tracking people in Chrome's Incognito mode – MobileSyrup
A proposed class-action lawsuit has been filed against Google for tracking users while they browse in Chrome’s Incognito mode.
Specifically, the lawsuit accuses Google of violating U.S. federal wiretapping laws by tracking users’ online activity, even in Incognito mode. Further, the complaint cites Google tools like Analytics, Ad Manager, smartphone and PC applications and website plugins, saying Google leverages them to monitor uses, even if they don’t click on any Google ads.
The lawsuit also says that “millions” of users who went online using Incognito mode since June 1st, 2016 have likely been affected.
The plaintiffs say that Google tracks and collects browsing data “no matter what safeguards” people use to protect themselves. Additionally, they argue that by tracking users in Incognito mode, Google intentionally deceives users into thinking they have control over the information they share with the company.
The lawsuit seeks $5 billion USD (roughly $6.76 billion CAD) in damages or at least $5,000 USD (about $6,758 CAD) per affected user for violations of the U.S. wiretap and California privacy laws.
In a statement to The New York Times, Jose Castaneda, a Google spokesperson, disputed the claims. You can read the statement in full below:
“Incognito mode in Chrome gives you the choice to browse the internet without your activity being saved to your browser or device. As we clearly state each time you open a new incognito tab, websites might be able to collect information about your browsing activity during your session.”
Is Incognito really that private?
It’s worth noting that Chrome does, in fact, warn users when they open an Incognito session in Chrome. When you open an Incognito tab, Chrome lists what it won’t save while you’re using Incognito and what websites can still see. That includes:
Chrome won’t save the following:
- Your browsing history
- Cookies and site data
- Information entered in forms
Your activity might still be visible to:
- Websites that you visit
- Your employer or school
- Your internet service provider
You can also read more about how Incognito mode works on Google’s support site.
Further, Chrome’s Incognito mode has long been the subject of privacy concern. In 2018, a report detailed how Google could de-anonymize collected data from Incognito browsing if users signed into their Google accounts after visiting a site with a Google tool like DoubleClick.
At the time, a Google spokesperson said that the company doesn’t de-anonymize data like that. However, the possibility for Google to do so remains a concern, even if it doesn’t.
More recently, Google had to fix a loophole in Chrome’s Incognito mode that allowed websites to determine if a user was browsing in Incognito mode. Web pages that use a paywall feature, such as a free article limit, tended to use it to prevent Incognito users from bypassing the cap.
However, in fixing the loophole, Google created more ways for websites to determine if someone was in Incognito.
Ultimately, this lawsuit is something to keep an eye on, but I’m not sure it has merit. It’s hard to claim that Google intentionally misled users when it clearly states the limits of the Incognito feature. However, that’s not to say that Google and Chrome’s privacy issues shouldn’t be investigated. The search giant has long used its apps, ad systems and more to track users’ browsing data. However, specifically targeting Incognito mode may not be the best way to go about it.
BMW Design Chief Defends New 4-Series’ Grille, Says It’ll Shape The Brand – CarScoops
The new BMW 4-Series Coupe was officially presented on Tuesday and one of the main topics of conversation was the polarizing vertical kidney grille. Like it or not, this feature is here to stay, and it’s part of the company’s strategic move to make each and every model stand out.
Defending the massive kidney grille was design chief Domagoj Dukec, who strongly believes that the automaker has taken the right decision to go ahead with this design, despite receiving a lot of negative input ever since they presented the Concept 4 last year.
“It should be in the core of BMW to have a product which makes a strong statement. It’s unmistakably BMW, unmistakably 4-Series. It’s not just logical, it has a very strong character that’s unique to our brand”, Dukec told Autocar. “The twin-kidney grille is the most prominent design icon we have. It’s the biggest difference we have from any other car out there. We’ve used the kidney in a variety of ways to give our cars a certain presence: the 3-Series has a very horizontal one because it’s a more rational, serious car. A coupe like the 4-Series should express the exotic part of BMW.”
Dukec explained that in this business, it’s important to know which voices to listen to. “You can’t listen to social media reactions. It won’t help you. Design is something that is so emotional, and everybody has an opinion and different states. There’s no right or wrong. When you do something like this, 50 percent of people might love it and 50 percent will hate it, and that won’t change. Anything you do, there will be people who like it and people who don’t – but this is not the criteria.”
So, what are the criteria for design? According to the BMW official, it is “to create something, unique, daring, to make a statement”. “Although it’s polarizing in the beginning, it’s at the heart of BMW and a brand-shaper for us.”
Leading the new 4-Series pack is the Coupe, which will go on sale globally in October, with the Convertible and four-door Gran Coupe to follow. All of them are based on the brand’s CLAR architecture, which translates into a bigger footprint and a more spacious interior.
Until the new M4 arrives, likely within the next six months, the M440i xDrive will sit at the top of the range, with a 369 HP 3.0-liter turbo-six, for a 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) time of 4.7 seconds and a top speed limited to 155 mph (250 km/h). U.S. customers will be able to order it for $59,495, while the 430i and 430i xDrive, which pack a 258 HP 2.0-liter four-pot, will launch from $46,595 and $48,595 respectively.
In Europe, the new-gen 4-Series will become available in 420i and 420d specs as well, with their 2.0-liter petrol and diesel engine making 184 and 190 HP respectively, plus the 286 HP 3.0-liter 430d and M440d xDrive 340 HP diesels, which will launch next spring.
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