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Zoom will enable waiting rooms by default to stop Zoombombing – Yahoo Tech

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<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Zoom is making some drastic changes to prevent rampant abuse as trolls attack publicly shared video calls. Starting April 5th, it will require passwords to enter calls via Meeting ID, as these may be guessed or reused. Meanwhile, it will change virtual waiting rooms to be on by default so hosts have to manually admit attendees.” data-reactid=”12″>Zoom is making some drastic changes to prevent rampant abuse as trolls attack publicly shared video calls. Starting April 5th, it will require passwords to enter calls via Meeting ID, as these may be guessed or reused. Meanwhile, it will change virtual waiting rooms to be on by default so hosts have to manually admit attendees.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The changes could prevent "Zoombombing," a term I coined two weeks ago to describe malicious actors entering Zoom calls and disrupting them by screensharing offensive imagery. New Zoombombing tactics have since emerged, like spamming the chat thread with terrible GIFs, using virtual backgrounds to spread hateful messages or just screaming profanities and slurs. Anonymous forums have now become breeding grounds for organized trolling efforts to raid calls.” data-reactid=”13″>The changes could prevent “Zoombombing,” a term I coined two weeks ago to describe malicious actors entering Zoom calls and disrupting them by screensharing offensive imagery. New Zoombombing tactics have since emerged, like spamming the chat thread with terrible GIFs, using virtual backgrounds to spread hateful messages or just screaming profanities and slurs. Anonymous forums have now become breeding grounds for organized trolling efforts to raid calls.

Just imagine the most frightened look on all these people’s faces. That’s what happened when Zoombombers attacked the call.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The FBI has issued a warning about the Zoombombing problem after children’s online classes, Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and private business calls were invaded by trolls. Security researchers have revealed many ways that attackers can infiltrate a call.” data-reactid=”31″>The FBI has issued a warning about the Zoombombing problem after children’s online classes, Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and private business calls were invaded by trolls. Security researchers have revealed many ways that attackers can infiltrate a call.

The problems stem from Zoom being designed for trusted enterprise use cases rather than cocktail hours, yoga classes, roundtable discussions and classes. But with Zoom struggling to scale its infrastructure as its daily user count has shot up from 10 million to 200 million over the past month due to coronavirus shelter-in-place orders, it’s found itself caught off guard.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Zoom CEO Eric Yuan apologized for the security failures this week and vowed changes. But at the time, the company merely said it would default to making screensharing host-only and keeping waiting rooms on for its K-12 education users. Clearly it determined that wasn’t sufficient, so now waiting rooms are on by default for everyone.” data-reactid=”40″>Zoom CEO Eric Yuan apologized for the security failures this week and vowed changes. But at the time, the company merely said it would default to making screensharing host-only and keeping waiting rooms on for its K-12 education users. Clearly it determined that wasn’t sufficient, so now waiting rooms are on by default for everyone.

Zoom communicated the changes to users via an email sent this afternoon that explains “we’ve chosen to enable passwords on your meetings and turn on Waiting Rooms by default as additional security enhancements to protect your privacy.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The company also explained that "For meetings scheduled moving forward, the meeting password can be found in the invitation. For instant meetings, the password will be displayed in the Zoom client. The password can also be found in the meeting join URL." Some other precautions users can take include disabling file transfer, screensharing or rejoining by removed attendees.” data-reactid=”42″>The company also explained that “For meetings scheduled moving forward, the meeting password can be found in the invitation. For instant meetings, the password will be displayed in the Zoom client. The password can also be found in the meeting join URL.” Some other precautions users can take include disabling file transfer, screensharing or rejoining by removed attendees.

NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 18: Zoom founder Eric Yuan reacts at the Nasdaq opening bell ceremony on April 18, 2019 in New York City. The video-conferencing software company announced it’s IPO priced at $36 per share, at an estimated value of $9.2 billion. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

The shift could cause some hassle for users. Hosts will be distracted by having to approve attendees out of the waiting room while they’re trying to lead calls. Zoom recommends users resend invites with passwords attached for Meeting ID-based calls scheduled for after April 5th. Scrambling to find passwords could make people late to calls.

But that’s a reasonable price to pay to keep people from being scarred by Zoombombing attacks. The rash of trolling threatened to sour many people’s early experiences with the video chat platform just as it’s been having its breakout moment. A single call marred by disturbing pornography can leave a stronger impression than 100 peaceful ones with friends and colleagues. The old settings made sense when it was merely an enterprise product, but it needed to embrace its own change of identity as it becomes a fundamental utility for everyone.

Technologists will need to grow better at anticipating worst-case scenarios as their products go mainstream and are adapted to new use cases. Assuming everyone will have the best intentions ignores the reality of human nature. There’s always someone looking to generate a profit, score power or cause chaos from even the smallest opportunity. Building development teams that include skeptics and realists, rather than just visionary idealists, could keep ensure products get safeguarded from abuse before rather than after a scandal occurs.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="” data-reactid=”67″>

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Why Did Microsoft’s Retail Stores Die as Apple Stores Thrived? – Motley Fool

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Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) recently announced that it will permanently close all of its brick-and-mortar Microsoft Stores worldwide. It will also convert its four stores in New York City, London, Sydney, and Redmond, Washington into “Experience Centers” that showcase its products instead of selling them.

The closures were reportedly planned last year, according to The Verge, but significantly accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The company already shuttered all its “Specialty Store” mall kiosks last year. In a press release, Microsoft VP David Porter noted that the tech giant’s “product portfolio has evolved to largely digital offerings, and our talented team has proven success serving customers beyond any physical location.”

Image source: Microsoft.

Microsoft stated that it wouldn’t lay off any staff as part of the reorganization, and that it would continue paying its retail employees as they transferred to remote sales, training, and support positions. It also said it would “continue to invest in its digital storefronts” to reach over 1.2 billion people monthly in 190 markets.

Let’s see how this strategic shift will impact Microsoft, and why it has failed to replicate Apple‘s (NASDAQ:AAPL) success in brick-and-mortar retail over the past decade.

Will these closures dent Microsoft’s earnings?

Prior to the pandemic, Microsoft operated 72 stores in the U.S., seven stores in Canada, and one each in Puerto Rico, the U.K., and Australia. Microsoft doesn’t separately disclose its sales from those retail stores.

However, Microsoft expects the closures of its stores to result in a pre-tax charge of $450 million, or $0.05 per share, in its fiscal fourth quarter, which ends on June 30. Those charges will primarily include asset write-offs and impairments.

Back in April, Microsoft guided for 6% to 9% year-over-year revenue growth in the fourth quarter, but didn’t provide any earnings guidance. Analysts expect its revenue to rise 8% to $36.5 billion, but for its non-GAAP earnings to grow less than 1% to $1.38 per share.

Microsoft’s write-offs and impairments will be excluded from its non-GAAP earnings, so the store closures alone wouldn’t cause it to miss analysts’ expectations. However, they’ll still take a bite out of its GAAP earnings, which hit $1.71 per share in the year-ago quarter.

Why couldn’t Microsoft follow Apple’s lead?

Microsoft opened its first retail stores in 2009, eight years after Apple launched its first Apple Stores.

A community gaming event at a Microsoft Store.

Image source: Microsoft.

The brand appeal of Apple’s products over the past decade — including the iMac, iPod, iPhone, and iPad — turned Apple’s retail stores into major attractions in otherwise struggling malls. Apple has also consistently generated higher sales per square foot than any other American retailer in recent years.

Apple’s stores were so popular that malls granted them sweetheart deals to move in. Back in 2015, Green Street Advisors claimed that Apple paid less than 2% of its sales to malls, compared to an average cut of 15% for other typical tenants. Microsoft, whose stores lacked Apple’s brand appeal, likely couldn’t generate comparable sales or secure similar deals with malls.

Microsoft’s hardware business has improved significantly in recent years under CEO Satya Nadella, with new Surface devices and Xbox consoles attracting new buyers. However, these products were also widely available at other retailers, and Microsoft’s store-based community events arguably couldn’t solidify its stores as “hangouts” as Apple did with its Genius Bar and free classes.

The right decision, but a missed opportunity

Microsoft’s decision was the right move, since there wasn’t a reason to continue losing money on brick-and-mortar stores throughout the retail apocalypse and COVID-19 crisis when it sold all its products online.

The closures won’t meaningfully impact Microsoft’s long-term growth, but they mark a missed opportunity to follow Apple’s lead in strengthening its brand with retail hangouts. They’ll also reduce the number of places where Microsoft can showcase its new and upcoming hardware products.

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Ubisoft shakes up executive ranks, begins process to deal with harassment – GuelphToday

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TORONTO — A Paris-based game software developer with offices in several Canadian cities is making changes in response to complaints against several executives, including a vice-president based in Toronto.

Ubisoft says Maxime Beland, its Toronto-based vice-president of editorial, has resigned and another unidentified employee in Toronto has been fired.

Tommy Francois, a Paris-based vice-president of editorial and creative services, has been placed on disciplinary leave.

The two vice-presidents were part of a creative team that set the tone and direction of Ubisoft’s various games, which include the “Assassin’s Creed” franchise.

Ubisoft chief executive Yves Guillemot says in a public letter posted online that he has decided to “revise the composition” of its editorial department and transform its human resource processes.

Guillemot says Ubisoft will begin holding online sessions on Monday, moderated by external facilitators, in order to collect suggestions for improvement.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 5, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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Ubisoft shakes up executive ranks, begins process to deal with harassment – Kamsack Times

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TORONTO — A Paris-based game software developer with offices in several Canadian cities is making changes in response to complaints against several executives, including a vice-president based in Toronto.

Ubisoft says Maxime Beland, its Toronto-based vice-president of editorial, has resigned and another unidentified employee in Toronto has been fired.

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Tommy Francois, a Paris-based vice-president of editorial and creative services, has been placed on disciplinary leave.

The two vice-presidents were part of a creative team that set the tone and direction of Ubisoft’s various games, which include the “Assassin’s Creed” franchise.

Ubisoft chief executive Yves Guillemot says in a public letter posted online that he has decided to “revise the composition” of its editorial department and transform its human resource processes.

Guillemot says Ubisoft will begin holding online sessions on Monday, moderated by external facilitators, in order to collect suggestions for improvement.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 5, 2020.

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