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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Democrats Are Busting Their 2016 Mobile Canvassing Records

With six weeks to go until Election Day, more volunteers have already logged on to the party’s canvassing app than in any other election.
Source: Wired

'Maniac' Is the Most Netflix-y Netflix Show Yet. In a Bad Way

This is what happens when a prestige- and pedigree-obsessed creative strategy overrides all functionality.
Source: Wired

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II Review: Our Favorite Point-and-Shoot

Pocketable and powerful, this compact Canon is mightier than it may seem.
Source: Wired

SiriusXM to acquire Pandora for $3.5 billion

SiriusXM and Pandora have announced acquisition plans before the stock market opens. SiriusXM is offering to acquire Pandora for $3.5 billion in stock, or $10.14 per share. Pandora would continue to exist as an independent service.

For Pandora shareholders, this offer represents a 13.8 percent premium over the volume-weighted average share price of the past 30 days. Both the Pandora board and the SiriusXM board have approved the plan.

But the transaction isn’t going to happen right away. As part of the deal, Pandora negotiated a “go-shop” provision, which means that Pandora’s board can still evaluate other offers. The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019.

The announcement says that SiriusXM plans to leverage both services to cross-promote the other service. For instance, you could see references to SiriusXM shows while listening to Pandora. And SiriusXM hosts could suggest downloading the Pandora mobile app.

The company also plans to create subscription packages that could include SiriusXM radios as well as a Pandora premium subscription. SiriusXM also plans to make you listen to Pandora in your car as SiriusXM is already widely available in American cars.

Pandora shares are currently up 8.58 percent to $10.65 in pre-market trading. SiriusXM shares are currently trading at $6.89 (down 1.29 percent) in pre-market trading.

Pandora has been a public company since 2011 but has consistently lost money. The company bet very early on music streaming with an innovative interest-based smart radio format. That was before Spotify, before Apple Music, before SoundCloud, before smartphones.

While Pandora currently has over 70 million monthly active listeners, the vast majority of them aren’t premium subscribers. Pandora only has around 6 million paid subscribers — Spotify has 83 million paid subscribers. Paid subscribers tend to boost the average revenue per user. But the company never quite figured out how to convert those free users into subscribers.


Source: TechCrunch

WhatsApp hires ‘grievance officer’ to help combat false information in India

Following widespread criticism of the way its service is used to spread false information and news in India, WhatsApp has hired a “grievance officer” for the country.

U.S-based Komal Lahiri is the lead who handles complaints about the service from users, law enforcement and other government officials, according to Mint.

WhatsApp did not respond to a request for comment on Lahiri’s hiring and her role. Her LinkedIn account, however, states that she has been “Senior Director, Global Customer Operations & Localization” at WhatsApp since March. Prior to that, she spent over three years with Facebook and Instagram in the U.S.

WhatsApp claims over 1.5 billion active users per month, India is its largest market and it accounts for an estimated 200 million of that figure. Despite the many benefits of a more connected society, information on WhatsApp has led to a number of troubling incidents. That includes the killing of five people who visited a rural village but were beaten to death after being falsely accused of being child kidnappers due to the spread of rumors on WhatsApp.

WhatsApp has tried to advise people by taking out full-page advertisements in an assortment of daily newspapers as well as educational camps, but the Indian government has pressured WhatsApp to do more. The IT minister met with WhatsApp COO Chris Daniels after it had sent two letters to the company asking it make its service more accountable and enable law enforcement agencies to use it.

The company has instead said it is impossible to track messages since its service is end-to-end encrypted. It has added features in India — one indicates when a message has been forwarded, and another limited the number of times messages can be forwarded on — but that hasn’t solved the problem. WhatsApp is at least stepping up its efforts with this hire, but it remains to be seen how adequate a job Lahiri can do from the U.S.

More widely, WhatsApp does seem to be struggling make hires in India.

While this role is located in the U.S, the company is still trying to fill the position of ‘head of India’ and its head of policy in the country, too. Facebook itself is also hiring for a managing director for its India business.


Source: TechCrunch

Google started quietly logging you into Chrome with latest update, reports say – CNET

People note that Chrome 69 logs them into the browser when they access a Google-owned site.
Source: CNET

Airline prepares to make world's longest commercial flight: 19 hours – CNET

The journey between Singapore and New York will require a few good books.
Source: CNET

iPhone XS drop test: This phone would not crack – CNET

We dropped a brand-new gold iPhone XS onto the sidewalk four times to find out how durable the glass is on both sides.
Source: CNET

Yubico’s new security keys now support FIDO2

Yubico, the company behind the popular Yubikey security keys, today announced the launch of its 5 Series keys. The company argues that these new keys, which start at $45, are the first multi-protocol securities keys that supports the FIDO2 standard. With this, Yubico argues, the company will be able to replace password-based authentication, which is often a hassle and unsecure, with stronger hardware-based authentication.

“Innovation is core to all we do, from the launch of the original YubiKey ten years ago, to the concept of one authentication device across multiple services, and today as we are accelerating into the passwordless era,” said Stina Ehrensvard, the CEO and founder of Yubico in today’s announcement. “The YubiKey 5 Series can deliver single-factor, two-factor, or multi-factor secure login, supporting many different uses cases on different platforms for different verticals with a variety of authentication scenarios.”

The company made the announcement ahead of Microsoft’s Ignite conference this week, where Microsoft, too, is expect to make a number of security announcements around the future of passwords.

“Passwordless login brings a monumental change to how business users and consumers will securely log in to applications and services,” said Alex Simons, the corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Identity Division. “With FIDO2, Microsoft is working to remove the dependency on password-based logins, with support from devices like the YubiKey 5.”

For the most part, the new keys looks very much like the existing ones, but new to the series is the YubiKey 5 NFC, which combines supports all of the major security protocols over both USB and NFC — and the addition of NFC makes it a better option for those who want to use the same key on they desktops, laptops and mobile phones or tablets.

Supported protocols, in addition to FIDO2, include FIDO U2F, smart card (PIV), Yubico OTP, OpenPGP, OATH-TOTP, OATH-HOTP, and Challenge-Response.

The new keys will come in all of the standard Yubico form factors, including the large USB-A key with NFC support, as well as smaller versions and those for USB-C devices.

In its press release, Yubico stresses that its keys are manufactured and programmed in the USA and Sweden. The fact that it’s saying that is no accident, given that Google recently launched its own take on security keys (after years of recommending Yubikeys). Google’s keys, however, are being built by a Chinese company and while Google is building its own firmware for them, there are plenty of sceptics out there who aren’t exactly waiting for a key that was manufactured in China.


Source: TechCrunch

'Netflix for Open Source' Wants Developers to Get Paid

Startup Tidelift hopes payments will let coders keep projects patched and up to date.
Source: Wired

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