DuckDuckGo Smarter Encryption will Serve You HTTPS Sites

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The DuckDuckGo Smarter Encryption feature will automatically give you the encrypted HTTPS version of websites as they are available.

It’s available on DuckDuckGo’s mobile browser for Android and iOS, and through the company’s desktop browser extension for Firefox and Chrome. DuckDuckGo is also open sourcing the code behind the feature so other sites and platforms can adopt it as well. First up? Pinterest.

I especially like how they’re open-sourcing it for others to use.

FBI Draft Resolution Calls for End-to-End Encryption Ban

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An FBI draft resolution for Interpol calls for a ban on end-to-end encryption. It’s for Interpol’s 37th Meeting of the INTERPOL Specialists Group on Crimes Against Children.

A draft of the resolution viewed by Ars Technica stated that INTERPOL would “strongly urge providers of technology services to allow for lawful access to encrypted data enabled or facilitated by their systems” in the interest of fighting child sexual exploitation. Currently, it is not clear whether Interpol will ultimately issue a statement.

Remember when I mentioned the Four Horses of the Infocalypse? Terrorists, drug dealers, pedophiles, and organized crime. Four fears to use as a way to push their agenda. I know it’s a delicate issue. These groups are definitely ones that the majority of society would want to stop. But removing end-to-end encryption for everyone isn’t the way to do that.

Report Twitter Lists With This New Feature

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You can now report Twitter lists with a new feature that the social media company is rolling out. People can create a list of Twitter users and other people can subscribe to it. Certain people have used Lists as a way to harass minorities and/or women, but they can now be reported for abuse.

Similar to reporting an abusive tweet, Twitter users will tap on the three-dot icon next to the List in question, and then choose “Report.” From the next screen, you’ll select “It’s abusive or harmful.” Twitter will also ask for additional information at that point and will send an email confirming receipt of the report along with other recommendations as to how to manage your Twitter experience.

MFi Certified Sleek Canvas Complete Charging Collection: $25.49

· · TMO Deals

We have a deal on an MFi certified collection of charging accessories, all with a canvas exterior, even the cable. It includes a 3-foot Lightning connector, a 2.4A power bank, a car charger, and a wall charger. This bundle is $29.99 through deal, but coupon code BFSAVE15 brings the price down to $25.49 at checkout.

Microsoft Updates Privacy Terms Following EU Probe

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Microsoft updated the data privacy terms and conditions in its commercial cloud contracts on Monday, Reuters reported. It followed the EU finding that the company did not protect data in line with EU law.

The EDPS, the EU’s data watchdog, opened an investigation in April to assess whether Microsoft’s contracts with the European Commission and other EU institutions met data protection rules. It raised concerns about compliance in October. In a statement on its website addressing the issue, Microsoft said: “We will increase our data protection responsibilities for a subset of processing that Microsoft engages in when we provide enterprise services.” The company, the only major cloud provider to offer such terms in the European Economic Area and beyond, expects to offer the new provisions to public sector and enterprise customers in early 2020.

Tim Cook to Talk with Marc Benioff at Salesforce Conference Tomorrow

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Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff

Apple CEO Tim Cook will talk with Salesforce boss Marc Benioff tomorrow at the firm’s Dreamforce conference, MacRumors reported.  It will take place at 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time at the Yerba Buena Theater, and will also be live-streamed. It also announced new iOS enterprise apps.

Apple and Salesforce formed a strategic partnership in 2018. Salesforce has since redesigned its customer relationship management app with support for the latest features on iPhone and iPad, including Siri Shortcuts and Face ID. The new Salesforce app is available in the App Store. Salesforce has also announced a Trailhead GO learning app with more than 700 modules covering business and tech skills. Trailhead GO is available on the App Store for iPhone and iPad. Additional features, including support for Dark Mode and Sign in with Apple, are expected to be available later this year.

Twelve South’s AirFly Pro is a Bluetooth Headphone Adapter

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AirFly Pro is a wireless headphone adapter that plugs into a headphone jack to let you use your Bluetooth headphones on devices that don’t support Bluetooth, like the Nintendo Switch.

AirFly Pro works with most popular wireless headphones and earbuds. Even when you pair two sets of headphones with AirFly Pro, you can use any combination of wireless headphone brands. You connect your wireless headphones to this little splitter pretty much the same way you would pair your favorite headphones with any other wireless devices, such as your iPhone.

You can pick one up starting at US$54.99.

This 1,300mAh Portable Charger Fits on Your Keyring: $34

· · TMO Deals

We have a deal on a neat portable charger designed to fit on your keyring. It has a 1,300mAh capacity and an integrated, retractable Lightning port for when you need that quick, emergency charge. It’s $39.99 through our deal, but coupon code BFSAVE15 at checkout brings the price down to $34. I’m linking to the Lightning model, as described, but there are also USB-C and micro USB options in the deal listing, and that coupon code works on them, too.

GitHub Preserves its Code in the Arctic World Archive

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GitHub plans to store all of its open source code in the Arctic World Archive to prepare for possible doomsday scenarios.

The data is stored on reels of film coated with iron oxide powder. It can be read by a computer or — in the event of a global power outage — a human with a magnifying glass. Crucially, this film will last for 1,000 years. Among the first data deposit at the vault is the source code for Android and Linux operations systems, as well as a range of programming languages, web platforms, cryptocurrencies and AI tools. GitHub is planning on having all active public repositories stored by February 2020.

This sounds like a neat project. It also sounds like the Arctic World Archive is “around the corner” from the Doomsday seed vault, another preservation project. Note: The photo I chose for the featured image is of that seed vault.

The 16-Inch MacBook Pro Provides Plenty of Reasons to go Back to Mac

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16 inch MacBook Pro

The new 16-inch MacBook Pro has certainly generated a lot of excitement. Cult of Mac‘s Charlie Sorrell said the device will be the first new Mac he has bought in six years.

The thing that really makes me want a new Mac right now is that macOS and iOS are now very tightly integrated. Handoff means you really can switch between devices at will, even when working on the same article. And Sidecar means that I can use touch, and the Apple Pencil, on Mac apps like Ableton Live and Logic. And all the while, I can enjoy the superior customization options of the Mac. It’s a win-win. Albeit a really expensive one. If I wasn’t in a hurry to move (partially) back to the Mac, I’d wait for the MacBook Air to get its keyboard replaced, or for the first ARM Mac to appear. As it is, I’m happy buying the 16-inch MacBook Pro.

A Major New Security Feature is Coming to iOS 13.3

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iOS 13.3 is heading our way soon, and it is set to contain a powerful new security feature. Forbes reported that it will support NFC, USB, and Lightning FIDO2-compliant security keys in Safari.

The move is revealed in Apple’s release notes for the second developer beta, which says iOS 13.3 supports NFC, USB, and Lightning FIDO2-compliant security keys in Safari. In other words, when the iOS 13.3 update drops, you will able to use physical security keys such as Yubico’s iPhone compatible YubiKey 5Ci–which was previously unavailable to browsers such as Apple’s Safari and Google’s Chrome. However, it could be used with some password manager apps such as 1Password.

Facebook is Fine With Political Lies But Bans Pro-Vaccination Ads

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Facebook is happy to let politicians lie in advertisements on the platform, but it bans pro-vaccination ads that are rooted in science.

The study, published today in the journal Vaccine…found that a small group of “well-connected, powerful people” promoting broad anti-vaccination messages had successfully leveraged the platform’s targeted advertising service to reach select audiences…Meanwhile, those behind pro-vaccine messages well far less well funded and centralised, with their advertising often focusing on inoculating against specific conditions.

The New Motorola Razr is a Blast From the Past

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The Motorola Razr is back. It’s still a flip phone but it’s a foldable screen with the old UI skinned on top of it, and it’s US$1,500.

As I fold the Motorola Razr in half for the first time, it becomes clear that the Razr — with its foldable 6.2-inch screen, 16-megapixel double-duty camera and $1,500 price tag — is the best designed, most completely thought-out foldable phone to date. Streamlined. Utterly pocketable. Nostalgic, with a sharp futuristic edge.

I still think foldable phones are a bit gimmicky for now, but a phone that folds vertically makes more sense to me than a phone that unfolds horizontally to become a tablet-like device.

Klokki Automatic Time Tracking Tool for Mac: $12.74

· · TMO Deals

We have a deal on Klokki, an automatic time-tracking tool for the Mac. This app lives in your menubar, and offers reports, support for billable hours, automatic backups, and lots of ways to customize your tasks. It’s $14.99 through our deal, but coupon code BFSAVE15 at checkout brings it down to $12.74.

GitHub Releases iOS App in Beta

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GitHub announced a beta iOS app at its Universal conference on Wednesday. The Microsoft-owned company also extended its sponsor program, Techcrunch reported.

The new mobile app, which is now out in beta for iOS, with Android support coming soon, offers all of the basic features you’d want from a mobile app like this. The team decided to focus squarely on the kind of mobile use cases that would make the most sense for a developer on the go, so you’ll be able to share feedback on discussions, review a few lines of code and merge changes, but this isn’t meant to be a tool that replicated the full GitHub experience, though at least on the iPad, you do get a bit more screen real estate to work with.

Siri Might be Able to Interpret Your Emotions in The Future

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Siri may soon be able to interpret your emotions using facial recognition. That’s according to a new patent, reported on by AppleInsider.

Intelligent software agents can perform actions on behalf of a user,” says Apple in US Patent Number 20190348037. “Actions can be performed in response to a natural-language user input, such as a sentence spoken by the user. In some circumstances, an action taken by an intelligent software agent may not match the action that the user intended.” “As an example,” it continues, “the face image in the video input… may be analysed to determine whether particular muscles or muscle groups are activated by identifying shapes or motions.” Part of the system entails using facial recognition to identify the user and so provide customized actions such as retrieving that person’s email or playing their personal music playlists.

Facebook Pay Rolls Out in U.S.

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Facebook Pay launched in the U.S. Thursday, Computing reported, following a trial in India. The service supports payments on the Facebook and Messenger platforms.

“Facebook Pay supports most major credit and debit cards as well as PayPal,” said Deborah Liu, vice president of Facebook’s marketplace and commerce division. She continued: “Payments are processed in partnership with companies like PayPal, Stripe and others around the world. Facebook Pay is built on existing financial infrastructure and partnerships, and is separate from the Calibra wallet which will run on the Libra network.” In addition to enabling users to buy goods on the social network’s various platforms, it will also enable them to send money to friends and donate to fundraisers.

Kharbon IP67 Wireless Earbuds: $79

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We have a deal on a pair of Kharbon IP67 Wireless Earbuds. They feature support Bluetooth 5.0, and what the company says is 150 hours of battery life. They also have an IP67 waterproof rating. They’re $79 through our deal.

Disney+ Clears 10 Million Subscribers on Day One

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Disney+ logo

Disney+ surpassed 10 million subscribers on its first day, The Verge reported. The app has been downloaded over 3.2 million times, despite tech teething-problems.

The Mandalorian, the live-action Star Wars show easily considered the crown jewel of Disney’s streaming service, saw north of 2 million streams over the first day, according to people familiar with the matter. That number has more than likely grown due to overnight and second day viewing. By the end of the day, Disney+ was also the top app in the App Store, according to Apptopia. Launching with a bundle — ESPN+ and ad-supported Hulu — also helped bump up both apps in app stores, according to Apptopia’s report. Sources familiar with the matter told The Verge that the bundle also saw a notable increase in sign-ups following the launch of Disney+. To put everything into additional context, analysts projected that Disney+ would have anywhere between 10-18 million subscribers in its first year. Disney has signed up more than half of those projected numbers in 24 hours.

Google Will Offer Consumers Checking Accounts

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Google is going to partner with banks to start offering checking accounts. Techcrunch reported that the consumer service will begin next year.

The initial financial partners that Google is working with include Citigroup and Stanford Federal Credit Union, and their motivation per the WSJ piece appears to be seeking out and attracting younger and more digital-savvy customers who are increasingly looking to handle more of their lives through online tools. Per Sengupta’s comments, they’ll also benefit from Google’s ability to work with large sets of data and turn those into value-add products, but the Google exec also said the tech company doesn’t use Google Pay data for advertising, nor does it share that data with advertisers.