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When you go to a security conference, and its mobile app leaks your data

Enlarge / Screenshots of the RSA Conference application from the Google Play Store. The app's Web interface leaked attendee data when supplied with a token obtained by registering the app. (credit: Google Play Store ) A mobile application built by a third party for the RSA security conference in San Francisco this week was found to have a few security issues of its own—including hard-coded security keys and passwords that allowed a researcher to extract the conference's attendee list. The conference organizers acknowledged the vulnerability on Twitter, but they say that only the first and last names of 114 attendees were exposed. pic.twitter.com/QzTjOvMhSi — RSA Conference (@RSAConference) April 20, 2018 The vulnerability was discovered (at least publicly) by a security engineer who tweeted discoveries during an examination of the RSA conference mobile app, which was developed by Eventbase Technology.  Within four hours of the disclosure, Eventbase had fixed the data leak—an API call that allowed anyone to download data with attendee information. If you attended #RSAC2018 and see your first name there - sorry! pic.twitter.com/YrgZo6jHDu — svbl (@svblxyz) April 20, 2018 Accessing the attendee list required registering an account for the application, logging in, and then grabbing a token from an XML file stored by the application. Since registration for the application only required an email address, anyone who could dump the files from their Android device could obtain the token and then insert it into a Web-based application interface call to download attendee names. While the SQLite database downloaded was encrypted, another API call provided that key. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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iOS 11’s new App Store boosts downloads by 800% for featured apps

When Apple launched its new App Store in iOS 11 back in September , it aimed to offer app developers better exposure, as well as a better app discovery experience for consumers. A new study from Sensor Tower out today takes a look at how well that’s been working in the months since. According to its findings, getting a featured spot on the new App Store can increase downloads by as much as 800 percent, with the “App of the Day” or “Game of the Day” spots offering the most impact. The app store intelligence firm examined data from September 2017 to present day to come to its conclusions, it says. During this time, median U.S. iPhone downloads for apps that snagged the “Game of the Day” spot increased by 802 percent for the week following the feature, compared to the week prior to being featured. “App of the Day” apps saw a boost of 685 percent. Being featured in other ways — like in one of the new App Store Stories or in an App List — also drove downloads higher, by 222 percent and 240 percent, respectively. The numbers seem to indicate that Apple is achieving the results it wanted with the release of its redesigned App Store. Over the years, Apple’s app marketplace had grown so large that finding new apps had become challenging. And developers sometimes found ways to bump their apps higher in the top charts for exposure, leaving iPhone owners wondering if a new app was really that popular, or if it was some sort of paid promotion. The iOS 11 App Store, on the other hand, has taken more of an editorial viewpoint to its app recommendations.

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A look at the different methods and technologies that Waymo and Tesla use to collect data from the billions of miles their self-driving vehicles have…

Sean O'Kane / The Verge : A look at the different methods and technologies that Waymo and Tesla use to collect data from the billions of miles their self-driving vehicles have driven   —  Autonomous cars won't happen without tons of data.  Tesla and Waymo have a big head start  —  There's a race happening right …

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Watch how Steven Spielberg framed ‘Ready Player One’ shots in VR

Despite plenty of skepticism over early trailers and the source material itself, Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One has been doing very well at the box office. En mi opinion, it made a lot of quality shifts from the book that made it a quality popcorn flick that wasn’t too nerdishly pretentious. A lot of people in the virtual reality industry had sky-high expectations for the movie to drive people to buying VR headsets, and while that probably isn’t happening, the movie has given an opportunity to a lot of these insiders to showcase how far the technology has come. Today, HTC released a video showing how VR was used in the production of Ready Player One by the actors and the man himself, Steven Spielberg. The video offers a healthy chunk of heavy-handed PR for Vive. Nevertheless, what’s cool about the video is what it showcases about how acting has changed because of visual effects and how technology platforms can equal the playing field a bit by getting creatives deeper inside visual worlds to deliver edits with a more precise set of tools. As the actors were clad in mo-cap suits, VR offered them a chance to orient themselves. For Spielberg, himself, VR offered an opportunity to move freely through rough digital environments and frame shots while in full view of the 3D designs. Tech tools like the in-VR editors for game engines that Unity and Epic Games have built have done wonders for game developers wanting to peer inside game worlds, but they also have plenty to offer in more of a view-only sense where non-technical folk can explore details and pipe off commands for what they want a scene or model or environment to look like.

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NYC blasts broadband competition shortage as it pursues suit against Verizon

Enlarge / New York, USA - January 14, 2016: A Verizon worker on Worth Street in Lower Manhattan. (credit: Getty Images | 400tmax) More than two-thirds of New York City's 3.1 million households have just one or two broadband providers offering service to their homes, according to a new "Truth in Broadband " report issued by the city government. The report comes as NYC pursues a lawsuit against Verizon alleging that it hasn't met its broadband deployment obligations. There's only one ISP offering home broadband service at 13.54 percent of the city's 3,114,826 households, meaning that nearly 422,000 households have just one "choice." Another 55.44 percent of NYC households—nearly 1.73 million in all—have two broadband providers. The remaining 31.02 percent (more than 966,000 households) have at least three broadband providers. The report defines broadband as Internet service with at least 25Mbps download speeds and 3Mbps upload speeds, the same standard the Federal Communications Commission uses to evaluate broadband deployment progress nationwide. DSL offers some more choice, but the network technology "is not generally capable of delivering a 25Mbps download speed," the report said. The report's broadband deployment statistics are based on federal data as of December 2016. Read 19 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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RealSelf, a community for cosmetic treatments, raises $40 million

RealSelf , an online community where people can ask questions, share their experiences and connect with doctors providing cosmetic treatments, has raised $40 million in new funding — its first round of financing since the $2 million raised in 2008, two years after its founding. The round was led by Elephant, a VC firm co-founded by Warby Parker co-founder Andy Hunt. Hunt will also join RealSelf’s board of directors with the close of this round. RealSelf offers one of the largest online communities for those who want to learn more about cosmetic procedures, including plastic surgery and other non-surgical treatments, like Botox injections. It’s the sort of thing people don’t necessarily want to talk about openly on social networks, but RealSelf has found a way to get people to socialize around the topic. Its users — anonymously — post reviews, have discussions, ask questions and even detail their progress in post-op photos series. Reading through someone’s experiences not only gives people better insight into what a procedure is like, it also provides an emotional support system for those who are recovering. The idea for the company came from Expedia alum Tom Seery, following a discussion he had with his wife about how hard it was to get the true story about which cosmetic treatments are actually worth the cost and show results. RealSelf’s goal is to bring more transparency to a market where customers before had been sold on promises and hype, often by doctors who would gloss over the downsides — like months spent in painful recovery — or the potential bad outcomes from riskier procedures. Since its launch, RealSelf has grown to include more than 2 million anonymous patient reviews, ratings and photos regarding hundreds of different aesthetic procedures. And demand for this sort of information continues to grow, along with the overall market. Last year, for example, there were more than 17.5 million surgical and non-surgical cosmetic treatments performed in the U.S., up from 13.1 million procedures in 2010, the company notes. Much of that growth comes from minimally invasive, non-surgical treatments, which outpaced surgeries nearly eight to one. With more people looking for information about these procedures online, RealSelf has seen its visitor counts climb. Last year, nearly 94 million people visited the site from more than 100 countries — a metric that’s up more than 270 percent since 2013; 40 percent of those visitors were from outside the U.S

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BT to shutdown its traditional PSTN phone network and shift customers to VoIP by 2025 with public consultations about the closure starting next month…

Kat Hall / The Register : BT to shutdown its traditional PSTN phone network and shift customers to VoIP by 2025 with public consultations about the closure starting next month   —  Consultation next month following plan to shift all punters to VoIP  —  BT is forging ahead with plans to shut its traditional telephone network …

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