Good Morning: Ann Young and the spice girls travel to Greece

I just returned from a 10-day trip to Greece with friends. We went as friends and returned as the updated Spice Girls. How did that happen? We started …
social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #travel #tours


Twitter tests out ‘annotations’ in Moments

Twitter is trying out a small new change to Moments that would provide contextual information within its curated stories. Spotted by Twitter user @kwatt and confirmed by a number of Twitter product team members, the little snippets appear sandwiched between tweets in a Moment.

Called “annotations” — not to be confused with Twitter’s metadata annotations of yore — the morsels of info aim to clarify and provide context for the tweets that comprise Twitter’s curated trending content. According to the product team, they are authored by Twitter’s curation group.

In our testing, annotations only appear on the mobile app and not on the same Moments on desktop. So far we’ve seen them on a story about the NFL, one about Moviepass and another about staffing changes in the White House.

While it’s a tiny feature tweak, annotations are another sign that Twitter is exploring ways to infuse its platform with value and veracity in the face of what so far appears to be an intractable [...]  read more

The Mysterious Return of Years-Old APT1 Malware

In 2013, cybersecurity firm Mandiant published a blockbuster report on a state-sponsored hacking team known as APT1, or Comment Crew. The Chinese group achieved instant infamy, tied to the successful hacks of more than 100 US companies and the exfiltration of hundreds of terabytes of data. They also vanished in the wake of being exposed. Now, years later, researchers from security firm McAfee say they’ve found code based on APT1–associated malware cropping up in a new set of attacks.

Specifically, McAfee has found malware that reuses a portion of the code found in an implant called Seasalt, which APT1 introduced sometime around 2010. Lifting and repurposing pieces of malware is not an unusual practice, especially when those tools are widely available or open source. Look no further than the rash of attacks based on EternalBlue, the leaked [...]  read more

Amazon Australia has added free music streaming for Prime members

Amazon Australia has brought additional value to its Prime members today, announcing that its Prime Music streaming service has officially launched Down Under, giving Aussie subscribers access to over two million songs at no extra cost.

The service is included with every full Prime membership, which has an introductory price of $4.99 per month (after a free 30-day trial period) until January 2019, after which the price becomes a very reasonable $6.99 per month.

Prime Music provides listeners with up to 40 hours of music each month, with no ads, and no limits on skips or repeats. Locally curated playlists are available as part of the package. 

Amazon Prime free trial

If you’re keen on trying Prime Music, you can sign up now and get 30 free days of Amazon Prime! But with Black Friday coming up, you could wait until at least November 1 to be sure you’ve got the whole Black Friday sale period covered with your subscription and you’ll get access to Lightning Deals and [...]  read more

WSJ: Facebook believes spammers were behind its massive data breach

Facebook eventually said that about 30 million people actually had their login tokens stolen (you can see if your account was among them by checking this page), and said that the attackers took account details and contact information. Still, the paper said “internal researchers” believe the people behind it are existing Facebook and Instagram spammers who claim to run a “digital marketing company.”

The lines between misinformation spread by nation-state sponsored trolls, shady analytics companies and spammers chasing trendy topics to make a buck have become increasingly blurred in recent years, so it’s difficult to know if this adds up or if we’ll ever know who exactly stole the information and where it ended up. Facebook VP Guy Rosen said [...]  read more

Gillette partners with Formlabs to 3D print razor handles

3D printing for manufacturing is one of those things that gets talked about a lot, but we’ve yet to see a lot of truly mainstream applications for the technology. A new partnership between Gillette and MIT-born startup Formlabs offers an interesting potential peek into such a future.

Granted, customized razor handles is probably more of a novelty than anything. It’s not exactly as game changing as, say, Invisalign braces, prostheses or even sneakers, but if the tech proves scalable it could add an extra level of customization to a product that’s a part of many of our day to day lives.

For now, Gillette’s 3D-printed razor handle program is just a pilot the shaving giant is offering up in limited quantities. It starts at $19 and goes up to $45, depending on the materials used. Using the Razor Maker site, users can build their own distinct version. The handles are then printed on Formlabs machines at Gillette’s Boston headquarters.

social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit [...]  read more

A New Facebook Suit Makes ‘Pivot to Video’ Even More Myopic

Facebook acknowledged in 2016 that it had been overstating to advertisers the average time users spent watching videos on the platform. But when exactly Facebook found out about that error—and how long the company kept it under wraps—is now the subject of a federal district court lawsuit in California. The suit, filed earlier this week, was brought by Facebook advertisers who allege that Facebook knew about the measurement error for more than a year before it was first reported publicly in The Wall Street Journal.

But advertisers aren’t the only ones seething over the prospect of Facebook knowingly inflating its video viewership; members of the press are, too.

According to the complaint, which Facebook has dismissed as being “without merit,” the company may have been alerted to the analytics error as early as 2015 by advertisers who reported seeing an unrealistic 100 percent average viewership rates on some videos. It was also around that time that [...]  read more