SolarWinds told Congress that an intern was responsible for the ‘solarwinds123’ password security breach, but experts and documents suggest a bigger issue (SWI)

Summary List Placement Two SolarWinds CEOs told the US Congress on Friday that the now-infamous exposure of the password “solarwinds123” was the result of an intern’s mistake in 2017. Those new statements shine a light on a cybersecurity lapse that has posed questions about the sweeping cybersecurity attacks for several months.  Five cybersecurity experts tell Insider they believe the issue has broad cybersecurity implications beyond an intern’s weak password. Among the experts is the researcher who discovered the issue, which involved the log-in information to a server used for software updates. An email that appears to be from SolarWinds’ security team to that researcher notes that information was “publicly accessible”… Read More

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Go read this report about how selling safe masks online is surprisingly hard

Photo by Gary Hershorn/Getty Images A new report from The New York Times’ Andrew Jacobs digs into how mask policies on tech platforms that have allowed novelty masks like scrunchie masks to flourish while some mask-makers making high-filtration masks have had trouble selling their wares. Even if you’re vaccinated, wearing a mask is still recommended. It seems like a problem, then, that many masks widely advertised on Facebook, Instagram, and Amazon are novelty varieties that might be less safe than medical-grade N95s. Facebook and Amazon say they are following guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Facebook prevented mask sellers from advertising and selling masks to the masses… Read More

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What the NFT? VC David Pakman dumbs down the digital collectibles frenzy and why it’s taking off now

Non-fungible tokens have been around for two years, but these NFTs, one-of-one digital items on the Ethereum and other blockchains, are suddenly becoming a more popular way to collect visual art, primarily, whether it’s an animated cat or an NBA clip or virtual furniture. “Suddenly” is hardly an overstatement. According to the outlet Cointelegraph, during the second half of last year, $9 million worth of NFT goods sold to buyers; during one 24-hour window earlier this week, $60 million worth of digital goods were sold. What’s going on? A thorough New York Times piece on the trend earlier this week likely fueled new interest, along with a separate piece in… Read More

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What the NFT? VC David Pakman dumbs down the digital collectibles frenzy and why it’s taking off now

Non-fungible tokens have been around for two years, but these NFTs, one-of-one digital items on the Ethereum and other blockchains, are suddenly becoming a more popular way to collect visual art, primarily, whether it’s an animated cat or an NBA clip or virtual furniture. “Suddenly” is hardly an overstatement. According to the outlet Cointelegraph, during the second half of last year, $9 million worth of NFT goods sold to buyers; during one 24-hour window earlier this week, $60 million worth of digital goods were sold. What’s going on? A thorough New York Times piece on the trend earlier this week likely fueled new interest, along with a separate piece in… Read More

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EXCLUSIVE: Softbank has offered shopping rewards app Fetch a $1.5 billion valuation deal

Summary List Placement When Wes Schroll went grocery shopping a decade ago as a college student, he realized he cared a lot more about the brands he purchased than which store he was in. That sparked the idea for Fetch Rewards, a shopping savings app where consumers upload store receipts to earn free rewards from the brands they’ve purchased. Schroll dropped out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2013 to build the company.  Now, amidst breakneck growth during the pandemic, Fetch Rewards is in talks to raise a new Series D round of funding that could more than double the firm’s valuation to about $1.5 billion, two people familiar with… Read More

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How to get dark mode on TikTok in the iPhone app, and give the viral app a new sleek look

Summary List Placement Whether you’re looking something stylish, or just a new look for your favorite apps, dark mode options are there for you.  If you’re on an iPhone (sorry, Android and desktop users), you can turn on dark mode in TikTok now too. This will make normally black text turn white, and change the lighter backgrounds to black. Don’t worry about the videos though — they’ll stay the same. How to turn on dark mode in TikTok on an iPhone  Open the TikTok app and tap the icon labeled “Me” in the bottom-right.  Tap the three horizontal dots in the top-right to open the “Settings and privacy” menu. Select… Read More

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What is Audible Live? Everything you need to know about the audiobook platform’s celebrity interview series

Summary List Placement Audible is so much more than an audiobook and podcast platform.  The success of the Amazon-owned company has made it a significant player in the publishing world, and it’s taking complete advantage of that with a newer offering: Audible Live.  You may have come across announcements for or even recordings of live interviews with prominent authors and other literary figures on the platform. These are all part of the Audible Live series.  If you were wondering what happens at these events and how to get an invite, here’s everything you need to know about Audible Live.  What is Audible Live Audible Live is a series of real-time, Q&A-style… Read More

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Daily Crunch: Facebook launches rap app

Facebook unveils another experimental app, Atlassian acquires a data visualization startup and Newsela becomes a unicorn. This is your Daily Crunch for February 26, 2021. The big story: Facebook launches rap app The new BARS app was created by NPE Team (Facebook’s internal R&D group), allowing rappers to select from professionally created beats, and then create and share their own raps and videos. It includes autotune and will even suggest rhymes as you’re writing the lyrics. This marks NPE Team’s second musical effort — the first was the music video app Collab. (It could also be seen as another attempt by Facebook to launch a TikTok competitor.) BARS is available… Read More

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How to block a number or contact on any Android device

Summary List Placement You don’t need to put up with the annoyance of regularly receiving unwanted phone calls.    If you frequently get a call from the same telemarketer or another unwanted caller, you can block that call. Once you do, any blocked number that calls you on your Android phone will be sent directly to voicemail.  While the steps to block a call can vary depending on the device brand and version of Android, in most cases you can block calls through your either phone app’s settings, recent calls, or contact lists.  Here’s how to do it.  How to block a number on Android using the Phone app To… Read More

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This TikTok Tom Cruise impersonator is using deepfake tech to impressive ends

Not pictured: Tom Cruise | Image: @deeptomcruise on TikTok What’s better than an ultra-high-tech, Mission: Impossible-style mask? The deepfake technology this TikToker is using to impersonate Tom Cruise, apparently (via The Daily Beast). The deeptomcruise account appears to feature someone who’s pretending to be the famous actor, and the impression isn’t just jaw-dropping because of how well the person replicates Cruise’s famous laugh. @deeptomcruise Sports! ♬ original sound – Tom How can you tell it’s not actually Tom Cruise using some sort of strange Twitter name? First, his voice is close, but it’s not quite there, especially since the lip-syncing is a tiny bit off at some points. You can… Read More

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