Hackers Increasingly Use SIM-Swapping to Hijack Accounts

Last week, hackers took over the Twitter account of that company’s chief executive Jack Dorsey, using SIM-swapping, a technique that lets hackers access social media, email, financial accounts and other sensitive data. SIM-swapping, by which hackers take over the target’s phone, is being used to steal money and take over the “online personae” of celebrities, politicians and other notable people. In response, Twitter temporarily turned off the feature that allows users to send tweets via text message. Continue reading Hackers Increasingly Use SIM-Swapping to Hijack Accounts

CalECPA: California Governor Signs Landmark Privacy Law

California Governor Jerry Brown last week signed a new law designed to protect digital privacy rights. The California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (CalECPA) mandates that a warrant is required in order for state law enforcement agencies or investigators to compel businesses to turn over metadata or digital communications such as emails, texts, and cloud-stored documents. Additionally, it requires a warrant for the tracking or searching of electronic devices. The White House, meanwhile, has backed down on its battle with tech companies over encrypted data of digital devices. Continue reading CalECPA: California Governor Signs Landmark Privacy Law

Google’s Project Fi Phone Service Promises Fast Connectivity

Google has unveiled its experimental Project Fi, a new mobile phone service that seamlessly switches between Wi-Fi and 4G LTE networks to ensure that people will have the fastest connections. Users will also be able to switch between devices, so text messages and phone calls can be answered from a smartphone, tablet or computer. Google partnered with Sprint and T-Mobile for the data networks, and it plans on offering its Project Fi for as low as $30 per month. Continue reading Google’s Project Fi Phone Service Promises Fast Connectivity

Android Wear Watches Can Now Connect to Phones via Wi-Fi

Google has updated the Android Wear operating system to include wrist controls, Wi-Fi connectivity, and other functionality features. For the first time, smartwatch users won’t have to be tethered to their smartphone because the Wi-Fi connection will allow them to receive text messages and check email on their watches without needing their smartphones nearby. The first Android Wear smartwatches with this technology built-in are expected to begin shipping next month. Continue reading Android Wear Watches Can Now Connect to Phones via Wi-Fi

Twitter Users Can Change Setting to Expand Direct Messaging

As promised, Twitter is moving forward with new changes to expand its private messaging feature that will allow users to receive private messages from any account. Twitter’s previous messaging policy forbid users from exchanging private messages, unless both users were following one another’s accounts. The new change, a setting option that will have to be manually enabled, may prompt more users to make use of Twitter’s Direct Messaging service, which has yet to gain significant traction. Continue reading Twitter Users Can Change Setting to Expand Direct Messaging

Twitter Believes the Time is Now Right for Live Streaming Apps

Despite the failure of several live streaming apps in recent years, Twitter and other investors are betting that consumers are now ready to live stream their experiences. Twitter recently acquired live streaming app Periscope for $100 million and now Twitter users can broadcast live from the social network. Meerkat, Camio, YouNow, Justin.tv, and Livestream offer similar services. With more access to streaming, people may be more inclined to share video of themselves through this model. Continue reading Twitter Believes the Time is Now Right for Live Streaming Apps

ABC to Broadcast Sitcom Episode Shot on iPhones and iPads

On February 25, ABC will air an episode of “Modern Family” called “Connection Lost” that addresses how parents attempt to communicate with their disinterested children via technology. The production marks a first in that it was shot almost exclusively on mobile devices, including Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPad Air 2. During the episode, the TV screen will often resemble character Claire Dunphy’s MacBook screen featuring a mock-up of Apple’s OS X Yosemite (the show was produced in October when Yosemite was still in beta). Continue reading ABC to Broadcast Sitcom Episode Shot on iPhones and iPads

Microsoft Band Joins the Health and Fitness Wearable Market

Microsoft Band is a new wrist-worn device that works with an online service called Microsoft Health. The service will analyze personal health and exercise data collected by the band and other devices. The display on the black rubber bracelet will show text messages from a cell phone, Facebook alerts, and barcodes that allow people to pay for things with a swipe of their wrist. The device will track heart rate, sleep quality, and calories burned using optical sensors rather than less accurate audio sensors. Continue reading Microsoft Band Joins the Health and Fitness Wearable Market

Twitter Launches Money Transfers and Access to Music Tracks

One of France’s largest banks, Group BPCE, is teaming up with Twitter to let their customers transfer money to friends or charities via tweets. Payments will be managed by the bank’s S-Money service that allows transfers via text messages and uses credit-card security standards. Twitter users can also now listen to select iTunes and SoundCloud tracks via a new audio feature launched last week. Users can listen to music while reading tweets, and even buy tracks directly from the iTunes store. Continue reading Twitter Launches Money Transfers and Access to Music Tracks