People have been airing their dirty laundry and slinging shade on Secret — an anonymous sharing app — for months now. Who could blame them? It’s fun, it’s freeing and accountability basically doesn’t exist there… or so some may believe. Kevin Poulson at Wired spoke to a security researcher named Ben Caudill and the takeaway is clear: your secrets aren’t necessarily as secret as you think. And the kicker? The process of tying real people to the things they said was a shockingly simple one if you understand how Secret finds and displays people’s messages.
You see, once you have at least seven people in your phone’s contact list using Secret, the app will tag those posts as coming from a “friend”. But what if only one of those contacts is actually real? That’s what Caudill seized on: by clearing out his contact list, and adding the target’s contact information along with a handful of dummy accounts he created, any secret the target posted would be properly tagged as a friend post. Voilà — a relatively quick and easy way to unmask just about whoever you want… as long as you can scrounge up their email address and phone number.
As Wired points out, the trick definitely worked, but only in one direction. Thankfully, there’s still no (publicly disclosed) way to suss out a user’s identity starting from a secret they’ve already shared with the world. Secret CEO David Byttow confirmed that this particular issue has been taken care of, which makes it one of the latest in a long list of bugs (42, to be precise) that’ve been closed since Secret opened up its bug bounty program six months ago. Still, we can’t help but wonder how long it’ll be before someone without white-hat scruples stumbles upon some security flaw and starts going to town with it. Remember, Secret users: you can always unlink your comments if you start getting cold feet.
A few days ago, a Brazilian judge ordered Apple and Google to pull Secret from the local app store and wipe it from the handsets of whose who had downloaded it. The same ruling covered Microsoft, who was ordered to do the same to Windows Phone clone Cryptic. So far, however, only Apple has begun to comply with the order, after suspending fresh downloads of the app to iOS accounts registered in Brazil. According to local news media, the company hasn’t started pulling the software from individual handsets, but that’s still more than Google or Microsoft have done. Both companies claim that they’ve not been directly notified of the widely-reported ruling, although it’s more likely that they’re waiting on a final decision from the courts before taking any action.
AT&T is making U-Verse more appealing with each passing day. After the carrier revealed it would beat Google to the punch on bringing gigabit internet to Silicon Valley, now U-Verse is getting a great deal of fresh content and making its way to additional mobile devices. Aside from launching on Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD and Fire HDX, as well as the Fire phone, the U-Verse app today also welcomed over 50 new channels to its catalog of live TV streaming channels. This includes Cartoon Network, CNN, EPIX, ESPN, GolTV, HBO, HGTV, TBS, TNT and Travel Channel, plus many others — most of which you can watch even if you’re away from your home network. All in all, definitely a boost for U-Verse subscribers, and if you aren’t, it’s at least good to know that U-Verse looks to be a solid choice, especially now that DirecTV is joining AT&T’s ranks.
We’re a week away from the start of college football season, and to prep for the action, ESPN released a score-tracking app for Pebble smartwatches. The software beams game info from the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL alongside both NCAA football and basketball action to your wrist for easy viewing. Should you find yourself some place other than the living room during the big game, the wearable will vibrate to alert you to game update and score changes, keeping an eye on multiple games simultaneously. Sports fans who already have the gadget can outfit it with the ESPN watchapp via the Pebble’s library for both iOS and Android now.
Source: Pebble App Store
Uber and Hailo are forever playing catch-up with each other, and this week is no exception. Just hours after Uber announced it’s now allowing developers to bake Uber features into their apps, Hailo’s following suit by opening up its own platform. Information on ride availability, the time a car will take to get to you and, of course, the ability to hail one are among the first features third-party developers can make use of. Hailo first showed off these capabilities after it teamed up with travel app CityMapper, but is now opening them up to everyone. Given that Hailo only operates in a small number of cities across the US, Europe and Asia, these features will likely be added to just a limited number of apps for now. As Hailo expands its taxi and private car service further afield, however, there’s a chance big name hotels, airlines and travel sites could get on board, too.
Filed under: Transportation
McDonald’s is taking on a new strategy to get us to eat more of its artery cloggers — one that involves ramping up its digital efforts. Golden Arches has just hired its first ever U.S. vice president of digital (former Ticketmaster exec Julia Vander Ploeg) and, at the same time, posted a bunch of relevant job opportunities. By the looks of it, the company wants to form a team of professionals under Vander Ploeg to be able to reach its goals, including offering “a variety of digital music and entertainment experiences” (as stated in its posting for a product director for music and entertainment) to its patrons. McDonald’s is also looking for people to improve its mobile website, develop games and, more importantly, release a global mobile ordering app that customers can use anywhere they are. Sadly, the company hasn’t elaborated on what its plans are at this point in time. And since you’re not the only one wondering if McDonald’s aims to release games and downloadable music in the future, we’ll keep an eye out for more details.
Filed under: Misc
Once you tiptoe past a certain age, ignoring calls from mom and dad sort of becomes de rigueur as you go about your day. That sort of filial nonsense doesn’t fly when you’re younger though, and now there’s an app to make sure you return you young’uns return your parents’ calls – it’s called Ignore No More, and it essentially works by locking down your smartphone until you call them to verbally check in.
For better or worse, the setup process takes just a bit of doing. Parental units need to create an account and make sure the app is installed on all the phones in question (at a cost of $2 a head). Once that’s done though, all it takes is a few taps to lock down access to nearly everything else on the device — the only way to regain access is for the phone’s owner to place a call to someone on a preset list of contacts. Voilà: parents have a surefire way to get junior on the phone whenever they’d like. Fortunately for the Apple faithful, this app is Android-only for now; feel free to dodge your folks with impunity until the iOS version is released.
Via: Digital Trends
Source: Ignore No More
The onward march of the selfie, there’s no stopping it. Many people shudder at the slightest mention of the (now official) word. Others need only the flimsiest (and sometimes eyebrow-raising) reason to extend one arm and assume the duck face. Unsurprisingly, as with any part of popular culture, there’s a backlash. SLMMSK is an “antiselfie” app for iOS (and Android eventually) that subverts the selfie, using the art form’s very own weapon of choice — the filter — to obscure, rather than enhance, the subject’s face. The app also adds a CCTV-esque grain effect and VHS-style timestamp to ramp up the underground vibe. You just need to pull your best grin, say YOLO, and take the snap. The “filters” include a black censor bar, heavy pixelation, warping and more. The dislike for selfies doesn’t extend to social sharing though — you can upload your best shots to Instagram and Facebook and jostle for attention among the uncensored self portraits as per usual. Judging by the associated (and equally anarchic-looking) website, you might even increase your infamy by bagging a featured spot.
Via: Cool Hunting
When an NFL team builds a brand new stadium, it’s usually packed with the latest tech to insure a flashy introduction. The Dallas Cowboys have absurdly large video screens over the field and the Arizona Cardinals can move the entire playing surface outdoors to soak up some rays. This season, the San Francisco 49ers moved from Candlestick Park to Levi’s Stadium: the first of the NFL’s venues to be LEED certified, thanks in part a solar collection system that will power all ten home games. To enhance the fan experience, there’s a smartphone app that sorts tickets, concessions and wrangles instant replay. In fact, you can use it to scout the line at the nearest beer cart or place an order in advance for pickup or seat-side delivery. As you might expect, this past weekend’s first game action put the new system to the test, and as is common with most new large-scale tech, fans felt the bugs pretty quickly.
The ability to pay for food and have it delivered right to your seat sounds like a welcome change… if the system works. Fans reported issues with concessions portion of the app not receiving orders, leaving one particular season ticket holder rather hangry. Also, the instant replay portion of the app wasn’t switched on for the first preseason game in Santa Clara, so fans weren’t able to access what’s sure to be a popular feature of the stadium’s software — especially for those folks in the nosebleeds. To lend a hand with the issues, so-called Ninerds are on hand to help troubleshoot tech troubles that may arise.
The Levi’s Stadium WiFi and network at large held up pretty well today. More work to do but we feel good.
- Dan Williams (@danw49) August 18, 2014
Deadspin reports that the stadium’s WiFi network peaked when 20,000 devices hit it at the same time, but the venue seats 68,500 fans — of which I’d surmise 75% are likely to be carrying a smartphone. For those who were able to connect, speeds hovered around the 2-3 Mbps mark until the blowout loss at the hands of the Denver Broncos sent some fans home early lessening the burden on the system. According to a tweet from 49ers VP of technology Dan Williams, wireless access worked admirably in its first go, but the necessary improvements are on the way. So it seems that while coaching staffs work out the bugs with the sideline Surface tablets during the preseason, the folks at Levi’s Stadium will look to do the same with its remaining exhibition. A regular season crowd will put the app and its network to the test during Week 2′s matchup with the Chicago Bears.
[Photo credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]
Google’s all-encompassing Photo Spheres are no longer limited to Android users and those comfy with photo stitching software — the internet giant has just released a Photo Sphere Camera app for the iPhone-toting crowd. As before, it lets you create 360-degree panoramas just by spinning around in place. You can both share the resulting masterworks with others (including the Google Maps community) and check out others’ spheres in the Views hub. It’s overkill if you’re perfectly content with alternative panoramic apps or plain old landscape shots, but it’s hard to object to having one more way to liven up your vacation photos. Swing by the App Store to check out Photo Sphere for yourself.
Source: App Store