Yet another critical security flaw has been found for Adobe’s notoriously sieve-like Flash plug-in, this time by Google Engineer Michele Spagnuolo. His exploit tool, called “Rosetta Flash” is just a proof of concept, but could allow hackers to steal your cookies and other data using malicious Flash .SWF files. The exploit is well known in the security community, but had been left unfixed until now as nobody had found a way to harness it for evil. So how does this affect you? Many companies like Twitter, Microsoft, Google and Instagram have already patched their sites, but beware of others that may still be vulnerable. Adobe now has a fix, and if you use Chrome or Internet Explorer 10 or 11, your browser should automatically update soon with the latest versions of Flash, 18.104.22.168 (check your version here). However, if you have a browser like Firefox, you may want to grab the latest Flash version from Adobe directly (watch out for unwanted add-ons with pre-checked boxes). Finally, if you use apps like Tweetdeck or Pandora, you’ll need to update Adobe AIR — that should happen automatically, but the latest version is 22.214.171.124 for Windows, Mac and Android.
Filed under: Internet
Via: Krebson Security
Maybe cord-cutting has gone too far: three New York City filmmakers are publishing their new series exclusively on Instagram. On July 1st, seven 15 second episodes of “Artistically Challenged” will appear on the trio’s Instagram account, with 25 additional updates landing every day after July 7th. After 32 episodes (and 8 minutes of footage) the story will be over — but it’s not the only narrative Instagram video has to tell. Earlier this year Adult Swim split an episode of Rick and Morty into 109 bite size chunks and says its building an entire “micro-network” for smartphone audiences.
Artistically Challenged may be making its public debut on Instagram, but it wasn’t shot on a smartphone. Early production stills show the project’s crew working with DSLRs and proper lighting rigs. The series is being shot professionally — with a crew of more than 25 NYU alumni and students — but is being formatted for the small screen in post-production. It’s certainly a novel idea, but this probably isn’t the future of cinema. Even so, you can catch the series on July 1st right here.
Internet scams certainly aren’t new, but they’re kicking into high gear now that the World Cup has many people eager for some futbol. For example, Malwarebytes has spotted a fake EA Sports account on Instagram (fake accounts have been on Twitter for a while) that lures FIFA 14 gamers with promises of free team members. If you’re tempted enough to click through, you wind up at a plausible-looking phishing site that asks for your EA Origin and Xbox Live credentials — do that and you’ll quickly lose control of both logins. There’s no guarantees that Instagram or authorities can shut the Instagram account (or any other nogoodnik) down for good, so the best defense is a healthy dose of caution: always double-check an offer if it seems too be good to be true, no matter where it comes from.
Filed under: Internet
The blight of oversharing on Instagram is nothing new. Luckily, the image-based social network gives you a very easy solution for cutting out unwanted brunch photos: unfollowing. If you aren’t prepared to diss a friend that strongly, though, A&G Labs has a more passive-aggressive option for you. Its Pic Nix website allows you to anonymously tell friends that the selfies and sunsets have to stop.
After you create a message based on 16 “offenses” listed on the website – from vacation shots and pics of kids to #TBT posts – a robot will build and post the image for you. The robot, dubbed Silent B.O.B, posts to Instagram using a stylus paired with an Arduino X-Y plotter to insert and crop the photo, along with a Bluetooth keyboard to type out your caption. Your message is sent out from the @PicNixer account, and the offending friend will get a notification.
Since you can only choose from a list of images and captions, your friend-shaming will probably remain anonymous. The limited choices also prevent your digs from getting too out of hand, which is definitely a good thing. Awesome robot-posting aside, we still might suggest taking a more direct approach with you Instagram intervention.
Filed under: Internet
Via: The Verge
Instagram on Tuesday announced a brand new 6.0 release of its mobile apps, bringing many new photo editing options. Not new filters, mind you, but actual photo editing and retouching capabilities.
From brightening up a photo of your dinner party to better capturing the warmth of a sunset portrait, these new creative tools help you bring out and share the beauty of the moment as you remember it—right inside the same simple Instagram you already know.
Arriving in the Google Play Store and App Store today, the app now lets users brighten images, add vignettes, and adjust other settings. In other words, it features some of the very stuff we use other apps for before sharing to Instagram.
- Adjust: Crop and straighten your photo at the same time.
- Brightness: Makes your photo brighter or darker.
- Contrast: Makes the bright areas of your photo brighter, and the dark areas darker.
- Warmth: Shifts the colors of your photo toward either warmer orange tones or cooler blue tones.
- Saturation: Increases or decreases the color intensity of the image (e.g. red becomes redder).
- Highlights: Adjust the brightness focusing on the bright areas of the image.
- Shadows: Adjust the brightness focusing on the dark areas of the image.
- Vignette: Darkens the edges of the photo to direct the attention away from the edges and toward the center of the photo.
- Sharpen: Adds a subtle crispness to your photo and makes photo clearer.
- Filter Strength: Tap on a filter to adjust the filter strength. (Border is now within Filter Strength; tap on a filter to add a border).
- Each editing tool comes with a slider that allows you to adjust how much to apply each effect.
- Tap on your photo preview to compare your photo’s before and after effects.
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The problem with trying to be unique on Instagram, is that there are millions of other users spoiling that, using the same darn filters. How dare they. Starting today, things should get a little more varied, as the
food photo sharing network has just introduced a host of new features, but most importantly those popular filters are adjustable, too. The new controls include: filter strength, brightness, contrast, warmth, saturation, highlights, shadows, vignette and sharpen. Instagram’s no doubt hoping these new options put it’s free app on a par with some big name paid apps when it comes to editing power. But, unless you like your images square, it might not be a full editing replacement just yet. It’s available for iPhone and Android right now. Fill yer boots.
We’ve got a feeling that Mark Zuckerberg will, regretfully, be unable to accept this particular foreign invitation — especially after all the recent name-calling that’s been coming out of Iran. Nevertheless, a court in the south of that country has reportedly ordered the Facebook CEO to attend a hearing to answer complaints over privacy, specifically regarding Instagram and WhatsApp. There have been calls for both services to be blocked in Tehran, but they’re still operational for now, perhaps partly due to a degree of protection from more moderate forces within the country. The precise details of the court summons are hard to be sure of, because news of it comes not from the court itself, but from an official within the Basij militia — a voluntary paramilitary force that is regularly called upon to protect Iran’s theocracy from dissent. And frankly, that’s exactly the sort of geo-political context that might further dissuade Zuckerberg’s PA from scheduling an appointment.
Filed under: Internet
Source: Sky News
Iran’s top officials may use social media, but the country’s general populace isn’t allowed to join them. The nation has already banned Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp, and yesterday it reportedly added Instagram to the naughty list. According to the AP, a private lawsuit was brought against Iran’s Ministry of Communications, forcing the bureau to restrict access to the Zuckerberg-owned photo-sharing service. There’s no evidence that such filtering is in place right now, and users in Tehran were still able to take some selfies on Friday lunchtime. Still, given that social media is a threat to the country’s conservative establishment, we imagine that someone will keep bringing lawsuits until no-one can utter the phrase “lemme take a selfie.”
Source: ABC News
Flickr’s latest app is its best yet, but even that might not be enough to save it.
I posted my first-ever selfie on Flickr on July 11, 2004. Taken with the rear camera of a Sony Ericsson T616, the photo was horrendously grainy at a resolution of 288 x 352. But at the time, taking a picture with my phone and uploading it to a website (via MMS, no less) was a strange and wonderful thing. I would soon grow to use Flickr for photos taken with a regular camera as well, but it was that initial brush with mobile technology that drew me into its fold.
Ten years later, and the landscape of mobile photography has changed dramatically. Not only can smartphones snap pics that rival the ones from point-and-shoot cameras, but also uploading those images to the web is as easy as using an app. Unfortunately, the rise of smartphones, and the subsequent fall of dedicated cameras, led to a decline in Flickr’s utility. Heeding the siren call of the iTunes App Store, the site released an iPhone app in 2009, but early versions were clunky, slow and woefully insufficient. Uploads took forever even though image quality was downsized to 600 x 450, and users were forced to log in via Safari.
As Flickr struggled to get its mobile act together, a serious competitor emerged in 2010: Instagram. It wasn’t perfect — you could only upload square pics and you couldn’t group them by album. But unlike Flickr, Instagram didn’t have to worry about integrating a photo behemoth into its mobile offerings — it could just be lightweight and nimble, as a mobile app should be. Under Marissa Mayer’s new leadership, Flickr attempted an app revamp in 2012. It introduced a whole slew of editing features and photo filters along with new sharing capabilities that put it more in line with the competition. But even that felt like an attempt to shoehorn the site’s sprawling web presence into a tiny screen. Pictures in the main welcome area looked small on mobile, and if you wanted to view them in full resolution, you had to tap them twice.
Which is why the Flickr 3.0 redesign that rolled in a couple of weeks ago struck me as so important. At last, it seemed, Flickr had finally gotten a clue and made its app more mobile-friendly. The main viewing area, for example, is similar to Instagram’s, with square images and the ability to seamlessly fave, comment and share a photo without ever leaving the river. Lest you think that all your Flickr photos are now forced into squares, don’t fret — they just appear that way in the feed. To view an image in its full resolution, you just tap the photo and it’s there in all its glory, in portrait or landscape. This, I felt, is what made it so much better than Instagram. No longer was I limited to square-shaped photos — they could be in any orientation or size I wanted, and the app could handle it just fine.
At last, it seemed, Flickr had finally gotten a clue and made its app more mobile-friendly.
Bernardo Hernandez, who currently heads up Flickr at Yahoo, said that it didn’t intentionally mimic Instagram’s layout. “We chose the square format because it was the most balanced way to display different aspect ratios for different pictures,” he said. He pointed out that you can even zoom in on photos, which you can’t do on Instagram. Further, with the new Flickr app, someone could upload a whole swath of photos without the images dominating your feed. Instead, a triptych or split images are used to indicate multiple pics, with a link inviting you to “View all” photos underneath. Fittingly, you can also upload several photos at once and add them to albums or groups.
At long last, Flickr 3.0 also adds video to the mix, allowing you to record and upload clips of up to 30 seconds, which handily beats the 15-second limit on Instagram. Another big differentiator is the choice to limit the audience of select photos. With Instagram, your entire stream has to be either private or public — you can’t mix and match different privacy settings within the same account. Last, but not least, you can also automatically upload every picture you ever take to Flickr. As the service offers one terabyte for free, that’s not an entirely bad idea.
On the whole, this is the best app Flickr has ever released, and in terms of design and features, it beats Instagram handily. With over 5,000 photos on the service, I was thrilled to be back on Flickr after a years-long affair with Instagram.
At first. After just two weeks delving deep into the Flickr app, I found myself going back to Instagram. As wonderful as the new app was, it was missing one key ingredient: my friends.
Back in the day, Flickr was not just one of the best options for storing your photos online. It was also a bustling community filled with amateur photography enthusiasts and early web adopters, many of whom were my friends. In many ways, Flickr was the reason my affinity for photography blossomed. I learned tips and tricks at Flickr meetups and photowalks. I wasn’t on Flickr just for the pretty pictures. I also wanted to see where my friends went on vacation and what they did over the weekend, and I’m pretty sure the feeling was mutual. Sure, it was a place for professional photogs to show their work, but the real appeal, for me anyway, was in a social network with photography as an entry point.
As wonderful as the new app was, it was missing one key ingredient: my friends.
Somewhere along the line, however, the community just dissipated. You could blame Yahoo for forcing its login system and not working harder to keep the community happy, or say that everyone just moved on to Facebook as their social network of choice. In any case, my friends who once used Flickr as their primary photo-sharing site are now sharing them elsewhere. Even those who still post to Flickr are cross-posting from Instagram.
Not everyone has given up. Longtime Flickr user and professional photographer Thomas Hawk still remains enthusiastic about the site. “My favorite place to store photos online is Flickr,” Hawk said. “As a grandfathered Pro account on Flickr, I can post an unlimited number of full high-res photos on the site.”
However, he too admits that he has a much larger audience on Google+ and Facebook, adding that while Flickr is good for online storage, it’s not so great for community. Scott Beale, a founder of Laughing Squid who was once dubbed the “official photographer for Web 2.0,” agrees. He said there’s not much community there these days. Another popular photographer, Trey Ratcliff, hardly uses Flickr at all, preferring instead to share his photos on Google+.
Hernandez said Yahoo wants Flickr to be a destination for photography enthusiasts of all levels. “Ten years ago, only professional photographers could take really beautiful pictures. Now, everyone’s a photographer with the high-res cameras on phones,” he said. Flickr was built as a platform for photography, he continued, stating that the site has a community full of people who are passionate about the art form.
Flickr is a site for people who want to take great photos. Instagram, on the other hand, is a place for people who want to share goofy pictures of their everyday lives.
“We’ve made a really conscious effort in bringing the community back,” Hernandez said. “We have tremendous engagement — we have the largest photography community product on the web.” There’s a tremendous need to learn how to take a picture, he said, and Flickr’s community of photographers fulfills that need. While that may be true, the rise of mobile photography is proof that most people don’t really care about how good their photos look. Instagram is still the most popular mobile photo app after all these years. (It’s currently number two in the Photo & Video category in the iTunes App Store, second only to Snapchat.)
A random glance at Instagram’s Explore tab shows a blurry photo of someone playing the saxophone, a fuzzy white cat and a selfie of a teenager. Flickr’s Explore page, on the other hand, shows jaw-dropping vistas of beaches in Hawaii, a beautiful image of a farm in Tuscany and an artistic shot of streaks of light at a London bus stop. At a glance, Flickr is a site for people who want to take great photos. Instagram, on the other hand, is a place for people who want to share goofy pictures of their everyday lives. And when it comes down to it, most of us are the latter.
For the entire time Instagram has existed, there has been one stand-out feature that seems neglected: the Explore tab. Usually filled with photos of One Direction, food, or fashion companies, the Explore tab kept users away rather than inviting them to explore. Thankfully, Instagram is working on it by trying to offer more personalized content.
The revamped Explore tab will now show the top photos and videos ‘liked’ by your friends, rather than the top posts ‘liked’ around the world. It’s a start, definitely, but it’s still difficult to decipher why exactly those photos made it to the tab in the first place. Some stuff can still be tailored to your liking, but for the most part, we’d bet the tab isn’t going to be used any more frequently than it already is.
Let’s hope these changes stick around, and the folks at Instagram keep making improvements!
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