It’s time for the latest edition of Feedback Loop! We discuss the dark and sometimes disappointing side of crowdfunding, ponder whether passwords are dying, look for point-and-shoot camera suggestions, share the cheapest ways to get HBO and talk about overly hyped gadgets. Head past the break to talk about all this and more with your fellow Engadget readers.
The perils of crowdfunding
For every great product that comes out of crowdfunding sites like Indiegogo or Kickstarter, it seems there’s an conversely horrible story about something that never shipped or lived up to expectations. Our own John Colucci discusses the darker side of this phenomenon and readers chimed in to share their own experiences. Do you have any crazy Kickstarter stories to tell?
Is the password really dying?
After enabling two-factor authentication on his personal Twitter account, a Wall Street Journal reporter shared his password with the public. He argues that “the password is finally dying.” Is he crazy? We discuss whether this is actually the case. Are passwords really dying? And what happens to two-factor authentication when you share one of your factors? Head over to the forums and sound off!
Point-and-shoot camera suggestions
Engadget forums user Baileylo recently welcomed a new member to his family. Congrats, Logan! He’s looking for a new camera to properly capture those special moments. What’s a good point-and-shoot under $500 that can work in a variety of lighting situations? Let him know!
What’s the cheapest way to get HBO?
HBO is basically the Holy grail of premium cable TV. Everyone wants it, but not everyone wants to pay for all the packages needed to get it. Is it possible to get access to HBO without subscribing to a ton of unnecessary channels? Or are we stuck sharing our parents’ HBO Go access? Share your tips and tricks right here.
Over-hyped gadget sightings
There have been a number of gadgets that have received tons of hype and press, only to end up forgotten and unloved. Things like the Microsoft Kin One, the Kin Two, the Nexus Q and even more recent examples like the Lytro and Samsung Galaxy Gear. Frank talks about seeing some of these “gadget unicorns” out in the wild. What are some surprising and unloved gadgets you’ve seen when you’ve been out and about?
Other discussions you may also like:
- What do you want to know about the Destiny beta?
- With new power restrictions on portable devices, how will TSA handle battery packs?
- Halt and Catch Fire S1E7: There’s a sucker born every minute
- Today is the 4th Anniversary of the 1st Instagram
That’s all this week! Want to talk about your favorite gadget or have a burning question about technology? Register for an Engadget account today, visit the Engadget forums and start a new discussion!
If you’ve been on Twitter long enough, chances are that you’ve sent at least one or two direct messages (DMs) that you’d rather not see again. Deleting any regretful conversations in one fell swoop should you use the service across multiple devices isn’t as simple as it should be, though, and as of now, destroying a private-picture thread from your phone might not mean it’ll be missing when you load Twitter.com from your laptop. Well, the microblogging giant knows how much of a pain this is and is working to address it. The company issued a tweet (naturally) saying that it’s rolling out an update to make deleting DMs “more consistent” across web and mobile over the next few weeks. What’s more, Twitter says that it’s working on an update to bring your entire DM history to the Android and iOS apps as well. Whether or not that’s a good thing depends on your messaging habits, we’d imagine.
[Image credit: AFP/Getty Images]
Over the next few weeks, we’re rolling out an update that makes deleting DMs more consistent across web and mobile. http://t.co/VNtDXzwuvp
- Twitter Support (@Support) July 18, 2014
We’re also making an update to the Twitter iPhone and Android apps that will allow you to access your entire DM history.
- Twitter Support (@Support) July 18, 2014
We put a ton of trust in technology everyday, but are you confident enough in two-factor authentication to give out any of your passwords? Christopher Mims of The Wall Street Journal is. In a post on the site proclaiming that passwords are “finally dying,” Mims extolls the virtues of the secure login method immediately after giving out his Twitter password. He says that he’s confident he won’t be hacked because, among other reasons, the second authentication step (a text message containing a numerical code that’s sent to the user’s cellphone, or an app that generates a code should you be outside of cellular data range) is apparently difficult to intrude upon. As Forbes has spotted though, Mims’ Twitter account has since been slammed with people trying to login to it, his phone blew up with authentication codes as a result, forcing him to associate a different phone number with the microblogging service.
The lesson here? If you’re willing to put your online identity up for grabs, prepare for the consequences. It could’ve been a lot worse for for Mims, though — it’s not like he gave out his Social Security Number or anything.
Do you trust two-factor authentication enough to try something similar? Head over to our forums and sound off.
@jonkeegan like 2 a minute since it went up…
- Christopher Mims (@mims) July 14, 2014
Filed under: Internet
The numbers speak for themselves: This year’s World Cup has been setting records all over the place. Not only did it keep folks in the US tuned into their team with services like WatchESPN, but who could forget the most tweeted-about sports game ever in that 7-1 thumping suffered by host nation Brazil — Sad Brazilians, anyone? Yesterday’s final, meanwhile, which ultimately saw Germany beat out Argentina for football’s biggest prize, set great numbers for social media and TV networks alike. For its part, Facebook reports that the 2014 World Cup Final was the biggest sporting event in its history, with comments, likes and posts combining for over 280 million interactions. Twitter, on the other hand, says the match produced a total of 32.1 million tweets and, in the process, broke the record for any event with 618,725 tweets per minute.
As for the streaming front, Spanish network Univision had 456,408 unique viewers total on the Univision Deportes website and apps. To put this in perspective, the Mexico vs. Brazil Group Stage game nabbed 1.6 million unique viewers, though that was before Univision started requiring a cable login to use its service and, granted, included a team whose fan base speaks Spanish. Comparatively, ESPN revealed much better numbers through WatchESPN, scoring 1.8 million viewers for the final match. This, combined with the rest of the World Cup matches, made the event the most viewed in WatchESPN’s history. Whether it was through Twitter, Facebook, ESPN or Univision, it’s safe to say FIFA made its mark Stateside, and globally, in 2014.
Oh, and how could we leave out this great selfie, courtesy of German world champion Lukas Podolski.
- Lukas-Podolski.com (@Podolski10) July 13, 2014
[Image credit: Associated Press]
Members of the United States House of Representatives and Senate — or, more likely, their interns and aides — spend an awful lot of time editing Wikipedia entries. Not just entries about themselves, either: the list ranges from autobiographical changes to this crucial edit involving President Barack Obama shaking hands with a minotaur. We’ll spare you the obvious, “so that’s what the United States Congress spends its time on!” joke (or was that it?), and jump right to the credit. A new Twitter account named “congressedits,” set up by self-described “web developer/armchair activist” Ed Summers, scans for Wikipedia edits across a variety of IP addresses associated with Congress. Summers got the idea from a similar robot in the United Kingdom. Other versions have since sprouted in Canada and Sweden.
“There is an incredible yearning in this country and around the world for using technology to provide more transparency about our democracies,” Summers wrote on his blog this week. While the tracking hasn’t revealed any bombshells thus far, we’re all for free, easy ways to make our elected officials’ actions even a smidgen more transparent. Summers is hoping for more from the project than more transparent government. Here’s his “thought experiment” take on the project:
“Imagine if our elected representatives and their staffers logged in to Wikipedia, identified much like Dominic (a federal employee at the National Archives) and used their knowledge of the issues and local history to help make Wikipedia better? Perhaps in the process they enter into conversation in an article’s talk page, with a constituent, or political opponent and learn something from them, or perhaps compromise?”
High-minded and idyllic? Sure, but that’s how we like our internet-based political action.
[Image credit: Shutterstock]
Today’s Digg is a completely different beast from the one we used to know, and that’s thanks to a new team that basically brought the brand back from the dead. Before that resurrecting act though, those folks worked on a social news app called News.Me and now they’ve another stab at that old formula with a feature called Digg Deeper. Here’s the formula in a nutshell: in addition to employing humans to curate the best stories from across the web, Digg Deeper will mine your Twitter feed (and eventually other social streams) to find content appreciated by people you actually care about. Yeah, yeah, you’re right — that sounds really generic. The Digg team elaborated on its secret sauce just a bit in a blog post, noting that the amount of Twitter attention needed to bring a story to your attention in Digg Deeper is based on how many people you follow. Alas, you normals can’t take it for a spin just yet — it’s currently only open to a handful of old (and loyal) News.Me users for now.
Source: Digg Blog
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
It looks like Twitter”s leaked ‘Buy Now’ button is more than just a proposal, after all. Recode has spotted the button (since yanked) lurking in tweets seen from the mobile app, enticing people into making impulse purchases when browsing their social feeds. While the shopping link was frequently broken, one tipster reports getting a checkout page in-app; apparently, it wouldn’t take long to buy whatever caught your attention. Neither Twitter nor its project collaborator, Fancy.com, are commenting on the inadvertent leak or their future plans. However, the appearance confirms that ‘Buy Now’ has at least made it far enough to become yet another Twitter experiment. The real question is whether or not it will survive beyond that stage — Twitter is known to shelve features in testing if they don’t pan out.
[Image credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images]
Filed under: Internet
Twitter already made the move to allow tweets inside tweets, but it appears the 140-character social stream is looking to revamp the way we all retweet, too. According to TechCrunch, a new feature being labeled as “retweet with comment” that enables users to better participate in the on-going convo by adding proper context could be on the way. Currently, in the company’s own app there are options for a straight retweet and quoting the musing to be recast. Rumor has it that the new method could replace that latter choice, and in the process allow for a proper comment where the ol’ RT text count doesn’t eat into your precious character allotment. That original tweet will likely appear in card form — much like the embeded option — but hopefully via a single button press rather than the current copy/paste method.