Facebook stored hundreds of millions of passwords unprotected

Company admits to mistake and says it has no evidence of abuse – but the risk was huge

Facebook mistakenly stored “hundreds of millions” of passwords in plaintext, unprotected by any encryption, the company has admitted.

The mistake, which led to user passwords being kept in Facebook’s internal servers in an insecure way, affects “hundreds of millions of Facebook Lite users, tens of millions of other Facebook users, and tens of thousands of Instagram users”, according to the social networking site. Facebook Lite is a version of Facebook created for use in nations where mobile data is unaffordable or unavailable.

Continue reading… …read more

Facebook reviews live stream policy after Christchurch attack

Site says recently live streams are prioritised for review only when flagged for suicide

Facebook has released more details of its response to the Christchurch terrorist attack, saying it did not deal with the attacker’s live stream as quickly as it could have because it was not reported as a video of suicide.

The company said streams that were flagged by users while live were prioritised for accelerated review, as were any recently live streams that were reported for suicide content.

Continue reading… …read more

What’s the best laptop screen size for poor eyesight?

Chris would like to know if a Windows laptop with a big 17in screen would be easier to see for his ‘pensioner eyes’

For home use, would a 17in Full HD laptop screen be better or worse than a 13in or 14in model? Will the clarity and crispness be better for my pensioner eyes? Chris

According to my pensioner eyes, clarity and crispness are less important than size. And in one of life’s little ironies, increasing the resolution of a screen, to make things look crisper, leads directly to a decrease in size.

Continue reading… …read more

You’ve been played: when your kids start beating you at video games

I taught my son how to play video games. Now he’s teaching me

There is a moment in parenthood when your child discovers you are not infallible, that you can be beaten. The first time a kid wins a game of tennis against their mum or dad, or solves a maths problem their parents can’t even begin to understand, it is profoundly bittersweet. While it is wonderful to see your child growing up and becoming independent, when they get good at things, they are a little bit less yours, and you are a little bit less heroic. It is sometimes hard to be the grownup in that situation and not deal with it childishly. I discovered this on Saturday when my eldest son and I were playing Apex Legends.

My wife had taken our younger son to Jersey for the weekend to see her sister, and I thought it would be a treat to hunker down with our first born and spend a few hours fighting against strangers together in the battle royale shooter game of the moment. Players are automatically put into online groups of three, so we set up two TVs and two consoles so we could compete together in the same squad. My son and I have not played together much since the days of our epic Minecraft sessions or when we’d spend hours battling through every one of the Lego action adventures, dividing up the puzzles between us. That was when he was eight or nine. He’s 13 now, and plays with with friends he meets online. I hear them from the other room, sharing jokes and trash-talking through their headsets.

Continue reading… …read more

Instagram users will be able to buy from brands on platform

‘Checkout on Instagram’ is new e-commerce service available to US customers

Facebook is moving into retail, as the company partners with more than twenty brands to allow Instagram users to buy clothes, accessories and make-up on the social network, all without leaving the app.

“Checkout on Instagram” is a step up from previous shopping features on the service, which ultimately pushed buyers to a brand’s own web page to complete transactions. Users were then required to enter payment and shipping details, and often sign up for new user accounts, prompting many to bail on the transaction before completing it.

Continue reading… …read more

Apple launches second generation AirPods with wireless charging

Bluetooth earbuds have longer battery life, hands-free Siri and new wireless charging case

Apple has launched a new version of its hugely popular wireless earbuds, the AirPods, with long-anticipated wireless charging and longer battery life.

The second-generation AirPods look identical to the previous version, complete with a white stalk that looks like a set of earphones with the cables cut off. But now the earbuds last longer when used for phone calls between charges and support hands-free access to Apple’s Siri voice assistant.

Continue reading… …read more