DESCUENTO LECTORES

Marketing: ¿me centro en los clientes nuevos o en los clientes fieles? #infografia #infographic

Hola: Una infografía sobre Marketing: ¿me centro en los clientes nuevos o en los clientes fieles? Vía Un saludo



TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2014/01/04/marketing-me-centro-en-los-clientes-nuevos-o-en-los-clientes-fieles-infografia-infographic/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

Tendencias sobre viajes en el Mundo #infografia #infographic #tourism

Hola: Una infografía sobre tendencias sobre viajes en el Mundo. Un saludo



TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2014/01/04/tendencias-sobre-viajes-en-el-mundo-infografia-infographic-tourism/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

La ciencia de la Felicidad #infografia #infographic

Hola: Una infografía sobre la ciencia de la Felicidad. Un saludo Graphic by WebpageFX



TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2014/01/04/la-ciencia-de-la-felicidad-infografia-infographic/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

Cómo desintoxicares del teléfono móvil #infografia #infographic #health

Hola: Una infografía sobre cómo desintoxicares del teléfono móvil. Un saludo



TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2014/01/04/como-desintoxicares-del-telefono-movil-infografia-infographic-health/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

¿Qué tipo de empleado eres tu? (según tu cerebro) #infografia #infographic

Hola: Una infografía sobre ¿Qué tipo de empleado eres tu? (según tu cerebro) Un saludo



TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2014/01/03/que-tipo-de-empleado-eres-tu-segun-tu-cerebro-infografia-infographic/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

How A Canadian High School Dropout Took Over The Internet With 1 Weird Trick


You’re currently using the Internet, so you’ve probably seen them: the banner ads that brag that a [local] mom has discovered “1 weird trick” to flatten her abdomen, earn unlimited cash at home, whiten her teeth, and other miracles. Who was responsible for this scourge that pays the bills for many sites on the Internet?

Way back in the spring of 2009, we looked over the vast direct-sales empire of Canada’s Just Think Media, and compared it to “a strip mall where every store sells Amway.” We were interested in how the same company was behind such a wide variety of online businesses. What we didn’t learn until a fantastic article in the Atlantic about the Internet dark arts mastermind behind the company was that there was a lot more to it than sketchy business models. The Federal Trade Commission was then working very, very hard to untangle the company’s finances as the company’s founder, a Canadian high school dropout, partied in an $8,000-per-night hotel suite in Las Vegas.


Jesse Willms is still running business ventures. He started out still in high school, reselling used software. His company was such an impressive business success that he didn’t bother finishing school. Only it didn’t succeed only because the 16-year-old was good at business. He was, but as his business expanded, it evolved. The began to drop-ship, marketing and selling software but having outside companies handle order fulfillment and shipping. Then Microsoft noticed the dubious origins of some of the inventory he was selling.


What does a bunch of used copies of Office have to do with never-ending auto-shipments of colon cleanser? A lot, actually. Willms had to agree to never sell products from Microsoft and other software companies ever again, so he needed a new business. What was super profitable, could be marketed preying on human insecurities, and lent itself to a subscription model? Lots of things.


Diet supplements, credit reports, colon cleansers…all sold on the negative-option model, where the company kept charging your account and sending the profitable products until you managed to break free. It was very, very hard to break free, and the Federal Trade Commission noticed.


Negative option schemes will never really go away. Neither will shady merchants, which operate everywhere from street corners to slick-looking websites. Schemes pop up and proliferate too quickly for governments to protect us. How can we eradicate them? Scams lose their power when no one falls for them. If only identifying scams were as important a part of Internet literacy as using a mouse or scrolling with a touchscreen.


Jesse Willms, the Dark Lord of the Internet [The Atlantic]




by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

Marketing en Pinterest #infografia #infographic #marketing #socialmedia

Hola: Una infografía sobre Marketing en Pinterest. Vía Un saludo



TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2014/01/03/marketing-en-pinterest-infografia-infographic-marketing-socialmedia/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

Estadísticas sobre Redes Sociales #infografia #infographic #socialmedia

Hola: Una infografía con estadísticas sobre Redes Sociales. Un saludo



TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2014/01/03/estadisticas-sobre-redes-sociales-infografia-infographic-socialmedia/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

Top 5 tendencias en marketing para restaurantes #infografia #infographic #tourism

Hola: Una infografía con el Top 5 tendencias en marketing para restaurantes. Un saludo



TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2014/01/03/top-5-tendencias-en-marketing-para-restaurantes-infografia-infographic-tourism/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

¿Dónde encuentra dinero un emprendedor? #infografia #infographic #entrepreneurship

Hola: Una infografía sobre ¿Dónde encuentra dinero un emprendedor? Vía Un saludo



TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2014/01/03/donde-encuentra-dinero-un-emprendedor-infografia-infographic-entrepreneurship/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

14 tendencias de marketing para hoteles en 2014 #infografia #infographic #tourism

Hola: Una infografía con 14 tendencias de marketing para hoteles en 2014. Vía Un saludo



TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2014/01/03/14-tendencias-de-marketing-para-hoteles-en-2014-infografia-infographic-tourism/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

Aprende a comportarte en las Redes Sociales #infografia #infographic #socialmedia

Hola: Una infografía que nos dice: Aprende a comportarte en las Redes Sociales. Vía Un saludo



TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2014/01/03/aprende-a-comportarte-en-las-redes-sociales-infografia-infographic-socialmedia/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

Digging Out From A Snowstorm: Know Your Shovels


Need a new shovel, or an additional one? You can save a lot of time, effort, and pain by choosing the one that’s right for you. Our colleagues over at Consumer Reports did the heavy lifting, evaluating different types of shovels and what kinds of people and snow they’re most appropriate for.

Things to keep in mind when shovel-shopping: materials, blade width, handle size, handle length, ergonomics. Different kinds of shovels are best suited to different tasks. Are there just a few inches of powder on your sidewalk? A shovel with a wide, shallow, plastic blade will do the trick. Did the town plow dump several feet of slush-infested wet snow at the foot of your driveway? You’re going to need a bigger, more solid shovel.


Ergonomic shovels may not be all that we imagine: in particular, the ones with a dramatic dogleg curve in the handle actually force you into holding the shovel in a particular way, which may not be the best grip for you.


Remember to watch for signs of fatigue and dehydration, pace yourself, and use good technique when shoveling.


Find the best snow shovel [Consumer Reports]




by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

La evolución de la flota de Iberia #infografia #infographic #tourism

Hola: Una infografía sobre la evolución de la flota de Iberia. Un saludo



TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2014/01/03/la-evolucion-de-la-flota-de-iberia-infografia-infographic-tourism/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

¿Sabes qué es la Flipped Classroom o clase invertida? #education

Hola: Una presentación sobre si ¿Sabes qué es la Flipped Classroom o clase invertida? Un saludo



TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2014/01/03/sabes-que-es-la-flipped-classroom-o-clase-invertida-education/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

Estadísticas sobre Redes Sociales que necesitas conocer para 2014 #socialmedia

Hola: Una presentación con Estadísticas sobre Redes Sociales que necesitas conocer para 2014. Un saludo



TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2014/01/03/estadisticas-sobre-redes-sociales-que-necesitas-conocer-para-2014-socialmedia/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

UPS Driver Forced To Take Shelter Behind FedEx Truck In Midst Of Angry Turkey Attack


I imagine the rivalry between UPS and FedEx drivers to be some kind of Mad Max road rage, with dueling drivers trying to run each other down on the mean streets. But when a UPS driver was faced with a grumpy turkey he didn’t even hesitate to run for the shelter of a nearby FedEx truck. And of course, someone caught it all on camera.

We’re sure delivery drivers have faced worse foes than a ticked off turkey but it seems his defensive moves aren’t particularly attuned to fowl.


The workers at a Minnesota hospital who filmed this slice of life make no bones about delightfully funny the whole thing is, as the driver attempts to shoo the bird with a bit of fabric before making a run for it on the far side of the FedEx truck.


There’s really not much else he can, after shouting promises that he won’t ever eat turkey ever again on Thanksgiving, of course. It’s unclear whether he tried that tack, but he does finally make it back into the safety of his own vehicle.




by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

Snapchat CEO Not Really Into Idea Of Apologizing For Hack That Leaked Millions Of Phone Numbers

snapchat guy While Snapchat might be working on a fix to the app that allowed phone numbers and user names for 4.6 million users to be leaked online, the CEO of the company doesn’t exactly feel like an apology is in order. “[I]n a business like this if you spend your time looking backwards, you’re just gonna kill yourself,” CEO Evan Spiegel explained on NBC’s Today on Friday morning. [via Re/code]




by Chris Morran via Consumerist

Los peruanos buscan pareja en Internet #infografia #infographic

Hola: Una infografía que dice que los peruanos buscan pareja en Internet. Vía Un saludo



TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2014/01/03/los-peruanos-buscan-pareja-en-internet-infografia-infographic/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

BlackBerry Reminds Everyone It’s Still Relevant By Suing Over Slip-On Keyboard Design

The Typo, left, vs Blackberry Q10 on the right.

The Typo, left, vs Blackberry Q10 on the right.



One of the most common things to come out of a person’s mouth who has just switched from a BlackBerry to an iPhone is probably: “It’s so hard to type on this dang screen with my big fat fingers.” Nevertheless, BlackBerry has seen swarms of customers go rushing into the arms of the iPhone and other smartphones in recent years. In a stab at reminding everyone that it’s still a relevant brand, BlackBerry is now suing the makers of a slip-on keyboard for the iPhone, claiming it’s a blatant copy.


Typo Products LLC, a company with TV’s Great Orange Hosting Hope Ryan Seacrest as a major investor, has a slip-on keyboard that fits the iPhone 5 and 5S. It’s supposed to make it easier to type on the iPhone and eliminate the typos referenced in its name.


But that curved, smooth black keyboard looks awfully familiar to BlackBerry, which filed a copyright infringement suit against Typo today.


“Typo chose to copy BlackBerry’s iconic keyboard design as embodied in, among others, BlackBerry’s Q10 smartphone” instead of coming up with its own design, the lawsuit alleges, according to PC World.


“This is a blatant infringement against BlackBerry’s iconic keyboard, and we will vigorously protect our intellectual property against any company that attempts to copy our unique design,” said Steve Zipperstein, BlackBerry’s general counsel and chief legal officer, in a statement.


The lawsuit wants a trial by jury in order to get money for the alleged copyright violation. Ryan Seacrest hasn’t piped up yet.


BlackBerry sues Ryan Seacrest’s Typo over ‘iconic’ keyboard design [PC World]




by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

Accidentes por la calle por mirar al móvil #infografia #infographic

Hola: Una infografía sobre Accidentes por la calle por mirar al móvil. Un saludo You will find more statistics at Statista



TICs y Formación http://ticsyformacion.com/2014/01/03/accidentes-por-la-calle-por-mirar-al-movil-infografia-infographic/ Via Alfredo Vela y www.bscformacion.com

Stupid Shipping Gang Protects My Toilet Paper With Even More Wads Of Paper

packagedAmazon really cares whether your packages arrive safely, no matter what they are. How much do they care? Reader Tony reports that when he ordered toilet paper from Amazon, it arrived in a huge box stuffed with brown paper.


packaged


“Another tree dies,” writes Tony ruefully. Look on the positive side: lots of free shipping supplies!


As people order more of our everyday goods online, this will happen more and more. It’s not good to have a case of toilet paper shifting around in its box, but the warehouse might be out of perfectly sized boxes and need to get your order out right away.


Nothing will ever reach the absurdity of the package of bubble wrap cushioned with bubble wrap, but we’re going to see a lot more boxes like this in the future. Time to start a nice box of shipping supplies in the basement, we suppose.




by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

Pizza Hut Offering 50% Online Ordering Discount To Mark Anniversary Of Internet Ordering


Pizza Hut is awfully proud of its claim that the pizza chain is responsible for the very first Internet purchase ever made. And now to mark that mushroom, pepperoni and extra cheese pizza back sold 20 years ago in 1994, Pizza Hut is offering 50% off online pizza orders through January 10.


“We want to celebrate the fact that before consumers could buy books, clothes, music or vacation packages via the internet, they could place an online order for a Pizza Hut pizza,” said Carrie Walsh, chief marketing officer at Pizza Hut in a press release. “We’re doing so by giving back to our customers who have helped us lead the way with digital innovations over the last 20 years.”


So what’s the catch (because of course there’s a catch)? You’ll have to sign up for Pizza Hut’s Hut Lovers email list and loyalty program in order to get the discount on any large or medium pizzas.


Want extra cheese or a $10 dinner box? No discount on either of those.


And depending on the franchise near you, there might be a minimum order requirement to get the discount or that location might not be running the promotion.


For more history of the Internet fun, check out Consumerist’s History of E-Commerce Quiz here.




by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

That Guy On The Phone Offering A Tech Support Refund Is Probably A Scammer


We’ve written before about scam artists taking advantage of consumers’ unease with technology to trick them into handing over sensitive personal info, and now there are scammers hoping to prey upon consumers’ general dissatisfaction with customer service and tech support (and their general love of refunds).

Earlier today, the Federal Trade Commission issued a general warning to the public about these tech support refund scams.


The scam operates in different ways, but there are two general methods.


The first involves the scammer cold-calling consumers, pretending to represent a company that is going out of business and offering refunds for tech support services that can no longer be offered. Of course, none of this is true and there is no refund coming. They just want your bank account information so they can steal your money, or your personal info so they can pretend to be you (and steal other people’s money and services in your name).


In the second version of the scam, the con artist calls up consumers — including some who have been taken by previous tech support scams — under the pretense of checking on whether or not these people have been satisfied with the quality of support they have received. The inevitably unsatisfied customer can then request a refund (that never comes) or is tricked into paying for even more bogus services. Once again, the goal is to get your banking and personal information for criminal gain.


“They might say that you need to create a Western Union account to receive the money,” writes the FTC in a blog post on the scam. “They may even offer to help you fill out the necessary forms — if you give them remote access to your computer. But instead of transferring money to your account, the scammer withdraws money from your account.”


A bit of advice that is always worth repeating (because people learn it the hard way every day) — Never provide any personal or banking info to anyone who contacts you. If they need this information, get a call-back number, do some research to see if it’s a number associated with a company you do business with, and then call them back.


Better yet, just hang up and file a complaint with the FTC.


If you get taken in a scam like this and you’ve paid with credit card, immediately contact your card company and request a chargeback.




by Chris Morran via Consumerist

Disney’s New Guest Bands Are Either Crazy Awesome Or Super Creepy


On the one hand, if you love large, furry, costumed characters, you’ll probably be tickled pink if Goofy waltzed up to you at Disneyland with your name on his lip’s as a greeting. But if you’re terrified of talking animals well then a Goofy who says “Hello, [Your Name]!” is the epitome of all your worst nightmares combined. Thus is the reality of Disney’s new trackable guest bands.


Here’s how the “Magic Bands” work: Guests who opt to use the waterproof wristbands, which are embedded with computer chips, then use those as their park entry tickets, FastPass, hotel room keys and a credit card as well, according to Disney. Photographers can also use the system to link photos with the family account in order to buy and print out any photos the group, should they choose to do so.


Sounds efficient, eh? It would seem so, but one travel writer over on HuffPo says there is a bit of a downside to using the bands on hotel room doors and as credit cards: The way the bands must align with each system results in the user doing a twisty-turny dance to get it juuust so.


“When you use the Magic Bands with the contactless key doors, you have to contort your arm to make them work,” he writes. “The placement (just above the door handle) works fine when you use contactless key cards, but when you’re trying to align the top of your wrist with it, it’s not that comfortable.”


As for the payment systems:


“The various Magic Band payment systems look similar to credit card readers only they have a subtle mouse icon on the front,” he explains. “In order to make the Mickey icon on your Magic Band line up just right with that machine, you have to maneuver your arm into an unnatural position. Often the sales person has to hold your arm and help you line everything up.”


Sounds awkward.


Then there’s that personalized greeting from park characters: Parents can opt in to a special setting in the bands’ “vacation management system” that lets park characters can tap into where your family is located in the park and come over to give a personal hello. Again, either awesome or creepy. Goofy as the new National Security Association, perhaps?


Another potential worry critics have? That the bands could be hacked and thus allow evildoers to gain access to your credit card and hotel room, notes Time.com.


Let us know if you’ve tried the Magic Bands and had any issues with them. And in the meantime, let us know what you think in the poll below.






What Disney Got Wrong With Its Magic Bands [Huffington Post]

Now Disney Can Track Your Every Move with NSA-Style Wristbands [Time.com]




by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

Starbucks Decides That The World Needs A Caramel Flan Latte

flanIs there any dessert food that hasn’t yet been turned into a latte or coffee flavor by Starbucks and its competitors? We’re exaggerating only slightly there, but there’s now one more themed item on the menu at Starbucks: the Caramel Flan Latte.


“Flan latte?” you may ask. “How are they going to duplicate the lovely custard texture of flan in a coffee beverage?” As far as we can tell, this new beverage focuses more on the “caramel” than on the “flan”. The whipped cream on top has an extra flan-ish flavor, and then it’s drizzled with more caramel like the real thing.


Reactions to a test version of the latte a year ago ranged from “tastes just like flan” to “meh.”




by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

Want To Watch NFL Playoffs Online? You’ll Need To Be A Cable Subscriber For Some Games


Streaming video technology and broadband speeds have improved to the point where watching live TV online can be almost indistinguishable from the real thing, which is one reason why many people have cut ties with their cable TV providers in recent years. But if those cord-cutters — or any DirecTV subscribers who happen to be away from home — want to watch all of the NFL playoff games online this month, they’ll need to get a friend’s cable company login.

See, while NBC and CBS have decided to make their playoff games free for all online, Variety reports that the folks at FOX have opted to put their games (all of the NFC playoff bouts except this Saturday night’s Saints/Eagles game) behind its “TV Everywhere” paywall, which requires users to log in via their participating cable company.


Let’s put some stress on “participating,” as the current list of cable/satellite providers that have made deals with does not include the nation’s second-largest subscriber base, DirecTV.


It’s unclear which list of participating providers will be used, as there is this larger group of cable companies that have deals with FOX to give subscribers access to new FOX shows shortly after their initial airing, or if watching the games online will be done the FOX Sports Go, which has fewer participating cable and satellite providers.


Either way, if you’re a cord-cutter or a DirecTV customer, it looks like you won’t be watching this Sunday afternoon’s Niners/Packers game online without someone else’s cable login.


On a personal note that will probably result in hate mail: Go Iggles!


[via GigaOm]




by Chris Morran via Consumerist

Walmart Recalls 73,400 Card Table And Chair Sets Because Finger Amputations Are No Fun

Careful with your digits.

Careful with your digits.



The thing about fingers is that they work best when each one is nice and complete. Since it’s much harder to complete everyday tasks with only half a finger, not to mention it’s a very uncomfortable experience to have the tip of your digit squeezed off, Walmart has issued a recall for 73,400 card table and chair sets.


The Consumer Product Safety Commission says in its alert about the recall that the Mainstays card table sets with a black padded metal folding table has four black padded metal folding chairs that can collapse unexpectedly, posing danger to any fingers that might be stuck in the fall.


Thus far Walmart has reported 10 injuries its heard about involving the collapsing chairs, including one finger amputation, three fingertip amputations, sprained or fractured fingers and one report of a sore back.


The sets were sold at Walmart stores nationwide and online at http://www.walmart.com from May 2013 through November 2013 for about $50. If you’re unsure if your set is included, look for a label on the bottom of the chairs reading: “Made by: Dongguan Shin Din Metal & Plastic Products Co.”


If you have a potential finger guillotine set of chairs on your hands, stop using them immediately and return the whole set to Walmart for a full refund.


Consumers with questions can call Walmart at (800) 925-6278 or on Walmart’s site.




by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

Video: Restaurant Mocks Drone Trend, Uses Flying Bot To Chop Celery, Take Out Trash

While Amazon and others prepare to darken the skies with the flying robots that will one day enslave all humanity and turn us into organic batteries, some restaurants have already opened the door to the pernicious plague of aerial drones. Now one Austin eatery has produced a video showing all the ways in which it employs the hovering harbingers of the robo-pocalypse.


In the above video, the operators of Austin’s Swift’s Attic show off their fleet of motorized servers, which go far beyond the burger-delivering that you see at other restaurants latching onto the drone trend.


“With the drones it’s great because we could have them run food all day long, run drinks all day long, all going to the same table,” explains sous chef Zack Northcutt. “They’re super easy to maintain… get the food out to everybody in a nice, timely manner; always ready to go, never call in sick, always have nice sharp edges to ‘em.”


That’s right the drones at Swift’s Attic aren’t just flying out beer and snacks to tables.


“We have them in the kitchen, ready to go, ready to slice anything that we need,” says Northcutt, demonstrating the drone’s use as a flying food processor.


The drones also do the one job no human in the kitchen ever wants to do — carry the trash out to the dumpster.


“It’s taken a lot of stress off of them when they’re trying to run the restaurant,” explains a rep for Arch Aerial, which provided Swift’s with the devices that will soon swarm over Austin like the bats that emerge every night between March and November from underneath the Congress Ave. bridge.


[via Eater]




by Chris Morran via Consumerist

Original Cheerios Will Soon Be GMO-Free (There Aren’t Any Genetically Modified Oats Anyway)


General Mills says it’s been making original-flavor Cheerios without genetically modified organisms and that they’ll be on store shelves soon after consumers piped up to ask for GMO-free products. It’s only doing so for the original flavor because that one is mostly oats and conveniently enough, there aren’t any genetically modified oats anyway.


It’s updated the flavor by switching the cornstarch and sugar out, said a spokesman, which was easy enough only with its basic version of Cheerios, reports the Associated Press.


“We were able to do this with original Cheerios because the main ingredients are oats,” the spokesman added, pointing out that no oats have GMOs. Each box will bear a label reading “Not Made With Genetically Modified Ingredients.”


That’s not so much an official certification as a way to alert customers that it’s trying to go GMO-free. There could be trace amounts of GMO ingredients however, due to the way the Cheerios are made.


Again, other flavors like Apple Cinnamon or Honey Nut Cheerios won’t get the same GMO-scrubbing as they use ingredients like corn. While there isn’t a lot of scientific evidence out there that shows that a food with GMOs is less safe than one without, some consumer groups have put pressure on food manufacturers to remove them, citing potential long-term effects.


One such consumer group called Green America started a campaign asking General Mills to make Cheerios GMO-free. Its corporate responsibility director said that this move is “an important victory in getting GMOs out of our food supply and an important first step for General Mills.”






Original Cheerios to go GMO-free [Associated Press]




by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds

Here are seven of the best photos that readers added to the Consumerist Flickr Pool in the last week, picked for usability in a Consumerist post or for just plain neatness.











Our Flickr Pool is the place where Consumerist readers upload photos for possible use in future Consumerist posts. Want to see your pictures on our site? Just be a registered Flickr user, go here, and click “Join Group?” up on the top right. Choose your best photos, then click “send to group” on the individual images you want to add to the pool.




by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

Snapchat Says It’ll Release More Secure Version Of App In Wake Of Hack

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This week many Snapchat users were likely shocked to found out that 4.6 million usernames and the phone numbers connected to them were leaked online by a group of hackers. In response to the hack, Snapchat says now that it will release an updated version of its app that will allow users to opt out of the “Find Friends” feature that was exploited.


In a blog post late last night, Snapchat acknowledged that the breach had taken place, after having stayed mum on the attack even while media outlets were reporting that millions of usernames and phone numbers had been published in a database by the hacker group. The new version of the app will give users the chance to not associate their accounts with a phone number through Find Friends.



“We will be releasing an updated version of the Snapchat application that will allow Snapchatters to opt out of appearing in Find Friends after they have verified their phone number. We’re also improving rate limiting and other restrictions to address future attempts to abuse our service.”



At least users don’t have to worry about any of their pics — which are designed to self-destruct after a set amount of minutes designated by the sender — showing up on the Internet, according to Snapchat.


“No other information, including Snaps, was leaked or accessed in these attacks,” the company writes in the blog.


Research group Gibson Security had alerted Snapchat twice in the past about possible holes in its security, once in August and once on Dec. 24. Snapchat had said last week that it had set up “various safeguards” to make the app safer, but hadn’t detailed those measures. Then bam, hack attack on New Year’s Eve.


In response to the question of why Snapchat didn’t apparently listen to the warning from Gibson Security, last night’s blog post lists a direct email address any security researchers can use to alert the company of any abuse. Which sort of makes it sound like Snapchat maybe just didn’t get Gibson Security’s messages before? Just a guess.


“We want to make sure that security experts can get ahold of us when they discover new ways to abuse our service so that we can respond quickly to address those concerns. The best way to let us know about security vulnerabilities is by emailing us: security@snapchat.com,” Snapchat’s blog reads.




by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

Facebook Sued For Allegedly Selling Private Message Info To Marketers

In tests of Facebook's private messaging system, researchers claim that sending a link to a web page may be counted as a "like" for that page, whether the sender liked it or not.

In tests of Facebook’s private messaging system, researchers claim that sending a link to a web page may be counted as a “like” for that page, whether the sender liked it or not.



Facebook, never exactly a paragon of privacy, has once again been sued by users over allegations of profiting off users’ personal data. This time, the plaintiffs claim that the website is turning links shared in private messages into public “likes,” from which Facebook earns ad revenue.

“Contrary to its representations, ‘private’ Facebook messages are systematically intercepted by the Company in an effort to learn the contents of the users’ communications,” reads the suit, filed in a U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. “In the course of the last year, independent survey researchers discovered that Facebook reviews the content of its users’ private Facebook messages for purposes unrelated to the facilitation of message transmission.”


Specifically, claims the complaint, when a user sends a link in a Facebook message, Facebook then allegedly “scans the content of the Facebook message, follows the enclosed link, and searches for information to profile the message-sender’s web activity.”


So if you write to your pal Suzy about how much she would love a story on Consumerist and then copy/pasted the URL for that story into the message, the plaintiffs say that Facebook is now building a marketing profile on you based on the the fact that you shared this particular link.


Furthermore, when Facebook follows that link back to the source page, if it finds a “Like” button there, then the company assumes that your sharing of this story counts as a “like” for this content, whether or not you have actually enjoyed this story (perhaps you were sending the Consumerist link to Suzy because you thought it was the worst thing you’ve ever read).


“Representing to users that the content of Facebook messages is ‘private’ creates an especially profitable opportunity for Facebook, because users who believe they are communicating on a service free from surveillance are likely to reveal facts about themselves that they would not reveal had they known the content was being monitored,” contends the lawsuit. “Thus, Facebook has positioned itself to acquire pieces of the users’ profiles that are likely unavailable to other data

aggregators.”


The complaint seeks class-action status on behalf of all Facebook users in the U.S. who have sent links in private messages, which has to be a pretty hefty chunk of the 166 million or so registered Facebook users in the country.


In terms of damages being sought, the complaint asks for $100 for each day of violation or $10,000 per class member, plus statutory damages of either $5,000 per class member or three times the amount of actual damages, whichever is greater.


For its part, Facebook says the allegations are “without merit and we will defend ourselves vigorously.”


Facebook sued for allegedly making private messages into public “likes” [Ars Technica]


Facebook faces suit over data allegations [CNBC/Financial Times]




by Chris Morran via Consumerist

Mom Gives Birth To Baby In Walmart Parking Lot While Dad’s Inside Shopping


Either more exciting, crazy things happen in Florida every day or we just get to hear about them more often because it’s Florida: This week a baby was born in a car parked in the lot at Walmart while the father stepped inside to grab a few things.


One minute he’s just shopping for a few items and the next minute, he’s a new dad, reports MyNews13.com.


Police officers and firefighters showed up to find that the woman had given birth in the car with her three daughters sitting with her to witness. The dad told cops he’d only been inside for a few minutes and came outside to find his children frantically yelling at him to get back to the car.


By the time he reached the vehicle, the little bundle of joy had arrived.


“I would be floored and astounded,” said another shopper, who we will just call Captain Obvious.


The report says both mother and baby are doing fine, and for some reason the family decided not to get interviewed by the news team. Probably because everyone had already had enough excitement for one day.


Walmart says it’ll give gift cards to the family as well as some baby items by way of congratulations. Hey, a free baby shower!


While dad shopped, mom gave birth in Walmart parking lot [MyNews13.com]




by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist