Cambridge Analytica Planned Its Own Cryptocurrency For Selling Your Data

Now listen to Fossbytes stories!

A lot of bad things
happening today on the web are tied to a single
name: Cambridge Analytica. The firm–and
Facebook–was first criticised for obtaining and using data of
87 million users to build psychological profiles for political
campaigns.

Just recently, the company’s former employee Brittany
Kaiser, who’s the latest whistleblower in town, revealed that
the Facebook data leak might be far more in numbers.

According to NY Times, Kaiser also
spilled the beans about more of Cambridge Analytica’s plans in
an interview. The company was working on an initial coin
offering (ICO) for new virtual currency.

The development of the blockchain-based crypto coin started in
mid-2017, and it was being looked after by Kaiser and suspended
CEO Alexander Nix.

The idea was that users could trade their personal information
in exchange for crypto coins, allowing them to store their data
online and sell it to advertisers.

This eliminates the need for hosting some quiz and suck
information with the user being informed. But their dreams
didn’t come to fruition as CA’s massive data scooping activity
from the past came to light.

The political consulting firm also considered
cryptocurrency incentives for people in remote areas of
Mexico for filling out survey forms. The data gathered from the
survey could be used to craft political campaigns in
Mexico.

While it’s unclear if the said cryptocurrency is still in
development, sources told Reuters that
the company did so with an intention to raise funds, around $30
million.

A spokesperson of the company said in an email that their
blockchain technology was meant to help people secure their
data online and “reclaim personal data from corporate entities
and to have full transparency and control over their data.”

As per the documents sourced by NYTimes, CA also made its
contribution to promoting the cryptocurrency called Dragon
Coin – designed to be used for gambling. It’s believed that
Dragon Coin is sponsored by Macau’s 14K triad leader Wan
Kuok-Koi aka Broken Tooth. Despite his name mentioned in
documents, Dragon Coin has denied any connections.

ICOs are the new fashion when it comes to raising funds online.
But their unregulated nature has put them in the bad books of
financial regulators as it introduces the possibility of fraud.

Also Read: Bizarre Campaign To Crowdfund
A New Couch For Elon Musk

How To Track Lost Android Phone? — Locate, Remotely Control, And Erase Stolen Device

Have you misplaced or
lost your Android device and are looking for solutions? Don’t
lose hope yet. In this guide, I will show you three easy ways
by which you can easily locate lost Android phone. You will
have to be logged in to your Google account on your lost or
stolen device for these tracking services to work.

In case you’re looking for options to track your lost laptop,
you can follow this guide.

How To Track Android Phone Using Google’s “Find My Device”

Android phones come with a “Find My Device” feature
that can be used to recover your lost Android phone. This
feature is available in phone settings, and you do not need to
install any third party app to access this feature. If you want
to locate your smartphone, you need access to a web browser,
and you can pinpoint your phone’s location. However, if
this service is not activated, then you cannot use it to track
a stolen phone.

Enable “Find My Device” in Android Settings

Although this feature is available on most Android phones by
default, you can download it from Play Store if you
find it missing in your Settings. Here are a few steps to make
sure “Find My Device” is enabled:

1. Go to Settings >
Security.

2. Under Device Administration, tap on
Device administrators.

3. Make sure the box next to “Find My Device” is checked.

You’ll also need to enable location services and location
history for location accuracy while tracking your device. To
enable it :

1. Go back to Settings and tap on
Location.

2. Turn the toggle switch on the upper left corner to
On position.

3. Tap on Mode. Set it to High
accuracy
.

4. Go back to Location settings and tap on
Google Location History.

5. Toggle to switch on the option next to Use Location
History
. Also, toggle the switch next to your device
name to On position.

After you have completed these steps, you can locate a stolen
phone whenever it has access to mobile data or Wi-Fi.

Find a lost Android using browser and “Find My Device”

1. Go to “Android.com/find” from any browser on any device.

2. Login using your Google profile.

3. If you are running multiple Android devices using the same
Google account, select the device you want to connect to.

Once you select your device, you can perform three different
actions:

  • You can remotely ring the device. It will continuously play
    a sound for 5 minutes, even if the device is in silent mode.
  • You can lock the device and display a message or phone
    number on the lock screen. This option is much helpful when you
    had not set any screen before.
  • You can also completely wipe your device. Note that this
    will also delete your Google account from your phone and you
    will no longer be able to track it. If you have any sensitive
    data on your phone and there is no hope to retrieve your lost
    Android phone, this is the best option for you.

How to Locate Android phone with Google Maps

Google Maps is one of the essential Android apps that
can even help you to track a stolen phone. To use this feature,
your device must be in On state, have access to Wi-Fi or
cellular data, and location services must be On. You can open
any browser and locate your phone in a few steps:

1. Go to Google Maps and sign in to
your Google account

2. Click on the menu icon in the upper left corner and
select Your Timeline.

3. You can set the date, month, and year to see your location
history for the day when you lost your Android.

Use Android phone tracking apps to find lost phone

There are also many apps in the Play Store that can help you
locate a stolen phone. They even provide more features than
“Find My Device.” Installing one of them is a good
precautionary measure to ensure that you never lose track of
your device.

Here are three of the best third-party tracking apps for
Android:

1. Where’s My Droid

Wheres My Droid is a free tracking app for Android that can
help you locate your lost phone whenever it is out of sight. It
features an emergency ringer that will make your phone ring
loudly when you send a message to the device. There is a
Stealth Mode that can hide any incoming text. You can also
locate your phone via GPS on Google Maps and prevent
unauthorized access by enabling passcode protection. Also,
there is a SIM Monitor that can notify you via Email if the SIM
or the phone number is replaced. The app claims to cause
minimum battery drain.

You can unlock some extra advanced features by upgrading to the
Pro version of the app. However, the free version covers most
of the essential functions, and it is ad-supported.

2. Cerberus anti theft

Cerberus provides impressive remote administration features
that can help you recover your stolen Android device. You can
remotely control your device through a website or SMS from
another phone. It can help you to locate Android phone, lock it
with a code, start a loud alarm, or even take a picture of the
thief. The app will send email/SMS alerts if the SIM card is
changed. Moreover, you can hide the app from the app drawer so
that the thief cannot disable or uninstall the app.

Cerberus is only available for one week of free trial; after
that, you need to buy a license for your account.

3. Prey Anti Theft

Prey is an excellent anti-theft tool that is solely designed to
help you find lost Android phone. Once you install the app, it
silently works while you use the online panel to track your
device and activate actions remotely. By using the GPS
geolocation, you can find your phone on a map with accuracy.
Moreover, the front and back camera can take silent snaps of
whoever is holding your device. Also, it can lock the device,
set a security alarm, or display a message on the screen to
contact the current user.

The app is entirely free with no ads.

Conclusion

Android users must ensure that they have one of these tracking
services active on their device to track it in case it is lost.
Also, don’t forget to keep your data backed up. Take a look at
our list of best Android backup apps so that
you never lose your data if your phone is stolen.

We hope this article was informative to you. If you have any
suggestions or queries, please comment below. Keep reading
Fossbytes for more helpful know-hows.

Also read: 11 Best Free Android Antivirus Apps
To Keep Your Device Secured in 2018

Google’s Augmented Reality Microscope (ARM) Can Help In Cancer Detection

Google researchers have
developed
an Augmented Reality Microscope (ARM) that
utilizes artificial intelligence to help physicians diagnose
cancer disease in patients. This prototype can analyze
biological tissue samples to automatically detect the anomalies
caused by cancerous cells in the body.

With this development, pathologists would now be able to
diagnose efficiently and faster than before. Hospitals or
medical labs can integrate the ARM platform with their existing
microscope without having to replace it.

How will Google’s Augmented Reality Microscope work?

Google Augmented Reality MicroscopeImage: Google
Research Blog

Ordinary light microscopes can be modified into ARM by adding a
digital camera for scanning and feeding the images to the AI
component which uses machine learning algorithms to analyze the
samples.

It scans the field of view for areas that exhibit cancerous
growth. Upon detection, the infected area is visually
highlighted on a custom AR display that is fitted under
the eyepiece.

This AR display then superimposes the digitized results onto
original (analog) image of the specimen to aid the users
in observing the samples efficiently.

Google ARM viewImage: Google
Research Blog

At present, the AR powered microscope is capable of
identifying only breast and prostate cancer. Also, the
system requires trained professionals to operate it, and the
model is being trained manually by pathologists on what to look
for.

But according to Google, it will be able to diagnose other
types of cancer too, once its AI model is trained for it. The
company also believes that Augmented Reality Microscope
has a vast potential to improve global health by assisting
in diagnosis.

Later on, it could be adapted for an extensive array of
applications such as life sciences research and material
science.

Also Read: Google’s New AI Tech Can
Recognize Different Voices In A Crowd

Did Facebook Just Start The Blame Game? Says Google Also Sucks Your Data

Mark Zuckerberg’s
testimony before the
congress confirmed the somewhat known fact that Facebook
collects data of non-users.
Yesterday, the social networking giant dropped a blog post to
clarify what data is collected off-Facebook and how it’s used.

Facebook said it scoops people’s information outside their
network, regardless of whether one has a Facebook account or
not. That’s because the apps and sites don’t know who is using
Facebook.

It’s done on websites and apps via social plugins such as
Like and Share buttons, Login with Facebook button, Facebook
Analytics, and Facebook ads and measurement tools. The company
receives data like IP address, cookies, and information
about the browser and operating system.

However, Facebook didn’t forget to mention that other internet
giants including Google, Twitter, Pinterest, etc., have similar
Like and Share buttons on third-party sites and
offer advertising services. The company points out that
Google has an analytics service, and Amazon, Google, and
Twitter offer login features.

Facebook said that “most websites and services send the same
information to multiple companies each time you visit them.”

The data collected is used to improve safety on Facebook,
provide Facebook services to websites, and improve Facebook’s
own products and services. However, there is still no concrete
information on whether Facebook maintains “shadow profiles” or
not.

It isn’t surprising to see someone taking names after realizing
that they are the only ones being blamed. The defense Facebook
has is that some data collection methods have become a standard
across the industry. The data collection goes on every moment.

It’s another thing that there wasn’t any researcher on other
platforms who collected data from over 87 million users and
sold it to Cambridge Analytica.

Talking about Google, the hard truth is that they may be having
far more user data. However, the flamethrower is being pointed
at Facebook. Maybe because Google has too much presence in
our digital lives that it doesn’t seem separate and people
don’t hold them responsible for the actions of third-party
developers.

It goes to another level with platforms like Android; people
knowingly or unknowingly have given away almost all of there
digital stuff, including contacts, location data, photos,
videos, etc.

The size of my Facebook data dump is around 110 megabytes.
Fortunately, it doesn’t include call and text history. For
Google, it is a whopping 9 gigs. It would still be higher than
Facebook if the photos and videos are excluded.

Then there are tons of third-party apps constantly asking us to
enable different permissions and give away our
contacts, many times there is some freebie in return. Yet,
there hasn’t been any serious call for action against them.

Also Read: Cops Can Unlock Your iPhone’s
6-Digit Passcode By Guessing It In Just 11 Hours

How “Fasal” Is Using AI And IoT To Help Farmers Grow More And Grow Better

TapConnect_preview


Bhupendra Parmar, an
Indian farmer who owns 8 acres of agricultural land and is
consulting for more than 1000 acres, recently saved his
crop from powdery mildew disease. He has also been able to save
cut his irrigation water requirement by 50%. He did so with the
help of Fasal, an AI-powered IoT platform developed by
Wolkus Technology for climate-smart data-driven precision
agriculture.

For our readers who aren’t acquainted with Hindi, “Fasal” means
“crop” in the language. Based out of Bangalore, India, Fasal is
currently being incubated at Nasscom Centre of Excellence
for IoT. Fasal is founded by Ananda Verma and Shailendra Tiwari, both
belonging to farming families themselves.

Fasal has a sensor device which sits on the farm and monitors
critical climatic parameters like humidity, temperature,
rainfall, leaf wetness, soil moisture, etc. The data is
uploaded to the Fasal cloud platform where AI engine analyses
the data and makes the prediction about micro-climate,
diseases, and pests.

The farmers can see the condition of the farm anytime on their
mobile. They also get notified directly on their devices about
disease spread and have an option to take actions.
Specifically, Fasal provides following core services to the
farmers:

  • Micro-climate prediction
  • Disease prediction
  • Irrigation management
  • Data Analytics

The micro-climate weather forecast model, also called
Fasal μClimate, deliveres AI-based tailored forecasts for
each farm located at a point scale. It further relates the
in-field information with publicly available forecasts and
provides actionable information and notifications.

Recently, Fasal got acceleration support form Zeroth.ai, which is Asia’s first AI and
ML accelerator. It also raised $120K from them with focus on
enhancing their AI capabilities.

Fasal is also collaborating with the UC-Berkley Andhra Pradesh
Smart village initiative
, which is a collaborative
initiative between Govt. of Andhra Pradesh and the University
of California Berkeley. Smart
Villages
 aim at empowering, improving, and
connecting villages, while enabling sustainable development by
leveraging Digital Technologies. Fasal did its first
installation under the smart village initiative in Kuppam,
which is the constituency of Chief Minister N.
Chandrababu Naidu
himself.

Talking about more on-ground presence, Grover-Zampa, one of the
largest vineyards in India, is Fasal’s customer as well. Over
the past months, they’ve benefited using Fasal’s solution by
controlling water stress level, measuring leaf wetness to
manage diseases and much more. You can read some more Fasal’s
impact stories here.

If we take a look at the current scenario, there lies a vast
scope for precision farming and “smart” decision making in
Indian agricultural arena. At this point of time when things
are changing and digital advancements are being made at a fast
pace in the country, Fasal looks like a promising and
innovative startup that could change the current landscape even
faster.

Precision Agriculture investments in India have generally
lagged in comparison to the U.S.; they are now gaining
momentum. For example, in November 2017, Bill and Melinda Gates
Foundation teamed up with the government of Andhra Pradesh to
hold the “Progressive Farmer, Smart Farming” pitch competition,
which included Data Mining for Agriculture as a key focus area.

Know more here on their website: Fasal.co

TicHome Mini Review: Mobvoi’s Google Assistant Smart Speaker Packs A Punch

TapConnect_preview

Mobvoi really made waves
with the TicWatch and then again with the TicWatch2 which is
currently only outsold by the Apple Watch. Did Mobvoi just get
lucky with the TicWatch products? We’ll take a look at how this
great product might be able to compete with Google’s own
Assistant devices.

Mobvoi really made a name for themselves when they made the
TicWatch,
an excellent Android Wear product
, which was initially
released in China; it drew so much demand when Mobvoi released
an international version later on. The device was of impeccable
quality given the price point and sported performance and
features of devices nearly twice its price. But, can the
TicHome Mini really
come out from under the shadow of the popular TicWatch? We
can’t know for sure, but the TicHome Mini definitely has some
great features that will allow it to go toe-to-toe with Google
and Amazon’s assistant products.

The TicHome Mini is completely compatible with the Google
Assistance ecosystem because it actually runs Google Assistant
software. Just as Android (Wear/TV/Auto) is
ported to hundreds of different devices from many
manufacturers, it appears Google is also allowing the Google
Home software platform to be ported to devices as well.

The TicHome Mini comes with all the standard Google Home and
Google Assistant features such as –

  • Checking/Scheduling Appointments in your Calendar
  • Setting Timers and Alarms
  • Querying the Internet for Facts and Information
  • Streaming content to ChromeCast Devices
  • Translation
  • Reminders
  • Weather
  • And so Much More

tichome mini black

TicHome Mini Review

The TicHome Mini was flawlessly easy to setup. The voice
recognition between users (provided they have also
setup their accounts with the device using the Google Home
app)
makes for an even more in-depth experience.

The TicHome Mini does come with a few extra features over the
Google hardware. The most notable being an internal battery,
and the other being IPX6 waterproofing and something Mobvoi
calls TapConnect.

TapConnect_previewTapConnect

The battery is an amazing feature because the extra portability
really enhances the assistant experience without requiring more
than one device. Moving your device doesn’t require unplugging
it and plugging it back in in a different room. Also, because
it’s intended to be used as a playback device for your music
streams from Play Music and Spotify, you can take it with you
wherever you go in the house without having to worry about
cables. The battery endurance is really going to depend on what
you use the device for, but the device is still always
listening for the keyword, so the CPU is constantly analyzing
the recorded audio stream which does drain the battery in what
appears to be an idle state.

On the topic of music, this little device does have quite the
volume pushed out of it. However, if you bring the volume
up (I’d say higher than 85%-90%) the sound
quality will deteriorate. Now, this is absolutely normal for
any sound system, but it is extremely noticeable on the TicHome
Mini. That being said, if you keep it below the higher outputs,
you will get incredibly clear audio from the device. It might
not be able to provide the bumping lows everyone seems to want
out of speakers these days, but the clarity is really great
(again, below those higher output volumes).

The IPX6 rating means this device is
not only splash resistant, but resistant to water jets as well,
like that of a shower head. Again, this only enhances the
experience. You can now bring your assistant driven music or
audio books with you by the poolside, on the vanity/counter
while you do your hair and makeup, or even in the shower as
Mobvoi advertises.

Lastly, there is the TapConnect feature, which, for some, will
hardly be worth mentioning, but for others might be very
appealing. The Google Home devices are intended as WiFi
connected. So, while Apple users can use the Google Home and
Google Now apps on iOS, they can’t, however, stream the music
form iTunes to the devices because they aren’t Airplay
compatible. This is a pretty big hole in the compatibilty.
Mobvoi has covered this (not by providing Airplay,
unfrotunately, but) 
by providing bluetooth, and
that’s where TapConnect comes in. TapConnect allows using NFS
to instantly connect the bluetooth. No fumbling with pin codes
or searching for devices. The TapConnect feature lets the NFS
functions of your devices take care of everything.

Overall, the TicHome Mini has features that positions it quite
competitively, despite the higher asking price of $99.99USD.
The TicHome Mini is a
spectacularly fun device that expands on the already
established Google Home platform in a way that makes you feel
like the Google Home devices are simply incomplete.

Also Read: PINE64 PINEBOOK Review — Is
This $89 Linux Laptop Worth it?

SpaceX To Launch NASA’s Planet Hunter ‘TESS’ To Seek Alien Life

Tess project summary

Now listen to Fossbytes stories!

Elon Musk’s rocket company SpaceX is going to send the most powerful telescope
built by NASA in search of alien planets outside the solar
system. This exoplanet-hunting telescope named
Transition Exoplanet Survey Satellite
(TESS) will be launched on April 16 from Cape Canaveral,
Florida.

A 230 feet tall Falcon 9 rocket is going to hurl the TESS
spacecraft into the orbit. Upon a successful launch, this
telescope will prowl the outer space to track down thousands of
undiscovered alien planets.

The satellite is going to explore nearly 200,000 stars to
look for Earth-sized planets, and maybe, discover signs of
alien life on these exoplanets. It is going to be the largest
survey of its kind with TESS scanning
the interstellar neighborhood to answer questions like –
are we alone or is there a life-supporting planet like
Earth?

How can TESS help in finding alien life?

Transition Exoplanet Survey
Satellite
 is apparently the heir
to Kepler Space Telescope which was quite successful in
detecting more than 2,600 exoplanets since 2009. But with
Kepler’s fuel tank running very low after a long journey of
nine years, it will most probably be shut down by NASA after
some time.

Tess project summaryImage: NASA

TESS will continue the galactic hunt job left by Kepler and
monitor the brightnesses of more than 200,000 stars in its
two-year mission. It will be on a lookout for signs of drops in
brightness of stars, indicating that a planet is
transiting, or crossing in front of a star.

Depending on how much starlight is blocked,
astronomers can estimate the size of the planet. This
knowledge will help in finding Earth-sized planets that can
sustain human life and perhaps confirm the existence of aliens
too.

Also Read: Elon Musk’s Plans To Colonize Mars
Published; Here Are The Biggest Highlights

Google Loses “Right To Be Forgotten” Case: Will It Erase Your Data From Search Upon Request?

Now listen to Fossbytes stories!

How do you remove your
sins from Google Search? Ask Google or go to the court if they
don’t listen to your request. A UK businessman did the same
and won a lawsuit against the search giant.

The man whose name is not revealed spent six months in prison
for conspiring to intercept communications. That was ten years
ago, but the fact that news reports about his conviction could
still be accessed via Google pinched him.

Before knocking the court’s door, he contacted Google to take
down search results related to his crime as it was hurting his
reputation. The company turned him down.

His point in the front of the court was that the content was no
longer relevant. The court also said that the crime and its
punishment information has become outdated and of “no
sufficient interest to users of Google Search to justify its
continued availability.”

“We work hard to comply with the right to be forgotten, but we
take great care not to remove search results that are in the
public interest,” Google said in a statement. The search giant
will comply with the court’s order.

There is another businessman who faced four years of prison
time ten years ago for conspiring to false accounting. He also
wanted to search results removed but lost the case. The court
said that the claimant didn’t accept his guilt and continued to
mislead people while the first man had “shown remorse.”

The Right to be forgotten was brought by the Court of Justice
of the European Union in 2014. Since then, companies like
Google and Facebook have processed tens of thousands of right
to be forgotten requests.

It’s unclear what repercussions would rulings like this
bring. It may motivate other past convicts to erase themselves
from the internet. However easy it may sound, but getting your
search results removed isn’t easy.

Also Read: Fake “Have I Been Pwned” Wants
Bitcoin For Not Leaking Your Passwords

Fake “Have I Been Pwned” Wants Bitcoin For Not Leaking Your Passwords

Tess project summary

The website Have I Been
Pwned is known for analyzing and storing database dumps and
leaked account details. A user can simply visit the site to
know if their account has been compromised in the recent past.
The good part is that the service is completely free.

Much to the concern of many users, a fake website similar to
HIBP has popped up on the internet.
The site claims to contain a database of over 1.4 billion
compromised user accounts and associated passwords.

However, some of the passwords in the database could be a few
years old. According to the journalist Daniel Verlaan, who
reported the copycat, the database is the same as of the
password search engine Gotcha.

TNW has confirmed that the database contains legitimate
passwords. However, the site doesn’t have plaintext passwords
for all the compromised accounts in the database.

Fake Have I Been Pwned Bitcoin Remve Password

Just like HIBP, the fake website also allowed users check their
details via a search engine. Here is the creepy part, it also
displayed passwords in plaintext. That means one can search the
same for other people as well. The fake site then asks for a
$10 in crypto coins as a donation to remove the passwords from
the site.

However, there may be nothing to panic as the site is not
getting the visitors it wants. And there aren’t any cases
reported about successful cryptocurrency transactions to the
site. The best you can do is change your passwords if
you’re skeptical.

As per the latest update from Verlaan, the search engine on the
site has stopped working. Now, it asks users to wait for
sometime while it runs crypto miners in the background.

Source: Daniel Verlaan via
TNW

Also Read: “Warranty Void If Removed”
Stickers Are “Illegal” Unless Parts/Services Are Free, FTC
Declares

PSA: Your Android Smartphone Maker Is Lying About Missed Security Updates

Google AI Speech Recognition

Even though Google has
managed to establish Android as the top smartphone operating
system in the world, it has failed on a major front that
ensures the security of your smartphone. Here, I’m talking
about regular updates and security patches. The latest Android
version is currently running on about 1% of total devices,
which is another downside.

As it turns out, the Android update problem runs much deeper
than expected. As per a research from Security Research Labs,
multiple major Android smartphone makers are lying to the users
about the status of security patches, reports Wired.

This revelation is a startling one as it seems like a step to
misguide users and fool them. In a practical scenario, when you
find that your device’s firmware is fully updated, you get a
false sense of security.

The researchers Karsten Nohl and Jakob Lell have been
working for the past two years to reverse engineer that code
running on Android devices and looking if there was some “patch
gap.” On many occasions, it was found that the OEMs were hiding
as many as a dozen missed patches.

Which smartphone maker skipped how many patches?

They looked into the smartphones from makers like Google,
Samsung, Nokia, Sony, HTC, LG, Motorola, TCL, and ZTE. While
the smartphones of Sony and Samsung were found to have missed
few patches, ZTE and TCL lied about 4 or more updates.

LG, Motorola, Huawei, and HTC missed 3-4 patches, and Nokia,
OnePlus, and Xiaomi skipped 1-3 patches on an average.

In a statement, Google thanked the researchers for their job.
The company tried to do some damage control by listing its
mechanisms like Google Play Protect which are being developed
to ensure an extra security layer.

Also Read: Google And Amazon File Creepy
Patents That Can Further “Sniff” Your Conversations