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Essential Digital Marketing Tips for Small Business Organizations

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digital marketing

The many benefits of digital marketing have always been a crucial aspect of desire for all kinds of business organizations. As a result, they try to implement steps and methods that can capture digital marketing and help their organization grow. Small business organizations are no different as they try to put in efforts with the hope of growth. But at times, such things don’t get moved across, and the result ends up being a failure. So to avoid the same, we are here with a few tips that can help you out.

Website Essentials

One of the basic steps that you need to complete without fail is your website since that will be the feature that everyone will look upon the moment they find your services interesting. So make no mistake in that regard and try to create a website that is loaded with information and design. A comfortable user experience will go a long way in making matters connect and helping you get a hold of the viewer. So let’s deal with your website before trying anything else.

Website

Study your Competitors

To be appealing, you need to inform your target audience about why you are different and why they need to accept your services over the rest. For that purpose, you should study your competition and the many methods they use to advertise. By doing so, one can get an idea about what to do and how to do it. Being unique and different creates an instant appeal as everyone would love to get their hands on your product. Hence, conduct a descriptive form of research on your competitors.

Blog Content

Interesting and exciting blog content is another step that can help you get started on this front. But before you do the same, you should come up with a content strategy that considers everything. From the basic approach to the quality of content, your strategy needs to be inclusive. As a result, you should begin by getting used to the current age of marketing and how everything takes place in the industry. Once you have a broad understanding of the same, you can proceed to create an impression.

Google My Business Listing & Reviews

Online reputation is starting to become essential as organizations go beyond their ways to get things done. As it brings in the right form of impact, you need to get started, and Google My Business is the ideal way to do so. The platform provides you with a unique form of control that can be utilized to improve your reach and broaden things in the right manner. As reviews are quite essential, one should proceed to do all that matters. Hence, understand these tips and expand your world through digital marketing.

Hit Mobile Apps In iOS, Android May Not Be Protecting Your Data

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APPS

Smartphones have begun – and is currently – dominating the daily lives of its users, and almost everyone needs to have some sort of handy gadget in order to be able to do tasks on the go. This is especially in the case with applications that help users with much of what they have to accomplish everyday. Unfortunately, it appears not all hit mobile apps in iOS and Android are protecting user data. In fact, it appears you’re more at risk the more you use your mobile apps. Should you continue using them? Should you stop? What’s the real deal?

If reports are to be believed, Android and iOS applications may have been leaking sensitive user data to various third-party entities. These apps aren’t just some apps, or a few hundred apps, but thousands of them – all sitting with unprotected data such as millions of financial records, GPS locations, and passwords

This is courtesy of mobile security firm Appthority, which scanned both iOS and Android ANDROID AND IOSmobile apps that use Firebase systems in order to store various data of their users. For those unfamiliar, Firebase is a prominent backend platform for web and mobile applications that uses the cloud to store various forms of data. Google originally acquired the company back in 2014, which helped it find a “home” in the form of a lot of Android developers. 

Unfortunately, if a report is to be believed, there’s an alarming number of applications that are unprotected. Of the 2.7-million mobile apps they’ve looked into, around 1,275 iOS apps and 27,227 Android apps store user data via Firebase’s backend database systems. However, 3,046 of these programs actually put data in 2,271 unsecured database. How unsecure? Anyone can actually access them – and of these apps, 600 are iOS applications and 2,446 actually are on Android.

Perhaps what’s more alarming are the kind of data being stored “in plain sight” for everyone to see. Of these vulnerable applications, data that can be gathered included 4.5-million social media platform user tokens, over 4-million public health information records which include prescription records and private chats, 50,000 in-application transaction methods, 25-million GPS location records, and 2.6-million passwords and IDs in plain text format.

All of these data – of over 100-million users – actually take up more than 113 gigabytes of data. The Android applications involved were installed by users more than 620-million times from the popular Google Play store.

According to Appthority, the vulnerability of the backends extend to the way they can be accessed – which can be easy, given they don’t have authentication systems or firewalls. Attackers could simply just “tack on” the script “/.json” and not give the database a name and access the database. For example, one could access the database in

However, Appthority did clarify that Google was immediately notified of these vulnerabilities before even releasing their report, including the provision of Google of a list of all affected applications. Appthority also said they reached out to developers themselves. The list of applications weren’t made public, but categories included travel to finance and health. The offices of these developers are scattered all around the world, which proves that there’s a lot to be desired from companies who want to store personal data, especially the extremely private ones.

Interestingly, in an update, a Google representative explained that Google has already sent emails to all the unsecured projects tied to them on how to activate security rules. These have been sent as early as 2017. Firebase actually secures all their databases as a default setting, which means the developers may have turned off the security rules themselves.

 

 

 

 

 

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Net Neutrality Victory? India May Have Approved Legislation That Bans Data Discrimination

 

Net Neutrality Victory? India May Have Approved Legislation That Bans Data Discrimination

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People who think of advanced nations may think of India as something that’s starting to rise in terms of science and technology, and it appears India has scored victory with net neutrality with its new legislation. In fact, India may now have a law that bans any form of data discrimination – but how will this affect the nation?

India has just approved a new set of rules that may ban “any” kind of data discrimination, scoring a victory for net neutrality. This is courtesy of the Department of Telecommunications in India, which had just approved net neutrality rules that specifically deal with zero-rating, throttling, and block internet data with banning.

This move appears to be a culmination of a years-long campaign to push for a new age of net neurality 1net neutrality in the nation, which began as a framework published in 2017. The framework, initially a recommendation courtesy of folks from India’s Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRAI), may finally see the light of day.

The new telecoms ruling will effectively prevent any form of “interference and discrimination” in terms of data, which includes treating content with “granting preferential speeds, slowing down, degradation, or blocking.” The only time these rules won’t apply will be during times of “specialized” or critical Internet-of-Things services, which include remote surgery and autonomous vehicles. R. S. Sharma, TRAI head, said this is akin to ambulances getting a pass to disobey rules of traffic. In the case of the new telecoms regulation, they get priority in order to maintain the quality of their service.

This extends to internet service providers (ISPs), wherein they have to agree to such a deal whenever they sign up for licenses with the Department of Telecommunications. Should they violate these terms, they risk cancelling their licenses.

The conception of these policies already began as early as 2015, when the TRAI called for the public to comment on possible internet regulations they may want to see in the future. A lot of those who commented are internet users and activists that showed favor towards net neutrality, especially when two (2) companies in the nation told the public of zero-rating plans. These plans, critics fear, might give American companies an edge versus local companies – an example at the time was Internet.org from Facebook, which offered free access to particular data services in other nations in the world.

Interestingly, India’s new net neutrality policies are in stark contrast with recent regulations by the United States. In the US, net neutrality rules were actually in a state of repeal. And despite some states starting to form their own legislation to compensate, India has now become a “world leader” of sorts when it comes to having a good net neutrality policy.

Some even call the new legislation the “most progressive policy” worldwide when it comes to equal internet access.

 

 

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HTC Exodus: Is This $1,000 Blockchain Phone Worth The Security, Privacy?

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Fans of HTC will most likely be familiar with its slate of handy gadgets, but not everyone may have heard of HTC’s push towards applying blockchain tech to its smartphones. Interestingly, the HTC Exodus is proof of this push for innovation – but for a hefty price. The HTC Exodus is a $1,000 blockchain phone, which HTC says pushes for better security, privacy options for users. However, is the price really worth the take?

HTC has just unveiled what perhaps can be considered one of its newest and most innovative phones yet, but when HTC Exodus was revealed, there’s nothing “expansive” about it except the fact that it’s the world’s first “blockchain phone” courtesy of a major manufacturer. However, that might change today has HTC has finally unveiled details about this revolutionary product.

According to HTC, the device will cost around $1,000 – which is similar to its competitor, HTC2the Finney by Sirin Labs, which is the world’s actual first blockchain phone. There’s no actual price for the Exodus yet, but those interested may expect one by August, with items to be shipped by the end of the year. All of this was revealed by Phil Chen, HTC’s head.

Finney by Sirin Labs, meanwhile, is a phone that allows users to use and store digital currencies – cryptocurrencies, in particular – without having the need to pay for various transaction fees. This means you no longer need separate flash drives for digital wallet, and instead have everything on to go in your device.

This also means the Finney will be capable of doing its job without having to convert digital currencies, and instead work directly with stores. They can even turn their phones into rentable “hotspots” for digital tokens. Fingerprint scans and passwords will be used as security. Interestingly, there are already 25,000 preordered units, with shipping to begin in October.

Perhaps what’s interesting, however, is the inclusion of blockchain technology within the system itself. The point of the Exodus isn’t to have fancy features, but rather to make sure your blockchain currencies and your date remain secure and private on the device itself rather than in the cloud.

Blockchain technology powers cryptocurrency, and is largely becoming one of the most hotly-invested concepts today. Blockchain works much like a digital ledger, but it’s anonymous, immutable, and without a central system. This means things such as currencies can be formed without having to rely on a central figure such as a bank, and at the same time have all members of the system work together to validate transactions.

Perhaps what makes blockchain so popular is that it uses a concept of a digital ledger, where all transactions are recorded across all systems similar to a peer-to-peer file transfer system. One could compare the system to shared documents like Google Docs, where all members of the system have a copy of the file and can add to it. Unlike Google Docs, however, changes to the document (in this case, transactions like in a checkbook) are permanent once validated. Users coordinate to validate such a system through cryptography, and relying on users with vast amounts of computing power (called miners) to “solve” cryptography puzzles in order to properly validate transactions paid using cryptocurrencies.

The result is a system where transactions can be made and validated without the need for a centralized figure to manage everything. When applied to the real world, this means there can be a digitized way of paying for services without having to worry about revealing personal information and risk of fraud.

While there are no specifications yet, the Exodus is shaping up to be a powerful device. When Chen described the machine, it’s not only pegged as a secure and private storage for crypto, it’s also pegged as a miner as well. Mining takes a lot of computing power, especially from graphics processors, which means the Exodus may indeed have quite the impressive set of specs for its caliber.

While the $1,000 tag might be steep, those who value data security and privacy might look at this as a worthy investment – especially now that a lot more devices become more prone to breaches

People have begun to invest in security just as much as they do for pretty screens and speed. As such, while others do prefer the iPhone X, LG G7, and Galaxy S9, there’s still a niche market for products capable of providing better security.

However, while the Exodus does seem promising, it might put some people off when they see the current financial status of HTC. It can be remembered that HTC has been on a downward spiral lately, as the Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer said its sales had plunged by as much as 68-percent to $72-million – making this the biggest stump yet of HTC in more than two (2) years.

Unfortunately, the news adds fuel to the fire that’s been plaguing HTC, as this means they’ve been suffering losses for 11 consecutive quarters. Corporate plans currently involve laying off as much as 1,500 employees, which constitute 22-percent of its overall workforce. It will also try to cut its production costs and other costs in order to help return the company to a state of profitability.

The success of Exodus might be critical to jumpstart HTC’s rise, as HTC was considered the fourth best smartphone maker in the world. In 2014, however, it’s dropped just below LG, Lenovo, Xiaomi, Apple, and Samsung. This is saddening to HTC fans, especially since the brand is knowing for top-tier specs, and big and bright screens.

 

 

 

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Mozilla Touts Firefox App As Next-Gen iOS Password Manager With Lockbox App

 

Mozilla Touts Firefox App As Next-Gen iOS Password Manager With Lockbox App

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People who think browsers such as Google Chrome and Safari have dominated the internet, think again as Mozilla appears to want to fight back with a slate of new features for its Firefox browsers. It appears the running joke that Firefox is just there to be used “to download Chrome” will be out the window, as Mozilla touts its Firefox app as the next-gen app for iPhones with its iOS Password Manager, courtesy of its Lockbox app. How does it work?

When Mozilla said they wanted Firefox as your default iOS password manager, it’s not joking – and it appears its experimental Lockbox password manager might be the next-gen code protector you need. Or so Mozilla says.

Folks at Mozilla want users to try out stunning new features for its Firefox browser, FIREFOXcourtesy of its experimental Firefox Test Pilot program. Users and fans of Mozilla will find the Test Pilot program’s newest offerings quite the interesting mix as they finally make it to mobile devices. These include two applications, one being Notes built for Android devices, and the second being Lockbox which is an iOS password manager that is both self-contained and works when users clock in with their Firefox credentials.

Perhaps users should start paying more attention to the Lockbox feature, as it’s the more intriguing of the two. IDs and passwords stored in the browser, such as Instagram and Twitter, are automatically synchronized with the Lockbox. Other iOS applications – especially the corresponding exclusive apps such as, in this case, Instagram and Twitter – can then simply log you in by feeding from the Lockbox feature.

You’ll be able to use both the Face ID and Touch ID to be able to unlock the application, and Firefox using 256-bit encryption to be able to synchronize your passwords.

Meanwhile, Notes for Android functions exactly like Google Keep, which synchronizes both the mobile and browser-based Firefox applications.

Both of these applications are still in their respective testing phase, hence the term “experiments.” However, the two applications do demonstrate just how Mozilla is currently planning to expand its current lineup for features outside the usual desktop browser we commonly associate the program with.

Other “experiments” also include Colors, Side View, and Send – all of them having equally-interesting features. Colors work like a theme customizer, allowing users to create and share unique themes for Firefox by clicking a selection of options that can change various visual aspects of the browser. Side View, meanwhile, wants to capture the hearts of multitaskers by allowing them to keep two websites viewed side by side without having to switch tabs – which is a godsend for some workers who don’t have two monitors but need the capacity to handle two or more windows at the same time. Lastly, send allows users to send and encrypt files with links that automatically expire on their own to make sure important documents aren’t stored online forever.

 

 

 

 

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Timehop: Breach From Hacker Steals Data Of 21M Users

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Timehop: Breach From Hacker Steals Data Of 21M Users

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Popular application Timehop is something a lot of people use in order to look back at posts in famous social media sites – but it appears even Timehop isn’t safe from malicious attackers intent on harming its users. It appears a huge data breach allowed hackers to steal data from as much as 21-million users.

If you’ve ever been the nostalgic kind of person, you’ve likely used Timehop to keep track timehop2of your social media activity in the past. Timehop is a popular application that gets integrated into your social media networks and reminds you of posts you’ve made in the same day throughout the years. Unfortunately, it’s also the same app that suffered a data breach courtesy of an attacker just this July 4. The attack resulted with the hacker grabbing a database that has information such as the usernames and email addresses of around 21-million users. Of those users, 4.7-million of them have phone numbers linked to their account, which is the same number they use to log into their Facebook profiles.

The hacker in question also grabbed access to keys and tokens, which are files Timehop use to display and access posts from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. When the breach was realized by Timehop, the application quickly deactivated the usage of the tokens – which means the hacker couldn’t use those tokens to get data from iCloud, Google Photos, and Dropbox.

Unfortunately, Timehop has yet to find the culprit responsible for the attacks, and there’s no evidence that the attacker wasn’t able to access any of these accounts during that timespan.

What’s perhaps troubling is the nature of the attack itself, because even basic security measures weren’t enabled. A similar instance happened back in December, when an unauthorized person were actually able to use administrative logins to access Timehop’s cloud computing servers to create a brand new administrative account. Over the next few months, that same account were able to snoop in Timehop’s data just before launching its attack.

Interestingly, the account the hacker was able to access the cloud server in the first place wasn’t using two-factor authentication, where users will have to authorize accounts a second way after the password such as a code to a mobile device. This prompted Timehop to now enable using multifactor authentication across all its user attacks.

Timehop said they were able to discover and halt the breach two (2) hours after it begun, and it cleared out that no financial information, streaks of Timehop data, and private messages were compromised. Timehop said this is because the app deletes its own copies of photos and old posts once they have seen. The app doesn’t store data like IP addresses, location data, and credit card information as well.

 

 

 

 

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The Automation Situation: Machines May Take Humans’ Jobs, May Train Humans For New Jobs

 

The Automation Situation: Machines May Take Humans’ Jobs, May Train Humans For New Jobs

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A lot of critics have expressed their growing concern over the rise of automation because of the potential of machines taking over humans’ jobs. After all, machines are indeed cheaper, more efficient, and better in following instructions than actual workers. However, those afraid of such an “AI apocalypse” might have reason to have hope – as some say while machine may indeed take humans’ jobs, they may also be able to train humans for new jobs.

If studies are to be believed, almost 50-percent of all jobs today could be taken over by automation during the next few decades – and even occupations that machines wouldn’t be easily able to “master” will likely see various changes to their duties and responsibilities by the time smart technology becomes fully integrated into their systems. Given the various improvements in technology today, there’s no way of telling just how “intelligent” machines can change the way work will work for humans, or how jobs of people will be “evolving” with their automated counterparts in mind. While these questions remain plentiful, perhaps one thing is constant: the future of work for humans will be vastly different from before, and workers will need new skills in order to fully embrace this new shard future with machines.

This isn’t the easiest thing to do, however, as this has also created a massive need for automated machinecompanies and workforces around the world to create systems that can help reskill workers and match them with careers befitting their new roles. This is a pressing and difficult challenge, as this involves analyzing huge sets of data and devising ways of integrating a lot of complicated variables.

Interestingly, this is exactly the kind of problem AIs are conceptualized to solve – so why not turn to the very things that can answer our questions? Maybe reskilling can be done with the help of AI?

Thinking about various means to deploy AI to address the various problems automation creates might seem a bit counterintuitive – but the scale of the problem at hand does demand unique approaches. There’s no guarantee if productivity through automation will actually get to make more jobs than it “displaced,” which happened during the last industrial revolution. However, if that historical moment will serve as a basis, there will evidently be a huge skill shift – in both demand and supply.

It doesn’t help that a lot of people have started to become terrified of the prospect either, as 72-percent of people in the United States alone have expressed concerns that machines have begun taking over human tasks in various workplaces.

Meanwhile, job market provider Burning Glass has indicated an increase for “hybrid” jobs, which include jobs that have mixtures of sector expertise and digital skills – such as marketing analysts. The Burning Glass analysis pointed out that very few university degrees can help teach both skill sets, however, and even then only very few certification courses in industries also help improve prospects for employment.

This may leave others to think that automation will then become a zero-sum game, that human workers will eventually be wiped out of the ecosystem. However, the reality is a bit more complicated than that.

It’s important to understand that just because technology adoption exist, it doesn’t necessarily mean human jobs will replace. When the ATM was conceptualized, it was thought of as the “killer” of bank staff – but the ATM’s arrival actually heralded the creation of more bank tellers as well. This is because ATMs reduced the costs of running a bank branch, which means there’s more room to open more banks and hire more people.

In fact, it appears to be very rare for automation to completely remove an occupation. The deployment of AI systems and robotics will only really require a skill shift in the job market, as machines will usually just take over the “routine” parts of their work. This means humans will be more or less left to spend more time on the relationship-focused or creative elements of their jobs. This means bank tellers needed to have less skills to make deposits and withdrawals, and instead have softer skills to help customers and build loyalty with them by giving assistance to other financial needs.

The positive effects of automation can’t be discounted either. For instance, automated platforms run by AI can help save countless lives by making sure minute signs of cancer are detected on medical images. Better protection against cybercrime and mitigating climate change are other things AI could help with as well – as humans may have more rewarding experiences with work once bots and AI take over the more repetitive tasks.

Of course, these positive effects will only take light once the potentially destructive and disruptive effects of AI are mitigated, and people are educated on the transformative values of AI.

Not to mention, AI and automation have various impacts from company to company, and even industry-to-industry. This is why there’s no currently existing way to create a uniform “response” to how career transitions would work with automation in mind. Rather, it may help providing a more personalized strategy for each person first before going through the retraining process of how human workers could create better careers in the future.

The reality of the matter is, a lot of workers globally would have to be retrained – and geographies and industries will have to be transcendent in order to prepare everyone for a more automated future. Helping workers make a case-by-case transition can help companies deliver more hybrid platforms and automated solutions in helping people remain crucial and relevant to the workplaces of the future.  

 

 

 

 

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Opera Web Browser Beta Has An Ethereum Wallet: What Is Ethereum?

 

 

Opera Web Browser Beta Has An Ethereum Wallet: What Is Ethereum?

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Folks who like using the Opera web browser might be in for a treat as the Opera web browser beta appears to have an ethereum wallet. For those who have no idea what ethereum is, however, the addition of such an option might seem a bit weird and out of place. Just what exactly ethereum, and how is this expected to benefit Opera web browser users? In fact, it appears ethereum has more potential than other people think.

It appears Opera added quite an interesting feature to its latest update, as embedded within the renowned web browser is what appears to be a new cryptocurrency wallet. Although quite the limited update in scope, it does signal a huge breakthrough for Opera – as it’s the first of the proverbial “Big Three” browsers in mobile that has a default cryptocurrency wallet.

Opera Software, the company behind Opera Browser, has already made a name for itself opera webas something with a history of making various software programs. However, perhaps Opera Mini and Opera Browser are its most well-known products.

What makes the addition of a cryptocurrency wallet surprising is the fact that Opera Software hasn’t always been the experimental kind of company – they did integrate an anti-mining security feature into their browser.

This is of course until 2017, when it was acquired by Golden Brick Capital Private Equity Fund. The latter is a conglomerate group of Chinese investors that will most likely want to propel the company to reach new heights in the browser landscape.

Adding a new Ethereum wallet to the Opera Browser application can pose quite the game changer in the realm of cryptocurrencies, and can even be a huge “in” for users who want to try out cryptocurrencies, or have been looking for a browser specifically dedicated to their cryptocurrency needs. This is also useful for those who want to get into cryptocurrencies without being too stressed on all the back end processes involved.

This is also helpful for users, as they don’t have to install extensions anymore in order to handle support cryptocurrency payments on various mobile gadgets. Having an Android-based system to back on also makes it much easier for Opera to handle cryptocurrency payments, as the design in itself is built to be easily understood and navigated by users. Not only that, but Android’s security can help lock in payments from the Crypto Wallet so securely that users no longer need passwords or PIN codes to use the new feature.

As such, it’s touted to be similar to like sending digital cash, similar to online payments. This is helpful for both content creators and merchants alike.

Outside Bitcoin, Ethereum remains to be one of the most trusted, known, and reliable cryptocurrencies out there. Opera having an Ethereum wallet can be the motivation newcomers need in order to try their luck into investing or dwelling into Ethereum. It can be remembered that since Opera Browser does have a user base of more than 350-million users, even having a 1-percent adoption rate can be quite the explosive addition to the cryptocurrency landscape.

Although the wallet at this point will only support Ethereum tokens and Ethereum in its basic stages, Opera developers said they are planning to add support for other cryptocurrencies in the market today as well. Charles Hamel, the project lead, said the primary goal is to accelerate the transition of cryptocurrencies away from the realm of investment and speculation and into the limelight as a means to actually make transactions and payments for its users.

Opera also emphasized its intention to bring cryptocurrency transactions and payments to the mobile application playground, hoping to integrate transactions and payments into the everyday processes of mobile phone users.

It can be remembered that cryptocurrencies have recently made waves in the realm of finances and businesses because of their unique nature. As decentralized and anonymous systems, users can freely and securely make payments and transactions that cannot be altered and forged in the central system. They no longer need a central authority to manage everything as well, as all parts of the system contribute to the confirmation and validation of transactions.

While Bitcoin is currently the most popular cryptocurrency, Ethereum stands close second. Unlike the former, Ethereum positions itself as a crowdfunding platform that encourages users to contribute projects and assets other users could pitch into and even grab for their own applications – on the condition that users either make projects to contribute themselves or help circulate tokens, which is the virtual currency in the platform.

 

 

 

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Yatra Data Breach Leaves Access To Data Of 5M Customers

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Today is not a good day for both Yatra and Yatra patrons, as a massive data breach just exposed data of more than a whopping five (5!) million (!) customers. Just what happened that caused this catastrophic data privacy breach, and what repercussions is Yatra facing?

It would come a surprise for many when companies actually don’t immediately tell their yatra privacy breachedusers their systems suffering a hack or data breach – but this is exactly what happened when the travel booking service Yatra appears to have suffered an attack with its systems. This is after security researchers have managed to find out evidence of an attack five (5) years after it happened, with more than five (5) million (!) records being exposed in the data breach.

According to a recent Twitter post, Have I Been Pwned (HIBP) showed that a data breach actually happened within Yatra’s systems that exposed around a whopping five million records within its sites. Information such as PINs, passwords, phone numbers, contact addresses, and e-mail addresses being revealed in the process.

Perhaps what’s shocking is that the incident happened five (5) years ago, as far back as 2013. Viglante.pw also confirmed the news as it now listed yatra.in among its huge list of breached database – with the number of compromised entries in the data breach reaching as high as 5,135,570. Curious Yatra users can go to HIBP to check if their emails have been compromised in various attacks as well.

Yatra.in, now Yatra.com, is a travel website based in India that started to operate since 2006. The service has become the second largest digital travel service and agency located in India as of 2012.

What perhaps shocked most is the fact that Yatra appears to have not informed any of its customers about the breach – at least as of the writing of this article. A reason behind this act has yet to be discovered, aside from the usual fear of losing the trust of their customers. However, hiding such a huge data breach does pose questions towards the firm’s trustworthiness and professionalism.

While the breach was confirmed to have happened in 2013, details such as who did the breach and its source have yet to be determined. However, this appears to be a continuation of what’s known as the data breach in Klook Travel, with Yatra being a travel booking service to be added in a growing list of breached sites.  

It can be remembered that Klook Travel, another popular travel booking site, has suffered a data breach early this month as well. The Hong Kong-based site joins Adidas and Ticketmaster in terms of data breaches this month as well.

In the case of Klook Travel and the others, however, they did take the time to make a press release. Klook Travel released theirs last June 29, informing their users that a breach has been found in their site – and this happened because hackers used an exploit on a JavaScript code in one of the sites’ many integrations.

To be specific, web analytics tool SOCIAPlus, a supposed third-party provider, was discovered to be the source of the data breach. Fortunately, compared to Yatra, only 8-percent of Klook Travel customers were affected by the breach, with the victims already have been notified.

 

 

 

 

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Human-Centered AI: How Do You Build AIs Based On Human Rights, Democracy?

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With automation and artificial intelligence (AI) taking the limelight in recent technological developments, is there still a way to unite the concept of building smart machines and morality? For proponents of human-centered AI, it might just be possible to ensure building intelligent machines comes with building democracy, human rights, and trust. How can this be possible?

Artificial intelligence (AI) as a concept has been surrounded by quite a number of theories and speculations – and being subjugated by machine overlords aside, the discussion regarding the impact of AI towards the enjoyment of human rights and democratic governance are extremely important.

Such were the points discussed by Eileen Donahoe, the executive director of the Global Digital Policy Incubator (GDPi) of Stanford during a one-day conference. She begins by explaining that humanity has come to an inflection point when it comes to the discussions on how society will see AI’s impact on them.

It’s important to understand that mankind has slowly shifted to a data-driven society, ai-human rightswhere many dimensions of our lives have begun to be intertwined with a lot of AI-based applications. Now, AI influences a lot of humanity’s interaction with information, with government, with technology, and even with one another.

Perhaps it’s important to discuss quite the strange turning point when computers are now asking us that we’re not robots – as this has both negative and positive directions. The potential of AI is like how electricity and fire are both destructive and helpful. The ways AI can help society are vast, but it also comes with a lot of risks.

Donahoe in particular focused on the various ramifications of the deployment of AI in a widespread manner, especially in terms of the enjoyment of human rights and democratic governance. Mankind today now needs to find better ways of capitalizing on AI’s huge potential, and at the same time be able to protect humanity and human beings from its various risks. As such, questions have to be answered – including aspects on just how much do we have to rely on AI when it comes to governance decisions, losing trust in disinformation and digital information when it comes to democracy, the reinforcement of discrimination and bias via AI, and the future of work in general.

However, perhaps the most compelling questions are these three: just what is human-centered AI, how can ethics relate to this concept, and what are the existing ways a “human rights” framework can be built to guide better development and application of artificial intelligence?

Human-centered AI: Donahoe defines human-centered AI as an extremely important principle when it comes to the application and development of AI. It’s pegged by Stanford as the new priority when it comes to developing AI systems, but unfortunately it can mean a lot of things.

  • When it comes to the “AI” portion, it’s already covering a lot of aspects. Some people may use AI to refer to the full range of data-driven intelligences and processes –  as in algorithmic and automated decision-making; unsupervised deep learning and machine learning that mimics neural networks in biology; supervised AI in specific fields; and even AGI, or artificial general intelligence.
  • Humanity’s focus, however, should be on the “human-centered” portion of the concept. It’s important to have a unified stance on just what this concept means when it comes to reinforcing a human-centered approach to the application and development of AI.
  • As per Fei-Fei Li, Stanford Associate Professor of Computer Science, there should be three goals that should guide the basis of creating AI that’s human-centered – it should be guided by the concern on its effects on humanity, it should replace and not enhance human capabilities, and it should reflect human intelligence’s depth.
  • For Donahoe, the concern on its effects on humans should be the center of focus when it comes to building human-centered AI. It’s important to remember that trying to make AI “human-like” won’t necessarily make it human-centered, just as making AI “democratized” or “friendlier” still can be dangerous if their development has not been taken with its effects on humans ito mind.
  • It’s also important to remember that while AI can do a lot of things or humans, matters of governance accountability and responsibility should be addressed. Humans shouldn’t be taken away from the organization of society even when AI systems are used, but this also means thinking of more unique ways to develop a way for humans to be accountable and responsible for AIs they develop.

 

Ethics and Human-centered AI: Donahoe also emphasized that there needs to be dialogue with how the current field of ethics could be discussed along with the idea of human-centered AI, as there’s an ongoing ethical debate on the matter. For Donahoe, three questions and entry points should be discussed in this debate.

  • The first question should be on just exactly whether or not AI should be seen “legal personhood,” or if they should be treated as ethical agents. This means answering whether or not AI should even be allowed to make decisions for themselves in the first place.
  • The second question is whether humans should be assigned ethical responsibilities when it comes to robots and artificial intelligence.
  • The third is just what kinds of ethical responsibilities people who apply, develop, and design AI should exactly have.
  • Luckily, a lot of ethics-based initiatives have started popping up when it comes to the overall concern with AI, and technologists have begun formulating just what responsibilities people who deploy, develop, and design AI in policies, processes, and products exactly have.

These various institutions have their own terms and variations of just how AI should use “human values” in order to create and develop AIs that bring benefits to humanity. But right now, a lot of these initiatives still remain very abstract.

 

Beneficial AI Development and Application with current Human Rights framework: According to Fei-Fei Li, there’s no need to retreat and reinvent to vague ideas when it comes to reflecting on the human rights framework to be used in AI. In fact, our current human rights framework can be used to reflect on where AI development should be going.

  • A lot of human rights framework today already exist based on international human rights law, which are laws that have been recognized and negotiated internationally. Human rights norms are well-suited for humanity’s current digitized and globalized context, primarily because of its ability to be applied in a universal way.
  • A universal human rights framework also allows a practical and rich basis when it comes to evaluating the effects of a particular AI on humanity. These range from how AI and humans will adjust to their right to work, how AI should adjust to the right of privacy of humans, to other forms of rights such as access to free expression and information, equal protection, nondiscrimination, and fairness.

To close her discussion, Donahoe said that human-centered AI shouldn’t be treated as solely a technology challenge. It requires a lot of insight from fields outside computer science, and it’s a cross-disciplinary, cross-sector, and cross-cultural endeavor.

 

 

 

 

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