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[Source: This article was Published in ca.news.yahoo.com BY Bree Fowler - Uploaded by the Association Member: James Gill]

Consumer Reports has no financial relationship with advertisers on this site.

We’ve all been there. You talk on the phone with a friend about something, say sneakers, and then a little later see an ad for the latest Nike shoes in your Facebook feed.

It’s almost like your phone, or one of the apps installed on it is listening to everything you say.

Could that be true? Or is it just a modern myth?

Well, it’s technically possible for phones and apps to secretly record what you say. And lots of people sure seem to think they do.

According to a nationally representative phone survey of 1,006 U.S. adults conducted by Consumer Reports in May 2019, 43 percent of Americans who own a smartphone believe their phone is recording conversations without their permission.

But, to date, researchers have failed to find any evidence of such snooping.

The scary thing, according to security experts, is that there are much more efficient ways to learn all about you without ever having to eavesdrop on that never-ending conversation with your mom.

Possible, But Not Practical

During the 2017-18 school year, researchers led by Northeastern University computer science professor David Choffnes set out to see whether they could catch a smartphone spying on what they said.

Using an automated test program, they analyzed more than 17,000 popular apps on the Android operating system and did not find a single instance where an app activated a phone’s microphone and leaked audio data.

Michael Covington, a vice president at Wandera, a mobile security company, says his researchers performed a similar study, focusing on high-profile apps known for large-scale data collection, including Amazon, Chrome, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

They too found no evidence of secret recordings.

In the end, given current technology, Choffnes explains, recording audio just isn’t a very practical way to gather market intelligence, because accurately translating that audio into text for analysis would require massive amounts of computing power, especially if done on a large scale.

If snooping of that volume was going on, undetected by researchers, he adds, it would probably involve state-sponsored hackers, who hunt for fish much bigger than the average consumer.

While that all makes perfect sense, it still doesn’t explain why so many people believe they're getting ads inspired by private conversations, Covington says.

“What we’ve done is provide some insight into what advertising platforms aren’t doing,” he argues. “But, they clearly are doing something that’s allowing them to target those ads so well.” 

If Not With a Microphone, How?

When it comes to collecting data on consumers, there’s no shortage of effective options. Companies from Google on down to the tiniest developer of time-wasting games routinely record personal info—names, birthdates, credit card info—simply by asking for it.

Many also track your location throughout the day using your phone's GPS and nearby cell towers or web beacons.

And Facebook monitors your browsing habits beyond the confines of its own platform, thanks to a tiny, transparent image file known as a Facebook Pixel that's placed on websites across the internet to track what you watch and read and place in your shopping cart.

In Choffnes’ study, the researchers also found that 9,000 Android apps were secretly taking screenshots or recording videos of smartphone activity and sending them to third parties. In one case, a food-delivery app recorded video of the user’s activity and shared it with a data-analytics firm.

One screenshot captured ZIP codes. Imagine if others revealed usernames, passwords, or credit card information.

Clay Miller, chief technology officer for the mobile security firm SyncDog, says that while apps are designed to be "sandboxed," meaning they withold user data from other apps, data can sometimes cross over through a phone’s operating system.

Still, it's more likely that, at some point, you paused to admire those sneakers you were discussing with your friend online, Miller notes. And perhaps didn't realize—as few people do—that companies like Google combine data from their many free apps, creating a profile for ad targeting purposes.

So, if you were to do a Google search for a particular kind of sneaker and use Google Maps to drive to a shoe store and your Gmail account to sign up for a shoe store’s mailing list, you can bet you’re going to get ads for sneakers in your Chrome browser.

And, thanks to all that data-tracking software tied to Facebook, you'll probably see the same ads in your Facebook feed, too. 

If that weirds you out, try to limit the access those companies have to your browsing history by not using the universal sign-on features offered by Google and Facebook and by not signing into the Chrome browser, Miller says.

Keep an eye on the permissions granted to your apps, too, Covington adds. If you don’t think that gaming app needs access to the camera or microphone on your phone, revoke it.

To see exactly what permissions you've given to each app on an iPhone, go to Settings > Privacy > and then scroll down to a category such as Camera. There you'll find a list of apps with permission to use your camera along with toggle switches to withdraw that access.

On an Android phone, go to Settings > Apps > and scroll down and click on a specific app. The next screen will show you what permissions that app has and allow you to turn them on or off.

“A lot of people might not connect the dots and realize that they’re trading their data and privacy for a free service, but that’s the world we live in,” Covington says.

 

Categorized in Internet Privacy

LONDON - Smartphones rule our lives. Having information at our fingertips is the height of convenience. They tell us all sorts of things, but the information we see and receive on our smartphones is just a fraction of the data they generate. By tracking and monitoring our behavior and activities, smartphones build a digital profile of shockingly intimate information about our personal lives.

These records aren’t just a log of our activities. The digital profiles they create are traded between companies and used to make inferences and decisions that affect the opportunities open to us and our lives. What’s more, this typically happens without our knowledge, consent or control.

New and sophisticated methods built into smartphones make it easy to track and monitor our behavior. A vast amount of information can be collected from our smartphones, both when being actively used and while running in the background. This information can include our location, internet search history, communications, social media activity, finances and biometric data such as fingerprints or facial features. It can also include metadata – information about the data – such as the time and recipient of a text message.

Your emails can reveal your social network. David Glance

Each type of data can reveal something about our interests and preferences, views, hobbies and social interactions. For example, a study conducted by MIT demonstrated how email metadata can be used to map our lives, showing the changing dynamics of our professional and personal networks. This data can be used to infer personal information including a person’s background, religion or beliefs, political views, sexual orientation and gender identity, social connections, or health. For example, it is possible to deduce our specific health conditions simply by connecting the dots between a series of phone calls.

Different types of data can be consolidated and linked to build a comprehensive profile of us. Companies that buy and sell data – data brokers – already do this. They collect and combine billions of data elements about people to make inferences about them. These inferences may seem innocuous but can reveal sensitive information such as ethnicity, income levels, educational attainment, marital status, and family composition.

A recent study found that seven in ten smartphone apps share data with third-party tracking companies like Google Analytics. Data from numerous apps can be linked within a smartphone to build this more detailed picture of us, even if permissions for individual apps are granted separately. Effectively, smartphones can be converted into surveillance devices.

The result is the creation and amalgamation of digital footprints that provide in-depth knowledge about your life. The most obvious reason for companies collecting information about individuals is for profit, to deliver targeted advertising and personalized services. Some targeted ads, while perhaps creepy, aren’t necessarily a problem, such as an ad for the new trainers you have been eyeing up.

Payday load ads. UpturnCC BY

But targeted advertising based on our smartphone data can have real impacts on livelihoods and well-being, beyond influencing purchasing habits. For example, people in financial difficulty might be targeted for ads for payday loans. They might use these loans to pay for unexpected expenses, such as medical bills, car maintenance or court fees, but could also rely on them for recurring living costs such as rent and utility bills. People in financially vulnerable situations can then become trapped in spiraling debt as they struggle to repay loans due to the high cost of credit.

Targeted advertising can also enable companies to discriminate against people and deny them an equal chance of accessing basic human rights, such as housing and employment. Race is not explicitly included in Facebook’s basic profile information, but a user’s “ethnic affinity” can be worked out based on pages they have liked or engaged with. Investigative journalists from ProPublica found that it is possible to exclude those who match certain ethnic affinities from housing ads, and certain age groups from job ads.

This is different to traditional advertising in print and broadcast media, which although targeted is not exclusive. Anyone can still buy a copy of a newspaper, even if they are not the typical reader. Targeted online advertising can completely exclude some people from information without them ever knowing. This is a particular problem because the internet, and social media especially, is now such a common source of information.

Social media data can also be used to calculate creditworthiness, despite its dubious relevance. Indicators such as the level of sophistication in a user’s language on social media and their friends’ loan repayment histories can now be used for credit checks. This can have a direct impact on the fees and interest rates charged on loans, the ability to buy a house, and even employment prospects.

There’s a similar risk with payment and shopping apps. In China, the government has announced plans to combine data about personal expenditure with official records, such as tax returns and driving offenses. This initiative, which is being led by both the government and companies, is currently in the pilot stage. When fully operational, it will produce a social credit score that rates an individual citizen’s trustworthiness. These ratings can then be used to issue rewards or penalties, such as privileges in loan applications or limits on career progression.

These possibilities are not distant or hypothetical – they exist now. Smartphones are effectively surveillance devices, and everyone who uses them is exposed to these risks. What’s more, it is impossible to anticipate and detect the full range of ways smartphone data is collected and used and to demonstrate the full scale of its impact. What we know could be just the beginning.

Source: This article was published enca.com

Categorized in Science & Tech

Unless you’re a serious photographer, you probably don’t carry a digital camera anymore. There’s no need: A typical smartphone comes with at least one camera, and lenses are sharper and more dynamic than ever. Even pro photojournalists often turn to their Samsung Galaxy, and entire feature films have been shot with iPhones.

It’s hard to believe but many people, including myself, hardly use a smartphone to make phone calls anymore. By the way, in case you still do and need to find someone’s cell phone number, click here for 5 ways to find a cell phone number online.

Smartphones also have an advantage that regular cameras don’t, that is, apps.

Your phone’s camera is a powerful tool, capable of far more than regular picture-taking. With the right apps, your phone can absorb visual information and use it for everyday tasks. You can conduct searches, tackle a shopping list, read a foreign language, or solve math problems, all with a lens the size of a marker tip.

What is your camera actually capable of? Here are five unexpected ways to use your smartphone camera.

Use a visual search engine

CamFind is a bit like a regular Internet search site, except it uses images instead of words. The app is available for both Android and iOS phones. Open the app, snap a photo, and watch as it runs through keywords that identify what’s in the picture. It will then generate a list of similar images and related search results.

CamFind doesn’t always get everything exactly right, but it does take darn good guesses, and sometimes it’s dead-on accurate. It will change the way you think about doing Internet searches.

Be a power shopper

If you don’t have the Amazon mobile shopping app, then you’re missing out on some cool camera tricks that can make purchasing easier. Click on the camera icon in the app’s search box to pull up your camera’s view. From here, choose which feature you want to access. You can search for products by snapping a photo, scan a barcode, or check and redeem gift cards.

This is cool. You can also use your camera to scan the shipping label on an Amazon box and find out what’s inside without opening it.

The app’s augmented-reality stickers feel downright futuristic, enabling you to place digital objects into your surroundings. For example, you can see how that turntable-shaped cat scratcher would look in your living room. Naturally, you can order those items if you wish. If you’re a visual person, this is a fun feature to play with.

Find what you’re looking for with ease

You own an object, but you’re not quite sure what it’s called. All you know is that it looks kind of like an artist’s palette and you use it to slice the leaves of kale. But how do you search for that, especially on a sprawling site like eBay?

Don’t worry. The eBay app is here to help. Just open it up and look at the end of the search box for a camera icon. Touch that and choose “image search.” This will open up your smartphone camera. Point it at the item you're looking for, take a photo, and crop it. The app will then search for auction listings that match the look of the item in your photo.

How accurate is eBay’s image search? It does an admirable job. We tested it out by snapping a picture of a plastic fox figurine, and it returned a list of similar animal figurines. A photo of a metal storage cabinet generated a group of similar filing cabinets.

It’s a great way to search eBay when you’re having trouble coming up with the right keywords to describe what you’re shopping for. Click here for the links to both the iOS and Android version of the eBay app.

Do math by taking a picture

Math might not be your strong suit, but you don’t have to reach for a calculator every time you need to put some numbers together. The Photomath app lets you point your camera at an equation and get an answer. It can even show you the steps it took to find that answer. That’s a handy feature for students and people looking to improve their mathematical skills.

You can use Photomath for simple subtraction, multiplication, addition, and division problems, but it can also tackle more complex equations. It can even read your handwriting so you can scribble down your math problem and let the app hand you the solution.

Translate languages in real-time

You’re traveling in a foreign country. Maybe you speak a smattering of the local language, or maybe you only know how to say “hello” and “where’s the restroom?” With the Google Translate app, you can quickly get your bearings even if you don’t speak the language.

The app’s extremely nifty instant camera translation feature works in 38 different languages. Start up the app, tap on the camera icon, and point the lens at what you’re trying to translate. It will magically change the text right on the screen.

This is especially handy for street and store signs or menus in restaurants. The app isn’t just for Android; you can also get an iOS version. This can help turn you into a much more confident traveler.

What questions do you have? Call my national radio show and click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to the Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet or computer. From buying advice to digital life issues, click here for my free podcasts.

Source: This article was published usatoday.com

Categorized in Search Engine

DuckDuckGo launched Tuesday what CEO Gabriel Weinberg called in his blog SpreadPrivacy.com “fully revamped versions of our browser extension and mobile app” designed to block third-party trackers and to make the service easier to use on smartphones.

The updates offer “built-in tracker network blocking, smarter encryption, and, of course, private search” in Android, Chrome, Firefox, iOS, and Safari “with just one download,” Weinberg writes. DuckDuckGo promises not to store or sell user data, unlike Google and other marketing-advertising-data collection search engines and social media sites. Ads for companies like Expedia that pop up on its search and affiliate pages aren’t targeted to individual readers, the company says.

Search volume rose for the 10-year-old, Paoli-based internet search site last year before the mobile upgrades were announced. Still, DuckDuckGo, which employs 45, many of whom work remotely and through the GitHub software development platform, remains a very small fraction of the global search market, which is attractive to advertisers and other behavioral trackers who pay big bucks to know where our eyes go.

DuckDuckGo says it logged more than 16 million queries a day as of the past month, up from 12 million a year earlier. The engine’s share of the U.S. laptop/desktop search market rose to 0.25 percent in December, up from 0.16 percent a year earlier, according to NetMarketShare.com. (Google as of December held more than 70 percent of the laptop/desktop search market, China-based Baidu 15 percent, Microsoft’s Bing 8 percent, Verizon’s Yahoo 5 percent, Russia-based Yandex 1 percent, and Ask.com had slightly more than DuckDuck Go. Dogpile, AOL, and all others were smaller.)

But, despite European Commission for Competition chairman Margarethe Vesteger’s admission to Wired Magazine that she uses DuckDuckGo instead of Google on her own mobile phone to avoid snooping, its share of the mobile market has lagged, rising only to 0.09 percent from 0.06 percent last year. Weinberg hopes to capture more with the new tools.

DuckDuckGo is also rating websites, with school-style “Privacy Grades” from A to F. (Philly.com got a C grade on my DuckDuckGo phone extension; according to its tools, Amazon, Facebook, and Google were all “trying to track me” around the site; they were absent from several other news sites I checked using the app.)

Weinberg writes that DuckDuckGo is more private than Google’s “Incognito” option and simpler than other search services. “Google trackers [are] now lurking behind 76% of pages, Facebook’s trackers on 24% of pages, and countless others soaking up your personal information to follow you with ads around the web, or worse,” Weinberg added. “Our privacy protection will block all the hidden trackers we can find, exposing the major advertising networks tracking you over time, so that you can track who’s trying to track you.”

Source: This article was published philly.com By Joseph N. DiStefano,

Categorized in Search Engine

Get the Most Out of Your Android with These Simple Tips

If you have an Android phone, you already know that can customize it to fit your needs. But there's always room for improvement. Here are seven ways to get the most out of your Android smartphone right now. 

1-Customize Your Notifications

Google Nexus 7
 Google Nexus 7. Google

Distracted by notifications? If you've upgraded to Lollipop (Android 5.0), you can customize your notifications quickly and easily. A new Priority mode lets you put up a "do not disturb sign" for certain blocks of time so you won't be interrupted or awakened by unimportant notifications. At the same time, you can allow certain people or important alerts to break through so you don't miss any essential notifications.

 

Track and Limit Your Data Usage

data usage
 Tracking your data usage. Molly K. McLaughlin

Whether you're worried about overage charges or you're going abroad and want to limit usage, it's super easy to track data usage and set limits on your Android phone. Simply go into settings, click on data usage, and then you can see how much you've used each month, set limits, and enable alerts. If you set a limit, your mobile data will automatically shut down when you reach it, or you can set up a warning, in which case you'll receive a notification instead.  

Save Battery Life

Smartphone battery
 Charging your phone, again. Getty

Also a necessity when traveling or running around all day is saving battery life, and there are many easy ways to do this. First, turn off syncing for any apps you won't be using, such as email. Put your phone in airplane mode if you'll be travelling underground or otherwise out of network – otherwise, your phone will keep trying to find a connection and drain the battery. Alternatively, you can shut off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi separately. Finally you can use Power saving mode, which turns off haptic feedback on your keyboard, dims your screen, and slows down overall performance. 

Buy a Portable Charger

Smartphone charging
 Charge on the go. Getty

If those battery-saving measures aren't enough, invest in a portable charger. You'll save time by not searching for outlets and extend your battery life by up to 100 percent at a time. Portable chargers come in all shapes and sizes with varying levels of power, so choose wisely. I always have one (or two) on hand.

Access your Chrome Tabs Anywhere

Chrome mobile browser
 Chrome mobile browser. Molly K. McLaughlin

If you're anything like me, you start reading an article on one device while on the go, and then resume on another. Or you're looking for recipes on your tablet that you've discovered while surfing on your phone or computer. If you use Chrome on all your devices and you're signed in, you can access all open tabs from your Android phone or tablet; click on "recent tabs" or "history" and you'll see a list of open or recently closed tabs, organized by device. 

Block Unwanted Calls

Annoying phone calls
 Another telemarketer?. Getty

Getting spammed by a telemarketer or avoiding other unwanted calls? Save them to your contacts if they're not already there, click on their name in the Contacts app, click the menu, and add them to the auto reject list, which will send their calls straight to voicemail. (May vary by manufacturer.) 

Root your Android phone

smartphone
Getty

Finally, if you need even more customization, consider rooting your phone, which gives you admin rights to your device. There are risks of course (it could break your warranty), but also rewards. These include the ability to remove apps that have been pre-loaded by your carrier (aka bloatware) and install a variety of "root-only" apps to block ads or turn your phone into a wireless hotspot, even if your carrier blocks this function.

Source: This article was published lifewire.com By Molly McLaughlin

Categorized in Others

The Galaxy S8 may not be able to beat the iPhone 7 and iPhone 6s in speed tests, but it still delivers remarkable performance. The phone is the first one to offer users new 10nm chips from Qualcomm and Samsung, the same kind of chip technology that will be found in various other flagship handsets this year, including the iPhone 8. But chip manufacturing process is only part of the story. Sure the smaller chips get the more efficient and the faster they become, but these mobile chips are all based on ARM designs. So whenever ARM releases new chip designs, it’s good news for smartphone lovers.

ARM did exactly that at Computex — it announced a couple of new processors that are likely going to power next year’s phones, including the Galaxy S9 that Samsung is already working on.

These chips are the ARM Cortex-A75 that will likely be used by Qualcomm, Samsung, TSMC, and others to create flagship mobile chips, and the Cortex-A55 that will power many of the future mid-range handsets. Finally, there’s also a new Mali-G72 graphics processor for next year’s phones.

As expected, all these chips are more efficient and faster than previous iterations. But ARM’s new silicon is getting ready to embrace the future. That means the company optimized its new chips for machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR), which are going to become core technologies for smartphone makers, if they don’t already are.

One interesting evolution of ARM’s chip designs is the new Dynamiq CPU that affects big.Little technology going forward. In the past, device makers would have to pair a similar number of big cores with small cores. That’s how you end up with eight-core designs such as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 in the Galaxy S8.

Going forward, Dynamiq will let companies mix and match the big and little cores as they see fit. Future eight-core chips may feature one big core and seven small ones, a design that could offer increased efficiency and reduce costs.

The Cortex-A75 chip offers double-figure performance across the board, according to The Verge. That means 22% better than the A73, 16% higher memory throughput, and a 34% bump in Geekbench scores. The chip is 20% faster in single-core use, and it’s optimized for future Windows-based laptops that will be built on ARM devices.

The A55 will also be faster than its predecessor, with ARM expecting a 10-30% improvement, up to 15% better power efficiency, and up to 18% faster single-thread performance.

Finally, the Mali-G72 is supposed to be 17% better than the G71 in ML benchmarks. The GPU is 25% more energy efficient than its predecessor, and offers 20% better performance density.

The first chip designs based on ARM’s latests innovations are expected to hit the market next year, and we definitely expect the Galaxy S9 to be one of the devices that will make use of ARM’s new chips.

Source: This article was published on bgr.com by Chris Smith

Categorized in Science & Tech

Google just removed 41 apps infected with adware from its Play Store

Forty-one Android apps infected with malicious software were removed from the Google Play Store on Thursday, but cybersecurity experts believe that up to 36.5 million people may have downloaded the "auto-clicking adware."

Dubbed "Judy," the malware was published by South Korean gaming studio Kiniwini under the name ENISTUDIO Corp. It's unclear how the malicious code got there - criminal third parties or the company itself.

According to Tel Aviv-based cybersecurity company Check Point, the apps have been available in Google's Play Store for years, though the length of infection hasn't been determined.

"These apps also had a large amount of downloads between four and 18 million, meaning the total spread of the malware may have reached between 8.5 and 36.5 million users," the company explained Thursday.

"The malware uses infected devices to generate large amounts of fraudulent clicks on advertisements, generating revenues for the perpetrators behind it," Checkpoint added.

Applications infiltrated with malware are becoming problematic for Android app developers and consumers. As of last spring, an estimated 1.3 to 1.4 billion people owned Android phones, which are easier to infiltrate than iOS-based devices. The Google-developed operating system is "more open and adaptable," said security software company Sophos.

Apps featured in Apple's iOS store have gone through an in-depth examination. The thorough vetting process blocks "widespread malware infection" among iPhone users, though malicious software targeting Apple devices is on the rise, according to a report from SIXGILL.

Earlier this month, Google revealed "Play Protect," a service that scans Android devices "around the clock" to ensure proper protection.

A full list of the apps' package names and upload dates be seen here.

The following apps were infected:

Animal Judy: Persian Cat Care
Fashion Judy: Pretty Rapper
Fashion Judy: Teacher Style
Animal Judy: Dragon Care
Chef Judy: Halloween Cookies
Fashion Judy: Wedding Party
Animal Judy: Teddy Bear Care
Fashion Judy: Bunny Girl Style
Fashion Judy: Frozen Princess
Chef Judy: Triangular Kimbap
Chef Judy: Udong Maker – Cook
Fashion Judy: Uniform Style
Animal Judy: Rabbit Care
Fashion Judy: Vampire Style
Animal Judy: Nine-Tailed Fox
Chef Judy: Jelly Maker – Cook
Chef Judy: Chicken Maker
Animal Judy: Sea Otter Care
Animal Judy: Elephant Care
Judy’s Happy House


Chef Judy: Hot Dog Maker – Cook
Chef Judy: Birthday Food Maker
Fashion Judy: Wedding Day
Fashion Judy: Waitress Style
Chef Judy: Character Lunch
Chef Judy: Picnic Lunch Maker
Animal Judy: Rudolph Care
Judy’s Hospital: Pediatrics
Fashion Judy: Country Style
Animal Judy: Feral Cat Care
Fashion Judy: Twice Style
Fashion Judy: Myth Style
Animal Judy: Fennec Fox Care
Animal Judy: Dog Care
Fashion Judy: Couple Style
Animal Judy: Cat Care
Fashion Judy: Halloween Style
Fashion Judy: EXO Style
Chef Judy: Dalgona Maker
Chef Judy: Service Station Food
Judy’s Spa Salon

Source: This article was published wtae.com By Abigail Elise

Categorized in Internet Privacy

The new A.I. system could soon make its way onto your smartphone.

Your phone might someday save your skin.

Stanford researchers say they've created a new artificial intelligence system that can identify skin cancer as well as trained doctors can. According to a study they published in science journal Nature, the program was able to distinguish between cancerous moles and harmless ones with more than 90 percent accuracy.

The researchers trained the system by feeding it nearly 130,000 images of moles and lesions, with some of them being cancerous. The system scanned the images pixel by pixel, identifying characteristics that helped it make each diagnosis. Using machine learning, the A.I. grew more accurate as it studied more samples.

It then went head to head with 21 trained dermatologists. The result: The A.I. software achieved "performance on par with all tested experts." The system correctly identified 96 percent of the malignant samples, and 90 percent of the (generally harmless) benign ones. For the doctors in the study, those numbers were 95 percent and 76 percent, respectively.

This could have huge implications: The study points out that 5.4 million new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year in the U.S. alone. If installed in smartphones, the authors say, this technology could provide a simple, low cost form of early detection.

Identifying melanoma early on is critical. The five-year survival rate when the cancer is caught in its earliest stages is 99 percent. That number drops to 14 percent when detected in its late stages. Having the equivalent of a dermatologist--as far as diagnosing goes--in your pocket could help patients keep a closer watch on their own skin and seek medical treatment sooner.

That's not to say dermatologists will be replaced--they'd still be the ones to perform any procedures necessary. And in a blog post on Stanford's website, the authors suggest doctors might use the tool for in-office diagnoses.

Before the system can achieve its potential, though, it will have to be able to detect cancer from images captured by smartphones. While phone cameras are rapidly improving, the A.I. is currently trained to work only with high quality medical images.

Still, the technology is moving in that direction. Being able to detect early could have an impact on the 10,000 people who die from skin cancer each year in the U.S. alone.

The Stanford researchers developed the framework for the A.I. system using an image classification algorithm that had previously been built by Google.

Source: This article was published inc.com By Kevin J. Ryan

Categorized in Online Research

The first step in keeping your smartphone running like new is to keep the software up-to-date. | Apple.com

When you buy a new smartphone, it often runs quickly for a few months, and then seems to slow down inexplicably. But it turns out that it’s pretty easy for you to keep your smartphone — either an iPhone or an Android phone — running like new. Read on for seven easy ways to speed up your phone and keep everything running smoothly.

1. Keep your software updated

The latest version of your phone’s operating system, whether iOS or Android, often contains updates and bug fixes to make your phone run more smoothly and more quickly. On an Android smartphone or an iPhone, you can check for updates via the Settings app. While you’re at it, also make sure that you’re keeping up with updates for the apps installed on your phone. When you’re running the latest version of all of the software, things are more likely to keep running smoothly and quickly.

2. Uninstall apps that you don’t need anymore

man holding smartphone and smiling
To get the most out of your smartphone, uninstall the apps you don’t need anymore. | iStock.com

Almost everyone has installed some apps that have outlived their utility — maybe an app for that airline you flew only once, the camera app that you never could get the hang of, or a game that just wasn’t as entertaining as you’d anticipated. It’s fine to change your mind about an app, but make sure that you uninstall the ones you don’t need. Unnecessary apps use up storage, and even system resources if they’re occasionally running tasks in the background, so periodically evaluate the apps you have on your device and get rid of the ones that aren’t useful to you anymore. For apps that come preloaded on your Android phone and can’t be deleted, disable them to keep them from using resources.

3. Cut down on background tasks

man checking his phone in bed
Reduce the number of background tasks running on your phone to help everything run more smoothly. | iStock.com

In both iOS and Android, you can take a few steps to make sure the apps you decide to keep aren’t negatively impacting the performance of your phone. On Android, consider reducing the frequency with which apps like your favorite mail app, or social media apps like Facebook, connect to your account and load new updates. In iOS, be mindful of which apps have Background App Refresh enabled, and consider reducing that number to decrease the resources being used in the background. Additionally, turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi when you’re not using them.

4. Clean up your home screen

an android phone with google in the background
Clean up your smartphone’s home screen to keep it running like new. | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Android’s many home screen options — and widget support — make it easy to have everything you need within easy reach. But if you get carried away, a cluttered home screen can impact how quickly your phone runs. Get rid of unnecessary icons (a task you likely completed if you got rid of apps you don’t use anymore) and only keep the widgets that are really useful for you. The same goes for iOS: Clean up that home screen and don’t keep widgets that will eat up lots of unnecessary resources if you don’t ever actually look at them.

5. Reduce animations

The new iPhone SE seen at Apple's headquarters
Reduce the animations used by your operating system and apps. | Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

If your phone is slow to move from one task to another, consider turning off some of the animations that appear throughout the operating system. On Android, you’ll need to enable developer options via the Settings app, and then reduce or turn off some of the animations. If you’re using a live wallpaper, consider replacing it with a static image. On iOS, forgo the live wallpaper for a static image, and turn off parallax and app zooms by opening the Settings app and navigating to the Accessibility section.

6. Clean out some storage

man on his phone
A sure way to keep your smartphone running like new is to clean out the device’s storage. | iStock.com

If you uninstalled some unneeded apps but still are short on storage, delete downloaded files that are just sitting around, or back up and remove the years’ worth of photos you’ve accumulated on your phone. (Sync them with your computer, or use your favorite cloud service’s app to back them up and then erase them from your phone.) Get rid of old message threads that hog storage. And on Android, make sure to clear the app cache occasionally to get rid of the data that apps save to streamline their operations, or on iOS, clear the history in apps like Safari.

7. Reset your phone

women in an apple store looking at the phones
Resetting your phone can help it perform the way you want it to. | Josep Lago/AFP/Getty Images

When your phone is running slowly, it sometimes works to clean up unused apps or simply restart it. But other times, you try everything else and your smartphone still isn’t performing the way you want it to. In that case, you can take a more extreme step and complete a factory reset, which can often solve random issues with apps and eradicate problems that elude diagnosis. Just remember that before you reset your phone, you need to back up all of the important data and media.

Source: This article was published cheatsheet.com By Jess Bolluyt

Categorized in Others

A new report from Israeli tech site The Verifier claims the iPhone 8 will come with a "Smart Connector," similar to the three-pin connector on the iPad Pro, which could be used for interfacing with an AR or VR headset.

The site, which has no previous track record (yet), claimed earlier this year Apple is working on group FaceTime calls for iOS 11

In its new report, the site claims the iPhone 8 might include a Smart Connector for wireless charging (a feature that's widely rumored and expected) and for charging AR and VR headsets. It could also possibly be used to connect to other accessories.

Apple hasn't really done much with the Smart Connector on the iPad Pro. Since its launch last year, the only official Apple accessory that makes use of the connector is Apple's Smart Keyboard

Leaks from last year revealed Apple was toying with the idea of including a Smart Connector on the iPhone 7, but ultimately decided to scrap the idea. It's very possible the iPhone 8 could resurrect the connector.

A MagSafe-like connector for charging an AR or VR headset wouldn't be totally farfetched. If you look at the new Samsung Gear VR, you'll notice it has a USB-C pass-through port for extended power and charging because the headset connects to a Galaxy phones' micro USB or USB-C port. A magnetic charging cable would let users easily attach and detach the charging cable — perhaps not unlike the Apple Watch's MagSafe charger.

The iPhone 8's rumored to be the biggest redesign to the iPhone since its release a decade ago. It's rumored to have a new glass and stainless steel body, an edge-to-edge OLED display, a home button embedded underneath the screen, and the the aforementioned wireless charging. 

Source : mashable.com

Categorized in Science & Tech
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