10 Ways to Reduce Mobile Data Usage and Save Money on Android

This article was first published in August 2014 and has been updated in April 2017. Mobile data plans are expensive, and access to a WiFi network is not always readily available. Do you find that your smartphone gobbles up data each month? Here are ten tips to help you save money while using mobile data on Android. 1. Turn off data when not in use If you are on a limited data plan, then it is obvious that when you are not using it you should turn it off. If you’re not actively using your data connection, turning it off is the only sure-fire way… Read more

via Make Tech Easier http://bit.ly/2nJJmJC

When hosting SNL, Donald Trump ‘struggled to read,’ says former cast member. Can the President read?

The President is “a moron,” says former SNL cast member Taran Killam. That may be true. But can he read?

When Donald Trump hosted Saturday Night Live in 2015, none of the regulars were happy about it, according to an interview with Killam in Brooklyn Magazine.

The actor is now performing in Hamilton as King George.

“It was not fun, and most of the cast and writers were not excited to have him there,” said Killam. “I didn’t get the feeling that he was excited to be there, and it felt like a move for ratings from both sides.”

But here’s an observation from Killam about Trump that brings us to a serious question.

Can Donald Trump read?


“What you see is what you get with him, really,” he said. “I mean, there was no big reveal. He struggled to read at the table read, which did not give many of us great confidence. Didn’t get the jokes, really. He’s just a man who seems to be powered by bluster.”

It’s an interesting question, which has been asked before.

In news reports of how briefings unfolded before recent air strikes on Syria, multiple accounts say Trump asked for more pictures, no text.

It’s not the first time such observations have made it into the news.

Nerding Out with Taran Killam on Hamilton, Get Out, and his Post-SNL Career [Brooklyn, via THR]

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via Boing Boing http://bit.ly/2pceiiH

Injustice 2 video shows off gear system, gets the thumbs up for letting you play dress ups

Injustice 2’s loot drops are more than skin-deep, but the surface part is pretty awesome.

Injustice 2 follows on from many fighting games by allowing you some customisation of your chosen character.

Normally this just means skins, possibly with multiple palettes, but Injustice 2 takes things a bit further than most versus fighters with a proper gear system. You can change colours and patterns on individual costume pieces, and even swap costume pieces and weapons in and out entirely, for a totally unique look.

Dress ups are always very welcome, but Injustice 2 has actual gameplay mechanics attached to it. Gear drops at the end of matches and through other gameplay, andhave various stat-boosting attributes, allowing you to craft ever more powerful fighters. There are set bonuses, even.

You can also customise your character just by playing; various new moves and specials will unlock after you level up by hitting particular achievements or milestones in Injustice 2. It sounds like both systems will encourage you to stick with a main or a couple of mains rather than bouncing around all the time.

If you’re thinking beginners will be steamrolled by players with more gameplay hours or cash to spend, you’re not alone. A bit of searching turned up a Gamespot interview in which NetherRealm says players will be able to disable gear and level bonuses in both casual and competitive play, and even if gear bonuses are enabled characters will be auto-balanced to match each other, so at least there’s no level gap.

As for buying an advantage, apparently there’ll be no way to buy stat-boosting gear. (There are other microtransactions in Injustice 2, though.)

Injustice 2 releases in May for PS4 and Xbox One. NetherRealm hopes gear and customisation will encourage players to explore all the modes and content the fighter has to offer, which should lengthen its lifespan.

Oh, and there won’t be any super silly Batman costumes or anything like that. The Injustice 2 team is aware that comics are very serious business to some of y’all.

via VG247 http://bit.ly/2nE95Do

First ‘Star Wars: Battlefront II’ Trailer Leaks

It looks like we are getting an early look at the EA’s Star Wars: Battlefront II trailer which was meant to debut this weekend at the Star Wars: Celebration convention. I’m waiting for the video to be taken down any minute now.  The leaked trailer confirms a single player story that will follow a soldier through the events between Return of The Jedi and The Force Awakens. We also get looks at footage from the prequels as well as the new Star Wars films featuring Darth Maul, Yoda, Kylo Ren, and Rey being added to the list of playable heroes. Hopefully we will see more footage leading up to E3.

Star Wars: Battlefront


Star Wars: Battlefront


via Forbes – Tech http://bit.ly/2nE6xVC

Facebook faces increased publisher resistance to Instant Articles

Facebook’s Instant Article push is in danger of fizzling.

Many publishers are deeply unhappy  with the monetization on these pages, with major partners like The New York Times throwing in the towel and many others cutting back the amount of content pushed to the IA platform. In response, Facebook is making making concessions to publishers, including new subscription options, in a rare show of weakness for the platform juggernaut.

The Times is among an elite group of publishers that’s regularly tapped by Facebook to launch new products, and as such, it was one of the first batch of publishers to pilot Instant. But it stopped using Instant Articles after a test last fall that found that links back to the Times’ own site monetized better than Instant Articles, said Kinsey Wilson, evp of product and technology at the Times. People were also more likely to subscribe to the Times if they came directly to the site rather than through Facebook, he said. Thus, for the Times, IA simply isn’t worth it. Even a Facebook-dependent publisher like LittleThings, which depends on Facebook for 80 percent of its visitors, is only pushing 20 percent of its content to IA.

Enthusiasm has cooled elsewhere. It’s an about-face from two years ago, when publishers were champing at the bit to join the party. “It’s just a matter of time,” Hearst Digital president Troy Young said at the time. Cosmopolitan was the first Hearst brand to launch, in October that year. Now, Hearst is absent from the program, having determined the monetization isn’t paying off. Hearst declined to comment on the record.

Business news sites Forbes and Quartz are also absent from Instant Articles. Forbes experimented with it last year but found monetization lacking, chief product officer Lewis D’Vorkin recently said. “It left a lot to be desired in terms of monetization,” he said. Condé Nast’s priority is to drive readers back to its own sites, which is why its brands use Instant Articles only sparingly.

Instant Articles has been controversial since Facebook launched the fast-loading mobile articles feature in 2015 to keep users on the social platform longer. In Instant, publishers’ articles, signified with a lightning bolt, would load super fast. But many publishers say it doesn’t monetize as well as old-fashioned links that take readers back to the publisher’s own site. It’s also hard to see if there’s an engagement benefit to the program.

Facebook has been trying to be more responsive to publishers’ concerns. It’s launching call-to-action units that let publishers serve messages in Instant Articles stories inviting people to sign up for a newsletter or “like” their Facebook pages, after testing these with about 100 publishers since the beginning of the year. It’s also testing trial subscription signups and mobile app install promos within Instant Articles with The Washington Post, Bild and The Telegraph.

But in the past year, the ad market has become harder, forcing many publishers to look harder at pushing the subscription lever. And that’s an area where Facebook still falls short. Beyond the free digital subscription trial, Facebook hasn’t said it’s committed to letting publishers test paid subscription signups, much less lay out a timeline for doing so. Facebook still doesn’t have a way for publishers to paywalls to Instant Articles. Some would like to be able to regularly test how well Instant Articles are performing compared to old-fashioned links, as the Times did. (The Washington Post is running what it says is the first such test right now with Facebook.)

There are also a lot of details to be worked out when it comes to subscription signups on Instant, such as who owns the customer relationship, what data the publisher gets and how the revenue is shared, Wilson added. “The devil’s in the details.” (A Facebook rep said that for now, with the free digital trials, the publisher owns the relationship once the user signs up.)

For other publishers that aren’t heavily dependent on subscriptions as the Times is, or have lucrative direct ad sales businesses, Facebook Instant may still makes sense, though. The Washington Post is still aggressively trying to grow its subscription signups, so it’s been publishing all its articles as Instant posts because the user experience is better.

And one of Facebook’s call to action testers, Slate, gave enthusiastic testimonials about the product, saying Instant drove 41 percent of new newsletter signups, which is significant for Slate. It’s going to use the same feature for other newsletters and its app. “For us, it gives us a chance to promote other things we produce to new audiences,” said Slate senior product manager Chris Schieffer.

Publishers are still keen to demonstrate goodwill with Facebook. The Times’ experience with Instant aside, Wilson stressed that the decision to pull out isn’t necessarily irreversible.

“We haven’t closed the door on it by any means,” he said. “We’re talking to them on variety of products and found them, particularly of late, to be attentive and responsible to the issues we continue to raise. Ultimately, it’s about being able to demonstrate we can match or better the performance of links back to our site.”

The post Facebook faces increased publisher resistance to Instant Articles appeared first on Digiday.

via Digiday http://bit.ly/2oUwsIU

Forget Mirai – Brickerbot malware will kill your crap IoT devices

A new form of attack code has come to town and it uses techniques similar to Mirai to permanently scramble Internet of Things devices.

On March 20 researchers at security shop Radware spotted the malware, dubbed Brickerbot, cropping up in honeypots it sets up across the web to lure interesting samples. In the space of four days, one honeypot logged 1,895 infection attempts by Brickbot, with the majority of attacks coming from Argentina, and a second logged 333 attempts – untraceable as they came from a Tor node.

"The Bricker Bot attack used Telnet brute force – the same exploit vector used by Mirai – to breach a victim’s devices," Radware’s advisory states.

"Bricker does not try to download a binary, so Radware does not have a complete list of credentials that were used for the brute force attempt, but were able to record that the first attempted username/password pair was consistently ‘root’/’vizxv.’"

The malware targets Linux-based IoT devices running the BusyBox toolkit, and seems to have a particular affinity for Ubiquiti network devices, which have their own security issues. Once inside the operating system, the code starts to scramble the onboard memory using rm -rf /* and disabling TCP timestamps, as well as limiting the max number of kernel threads to one.


Run this code and kiss your device goodbye

Brickerbot then flushes all iptables firewall and NAT rules and adds a rule to drop all outgoing packets. Finally it tries to wipe all code on the affected devices and render them useless – a permanent denial of service.

To block the attack, the key factor is disabling Telnet and changing the device’s factory-set passwords. Radware also recommends using intrusion prevention systems to lock down devices. ®

via The Register – Security http://bit.ly/2oZTFGr