Stories Makes Its Debut in Main Facebook App

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If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, than Snapchat should be feeling pretty good, right about now.

Facebook DirectFacebook has not been shy about using its competitor as inspiration for its Stories features in Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger.

Now Facebook is bringing Stories to its main mobile app after testing the feature in Ireland the past few months.

Like Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories, captures your daily photos and videos in a slideshow format. The images are not published to your profile, unless you post them there. Instead, they disappear after 24 hours has elapsed. You can respond directly to a friend’s story with a direct message as well as add selfie filters or geofilters to photos and videos.

To add to your story, tap the ‘Your Story’ icon in the Stories bar at the top of your News Feed.

As part of Stories, Facebook also released Direct, a tool that offers more customization.

“In addition to sharing to your Story, we know you may want to share your photos and videos with specific friends. We’ve also added Direct, an option that’s designed for sharing individual photos and videos with specific friends for a limited time,” Facebook product manager Connor Hayes said in a blog post.

“When you send a photo or video via Direct, your friends will be able to view it once and replay it or write a reply. Once the conversation on the photo or video ends, the content is no longer visible in Direct.”

Facebook Stories and Direct are both rolling out to all users today.


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Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

The post Stories Makes Its Debut in Main Facebook App appeared first on SiteProNews.

Stories Makes Its Debut in Main Facebook App

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, than Snapchat should be feeling pretty good, right about now.

Facebook DirectFacebook has not been shy about using its competitor as inspiration for its Stories features in Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger.

Now Facebook is bringing Stories to its main mobile app after testing the feature in Ireland the past few months.

Like Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories, captures your daily photos and videos in a slideshow format. The images are not published to your profile, unless you post them there. Instead, they disappear after 24 hours has elapsed. You can respond directly to a friend’s story with a direct message as well as add selfie filters or geofilters to photos and videos.

To add to your story, tap the ‘Your Story’ icon in the Stories bar at the top of your News Feed.

As part of Stories, Facebook also released Direct, a tool that offers more customization.

“In addition to sharing to your Story, we know you may want to share your photos and videos with specific friends. We’ve also added Direct, an option that’s designed for sharing individual photos and videos with specific friends for a limited time,” Facebook product manager Connor Hayes said in a blog post.

“When you send a photo or video via Direct, your friends will be able to view it once and replay it or write a reply. Once the conversation on the photo or video ends, the content is no longer visible in Direct.”

Facebook Stories and Direct are both rolling out to all users today.


avatar

Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

The post Stories Makes Its Debut in Main Facebook App appeared first on SiteProNews.

Elon Musk Founding a Firm to Connect Our Brains With AI

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Elon Musk is about to get even busier.

The CEO of Tesla and SpaceX is launching a new company, Neuralink, with the purpose of developing technology that connects our brains to artificial intelligence. The purpose? To help people with neurological disorders and, perhaps, prevent humans from becoming obsolete in the workforce.

Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 8.09.05 AMFirst reported by The Wall Street Journal, Musk confirmed the company’s existence in a tweet: “Long Neuralink piece coming out on @waitbutwhy in about a week. Difficult to dedicate the time, but existential risk is too high not to.”

The goal, according to the report, is to create tiny devices that can be implanted in the human brain for the purpose of improving memory, and keeping up with technological advancements. The chips would enable people to link more directly to computing devices. The devices would also help people with severe conditions like Parkinson’s and epilepsy.

Neuralink may sound like something out of a sci-fi movie, but it is a project Musk is reportedly quite serious about. The electrodes the company hopes to produce would, theoretically, be able to upload and download thoughts, a process Musk refers to as ‘neural lace’ technology, according to the Wall Street Journal report.

Neuralink has reportedly been registered as a ‘medical research’ company since July of last year.

More concrete details about Musk’s plans may not surface until he officially unveils his new project.


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Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

The post Elon Musk Founding a Firm to Connect Our Brains With AI appeared first on SiteProNews.

Elon Musk Founding a Firm to Connect Our Brains With AI

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

Elon Musk is about to get even busier.

The CEO of Tesla and SpaceX is launching a new company, Neuralink, with the purpose of developing technology that connects our brains to artificial intelligence. The purpose? To help people with neurological disorders and, perhaps, prevent humans from becoming obsolete in the workforce.

Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 8.09.05 AMFirst reported by The Wall Street Journal, Musk confirmed the company’s existence in a tweet: “Long Neuralink piece coming out on @waitbutwhy in about a week. Difficult to dedicate the time, but existential risk is too high not to.”

The goal, according to the report, is to create tiny devices that can be implanted in the human brain for the purpose of improving memory, and keeping up with technological advancements. The chips would enable people to link more directly to computing devices. The devices would also help people with severe conditions like Parkinson’s and epilepsy.

Neuralink may sound like something out of a sci-fi movie, but it is a project Musk is reportedly quite serious about. The electrodes the company hopes to produce would, theoretically, be able to upload and download thoughts, a process Musk refers to as ‘neural lace’ technology, according to the Wall Street Journal report.

Neuralink has reportedly been registered as a ‘medical research’ company since July of last year.

More concrete details about Musk’s plans may not surface until he officially unveils his new project.


avatar

Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

The post Elon Musk Founding a Firm to Connect Our Brains With AI appeared first on SiteProNews.

How URL hijackers are disrupting banks’ PPC campaigns

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

I usually write about search marketing, analytics and conversion optimization, but I felt it was important to share a discovery I made recently.

I noticed a major phishing scam hijacking the paid search ads of financial and banking companies on brand keywords. The activity was discovered by an alert I received from BrandVudu, a third-party risk compliance and brand protection tool.

The alert uncovered paid search ads that look like official bank or credit card brand ads, but when a consumer clicks the ad, the landing page is a phishing website.

In this example the tactic follows this pattern:

1. An ad is triggered on brand or brand-plus searches for popular bank and credit card keywords (e.g., brand + “ login” or “low APR credit card offers”)

2. The ad contains a display URL for the financial institution, and therefore appears genuine and official.

3. Consumers who click on the ad are misdirected to a phishing site which attempts to get the user to call a phone number. After this the following events take place:

  1. The site claims that malware has been downloaded onto the user’s machine, along with a troubling pop-up, and loud sound effects including warning bells.
  2. The user is directed to call 844-813-5760 or 800-646-0707, which identifies the virus as the ZEUS virus, in order to get assistance from either Apple or Microsoft support.
  3. In some cases, the pop-up or the tab can be easily closed. In other cases, the entire computer screen is blocked by the warning message and the only way to get out of it, if you are a Windows user, is to use Task Manager to kill your browser program.
  4. The landing page looks like the below, depending on whether you are a Mac or Windows user:

BrandVudu identified the following URLs where consumers are being directed.  These URLs seem to rotate daily, with new URLs being used every few days:

Destination URL Landing Page Date Detected
Knowdailyhoroscope.com majorwarnings.online/alert/chrome_win March 6, 2017
Freedictionarydefinition.com virushelp.xyz/alert/chrome_win

 

March 6, 2017
clickingads.online

 

helpvirus.xyz/alert/chrome_win March 2, 2017
thesaurus-dictionaryonline.com

 

pc-helps.xyz/network7026/chrome_win March 2, 2017

Source: BrandVudu

Why aren’t these scams being caught?

Misleading ads are a problem, as evidenced by the 2016 Bing Ads Quality Review showing millions of ads needing to be blocked.  You would think that popular malware solutions would find these phishing scams and alert users, right?

I thought the same thing, but a scan of the above Destination URLs using several top malware scanners revealed green “all-clear” good grade for each site.

The phishing sites are fooling the scanning companies by misdirecting the scanner to a legitimate URL. When they’re visited by a crawler used by malware scanner tools, they usually send users to the actual financial institution website. Scans are performed and land on the legitimate site, therefore a good grade is returned.

Specifically what happens is the phishing site performs a check on the visitor and sends the visitor in one of two directions:

  • If the visitor is an anti-virus scanner or ‘crawler’, the visitor is pushed to the proper financial institution landing page or other real site, which looks legitimate and fine; or
  • If the visitor is a person (i.e. using a detectable browser), then the phishing site directs the user to the malware phishing site.

This misdirection is the likely culprit as to how the phishing scam can circumvent the search engine’s own audit checks.

The financial implications for bank advertisers

While you might view this simply as a nuisance to be expected in the world of online ad fraud, the implications are in fact much more serious. Financial institutions could potentially be subject to regulatory inquiries plus the erosion of good will in their brand names.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), for example, is the government watchdog that makes sure financial ads are not taking advantage of consumers. They’ve been very active in the last two years, filing multi-million-dollar lawsuits against offenders.

Further, the lawsuits are made public, so even if advertisers can pay the fine, they suffer a huge black eye in the press with already wary consumers.

Takeaway

If you are on the paid search team of a financial institution, government site, or credit card company, it is recommended that you take the following steps to ensure your ads are not being attacked:

  • Use a third-party risk assessment tool to monitor your brand and brand plus keywords. There are many options for this; I used information from BrandVudu for this article. Other tools include The Search Monitor, iSpionage and AdGooroo
  • Report issues to the search engine’s trademark compliance team for immediate take down
  • Document your findings to protect against an audit by a regulatory agency.

If you are reading this article and you are a search engine e.g. Google or Bing, your editorial teams may need additional tools to catch these scams.

How URL hijackers are disrupting banks’ PPC campaigns

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

I usually write about search marketing, analytics and conversion optimization, but I felt it was important to share a discovery I made recently.

I noticed a major phishing scam hijacking the paid search ads of financial and banking companies on brand keywords. The activity was discovered by an alert I received from BrandVudu, a third-party risk compliance and brand protection tool.

The alert uncovered paid search ads that look like official bank or credit card brand ads, but when a consumer clicks the ad, the landing page is a phishing website.

In this example the tactic follows this pattern:

1. An ad is triggered on brand or brand-plus searches for popular bank and credit card keywords (e.g., brand + “ login” or “low APR credit card offers”)

2. The ad contains a display URL for the financial institution, and therefore appears genuine and official.

3. Consumers who click on the ad are misdirected to a phishing site which attempts to get the user to call a phone number. After this the following events take place:

  1. The site claims that malware has been downloaded onto the user’s machine, along with a troubling pop-up, and loud sound effects including warning bells.
  2. The user is directed to call 844-813-5760 or 800-646-0707, which identifies the virus as the ZEUS virus, in order to get assistance from either Apple or Microsoft support.
  3. In some cases, the pop-up or the tab can be easily closed. In other cases, the entire computer screen is blocked by the warning message and the only way to get out of it, if you are a Windows user, is to use Task Manager to kill your browser program.
  4. The landing page looks like the below, depending on whether you are a Mac or Windows user:

BrandVudu identified the following URLs where consumers are being directed.  These URLs seem to rotate daily, with new URLs being used every few days:

Destination URL Landing Page Date Detected
Knowdailyhoroscope.com majorwarnings.online/alert/chrome_win March 6, 2017
Freedictionarydefinition.com virushelp.xyz/alert/chrome_win

 

March 6, 2017
clickingads.online

 

helpvirus.xyz/alert/chrome_win March 2, 2017
thesaurus-dictionaryonline.com

 

pc-helps.xyz/network7026/chrome_win March 2, 2017

Source: BrandVudu

Why aren’t these scams being caught?

Misleading ads are a problem, as evidenced by the 2016 Bing Ads Quality Review showing millions of ads needing to be blocked.  You would think that popular malware solutions would find these phishing scams and alert users, right?

I thought the same thing, but a scan of the above Destination URLs using several top malware scanners revealed green “all-clear” good grade for each site.

The phishing sites are fooling the scanning companies by misdirecting the scanner to a legitimate URL. When they’re visited by a crawler used by malware scanner tools, they usually send users to the actual financial institution website. Scans are performed and land on the legitimate site, therefore a good grade is returned.

Specifically what happens is the phishing site performs a check on the visitor and sends the visitor in one of two directions:

  • If the visitor is an anti-virus scanner or ‘crawler’, the visitor is pushed to the proper financial institution landing page or other real site, which looks legitimate and fine; or
  • If the visitor is a person (i.e. using a detectable browser), then the phishing site directs the user to the malware phishing site.

This misdirection is the likely culprit as to how the phishing scam can circumvent the search engine’s own audit checks.

The financial implications for bank advertisers

While you might view this simply as a nuisance to be expected in the world of online ad fraud, the implications are in fact much more serious. Financial institutions could potentially be subject to regulatory inquiries plus the erosion of good will in their brand names.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), for example, is the government watchdog that makes sure financial ads are not taking advantage of consumers. They’ve been very active in the last two years, filing multi-million-dollar lawsuits against offenders.

Further, the lawsuits are made public, so even if advertisers can pay the fine, they suffer a huge black eye in the press with already wary consumers.

Takeaway

If you are on the paid search team of a financial institution, government site, or credit card company, it is recommended that you take the following steps to ensure your ads are not being attacked:

  • Use a third-party risk assessment tool to monitor your brand and brand plus keywords. There are many options for this; I used information from BrandVudu for this article. Other tools include The Search Monitor, iSpionage and AdGooroo
  • Report issues to the search engine’s trademark compliance team for immediate take down
  • Document your findings to protect against an audit by a regulatory agency.

If you are reading this article and you are a search engine e.g. Google or Bing, your editorial teams may need additional tools to catch these scams.

Google Home Coming to the U.K. April 6

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Google Home will land in the U.K. on April 6.

Google, in a special event in London today, unveiled a smart speaker specifically tailored to a British audience.

“We know the U.K. has been patiently waiting for Google Home to arrive and we’ve been working with our favorite partners to give you the best possible experience,” Google Home director Suveer Kothari said in a blog post.

Google Wifi

Google Wifi

“We’ll partner with more of your favorite apps and services to help you do more with Google Home over time. And of course, we’ve hidden a few British treats for you to discover. Just try asking Google Home about its hobbies or favorite foods.”

The voice-controlled, AI-powered Google Home assistant was built to be a control center for the home. The device can perform Internet searches, answer questions and perform tasks like updating your schedule or booking a reservation.

Google Home can answer questions such as “Where is the nearest petrol station?” and then answer a follow up question like, “When does it close?”  It can also offer up news briefings from publications such as the BBC, The Guardian, The Sun and The Telegraph.

The device can be linked to Chromecast and Smart devices and appliances, meaning it can control the temperature in your home, not to mention the Smart fridge and television.

Google Home, which made its U.S. debut seven months ago, is a challenger for Amazon’s Echo device, which has been around much longer and enjoys a wider customer base.

Available April 6 for £129 from the Google Store, Google Home will also be available for purchase from Argos, Dixons, John Lewis and Maplin and is coming soon to EE. Colored bases will be available for £18 for fabric and £36 for metal on the Google store.

The tech titan also introduced Google Wifi “a home Wi-Fi solution that works with your modem and internet provider to bring you reliable coverage.”

“Google Wifi is a connected system that replaces your current router to bring smarts, security and simplicity to home Wi-Fi to give you consistently strong coverage in your home,” Kothari said.

“Google Wifi uses a technology called mesh Wi-Fi (something usually only seen in expensive commercial installations). Within our mesh network, each Google Wifi point creates a high-powered connection, and the different Wifi points work together to determine the best path for your data.”

The technology brings Wi-Fi coverage to “hard-to reach areas.”

Available for £129 in a one-pack and £229 in a two-pack from the Google Store, it will also be sold at Dixons, Argos, Maplin and John Lewis and is coming soon to Amazon.


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Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

The post Google Home Coming to the U.K. April 6 appeared first on SiteProNews.

Google Home Coming to the U.K. April 6

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

Google Home will land in the U.K. on April 6.

Google, in a special event in London today, unveiled a smart speaker specifically tailored to a British audience.

“We know the U.K. has been patiently waiting for Google Home to arrive and we’ve been working with our favorite partners to give you the best possible experience,” Google Home director Suveer Kothari said in a blog post.

Google Wifi

Google Wifi

“We’ll partner with more of your favorite apps and services to help you do more with Google Home over time. And of course, we’ve hidden a few British treats for you to discover. Just try asking Google Home about its hobbies or favorite foods.”

The voice-controlled, AI-powered Google Home assistant was built to be a control center for the home. The device can perform Internet searches, answer questions and perform tasks like updating your schedule or booking a reservation.

Google Home can answer questions such as “Where is the nearest petrol station?” and then answer a follow up question like, “When does it close?”  It can also offer up news briefings from publications such as the BBC, The Guardian, The Sun and The Telegraph.

The device can be linked to Chromecast and Smart devices and appliances, meaning it can control the temperature in your home, not to mention the Smart fridge and television.

Google Home, which made its U.S. debut seven months ago, is a challenger for Amazon’s Echo device, which has been around much longer and enjoys a wider customer base.

Available April 6 for £129 from the Google Store, Google Home will also be available for purchase from Argos, Dixons, John Lewis and Maplin and is coming soon to EE. Colored bases will be available for £18 for fabric and £36 for metal on the Google store.

The tech titan also introduced Google Wifi “a home Wi-Fi solution that works with your modem and internet provider to bring you reliable coverage.”

“Google Wifi is a connected system that replaces your current router to bring smarts, security and simplicity to home Wi-Fi to give you consistently strong coverage in your home,” Kothari said.

“Google Wifi uses a technology called mesh Wi-Fi (something usually only seen in expensive commercial installations). Within our mesh network, each Google Wifi point creates a high-powered connection, and the different Wifi points work together to determine the best path for your data.”

The technology brings Wi-Fi coverage to “hard-to reach areas.”

Available for £129 in a one-pack and £229 in a two-pack from the Google Store, it will also be sold at Dixons, Argos, Maplin and John Lewis and is coming soon to Amazon.


avatar

Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

The post Google Home Coming to the U.K. April 6 appeared first on SiteProNews.

Facebook Launches Live Location Sharing for Messenger

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

Facebook Messenger will now let you share your real-time location with your friends.

The new feature, dubbed Live Location, means users of the new tool will not only be telling their friends and family members where they are at any given moment — they’ll be telling Facebook too. But for those not worried about the privacy implications, the tool could come in handy for those who are often on the move.

Screen Shot 2017-03-27 at 10.09.16 PM“Our new Live Location feature makes it simple and seamless for you to choose to share where you are with your friends and family,” said Messenger product manager Selena Wang.

“Live Location is helpful when trying to coordinate with friends, telling people how close you are when you’re on your way to an appointment, or even sharing where you are with your roommate when you’re on your way home at night.”

Live Location, which is rolling out globally, is available on both iOS and Android. The tool can be used to share your Live Location with a group of friends or just with one person and stays available up to an hour.

“Sharing your location in a Messenger conversation — either continuously for an hour with Live Location or as a static point — is completely optional,” Wang added. “You are always in control.”

To use Live Location, users must tap the More icon and then select Location.  iOS users also have the option of just tapping the Location icon.

Next, you’ll see a map of where you are and the option to tap a blue bar to share your Live Location for 60 minutes. You can stop sharing your Live Location by tapping Stop Sharing. A clock in the bottom right corner of the map will keep you apprised of how much longer you location will be visible to others.

You will have the option as well of sharing a static point on a map, too.

“For example, if you want to tell a friend which coffee shop to meet you at, tap the location pin or the More icon, and then instead of choosing Share Live Location, tap the red pin in the upper right hand corner,” Wang. “From there, you can search for a place to share, or you can drag and drop the pin on the map. Then, tap Send.”

You can check out the new feature in action in the video below.


avatar

Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

The post Facebook Launches Live Location Sharing for Messenger appeared first on SiteProNews.

Facebook Launches Live Location Sharing for Messenger

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

Facebook Messenger will now let you share your real-time location with your friends.

The new feature, dubbed Live Location, means users of the new tool will not only be telling their friends and family members where they are at any given moment — they’ll be telling Facebook too. But for those not worried about the privacy implications, the tool could come in handy for those who are often on the move.

Screen Shot 2017-03-27 at 10.09.16 PM“Our new Live Location feature makes it simple and seamless for you to choose to share where you are with your friends and family,” said Messenger product manager Selena Wang.

“Live Location is helpful when trying to coordinate with friends, telling people how close you are when you’re on your way to an appointment, or even sharing where you are with your roommate when you’re on your way home at night.”

Live Location, which is rolling out globally, is available on both iOS and Android. The tool can be used to share your Live Location with a group of friends or just with one person and stays available up to an hour.

“Sharing your location in a Messenger conversation — either continuously for an hour with Live Location or as a static point — is completely optional,” Wang added. “You are always in control.”

To use Live Location, users must tap the More icon and then select Location.  iOS users also have the option of just tapping the Location icon.

Next, you’ll see a map of where you are and the option to tap a blue bar to share your Live Location for 60 minutes. You can stop sharing your Live Location by tapping Stop Sharing. A clock in the bottom right corner of the map will keep you apprised of how much longer you location will be visible to others.

You will have the option as well of sharing a static point on a map, too.

“For example, if you want to tell a friend which coffee shop to meet you at, tap the location pin or the More icon, and then instead of choosing Share Live Location, tap the red pin in the upper right hand corner,” Wang. “From there, you can search for a place to share, or you can drag and drop the pin on the map. Then, tap Send.”

You can check out the new feature in action in the video below.


avatar

Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

The post Facebook Launches Live Location Sharing for Messenger appeared first on SiteProNews.