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Factory reset in Android phones leaves sensitive user data behind

It?s common sense to reset an Android phone to its factory state before selling or disposing of it. But beware, researchers recently found that this often fails to properly wipe all sensitive user data from the device.

A test on 21 second-hand smartphones running Android versions between 2.3.x (Gingerbread) and 4.3 (Jelly Bean) revealed that it?s possible to recover emails, text messages, Google access tokens and other sensitive data after the factory reset function had been used.

The study was done by researchers Laurent Simon and Ross Anderson from the University of Cambridge in the U.K. on used devices bought from eBay between January and May 2014. The devices included models from Samsung Electronics, HTC, LG Electronics, Motorola and three from Google?s Nexus line of phones.

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10 times when location services will mess up your life
Your phone is constantly tracking you and ? surprise, surprise ? sometimes that's not a good thing!
Secom security drone follows, photographs intruders

If you think drones are more than slightly creepy, wait until you meet one that will autonomously follow you and record video.

Japanese security company Secom is launching a drone that will automatically launch when an intruder is detected and follow him or her while sending video to human supervisors.

The sleek silver quadcopter was shown off this week at the inaugural International Drone Expo held in Makuhari outside Tokyo, where about 50 companies gathered to exhibit drones and related technologies.

The UAV will be offered to businesses in Japan operating on relatively large parcels of land?big enough to warrant a flying security camera?such as shopping malls and supermarkets with large parking lots.

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6 things almost every viral Kickstarter has in common

For many entrepreneurs, crowdfunding is a mystery. Celebrity music videos can flop, while simple, silly ideas can go viral overnight. Some campaigns are all about grassroots fundraising, while others can succeed on the strength of one or two wealthy backers.

On closer inspection, however, there are a few signals in the noise. We looked at the thousand most successful Kickstarter projects ever based on percent funded?campaigns that raised more than 15 times as much money as they asked for?then compared those numbers to every Kickstarter campaign in history, over 220,000 in all.

The following six trends emerged.

1. Tabletop games and physical products are king Top-Funded Tabletop Game Kickstarters in 2015 | FindTheData

If you want your crowdfunding campaign to be a viral hit, consider making a tabletop game. Just under 3% of all Kickstarter campaigns in history have featured tabletop games, and yet nearly 25% of the thousand most successful fall in that category. Compared to the average campaign, tabletop games?Conan and Zombicide?are 9.6 times as likely to go viral.

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The best of what?s newly streaming on Netflix includes a ?Beautiful? find

Great movies have the power to record emotions and send them back out into the audience, intact. Sometimes these can be the pondering of life or death, as in several of this week?s movies. Sometimes they can be hope or guilt, the emotions that drive a certain ?killer? toward a certain goal. Other times they can feel like nothing, like a lack of connection. Still other times they can make a monster seem human.

Other times, they can just make you laugh or give you a little thrill. Regardless of their intentions, all of this week?s movies should make you feel at something.

Fruitvale Station (Netflix) ?????

Oakland filmmaker Ryan Coogler made a powerful feature debut with Fruitvale Station (2013), based on the New Year?s Day, 2009, shooting of Oscar Grant by police in the BART train station of the title. Coogler?s carefully-researched screenplay depicts the events of the day leading up to the tragedy. Michael B. Jordan gives a star-making performance as Oscar, who already has a difficult day, trying to get his grocery store job back so he doesn?t have to deal drugs, trying to placate his girlfriend Sophina (Melonie Diaz), who has caught him cheating, and trying to buy food for his mother?s birthday party. (Octavia Spencer is extraordinary as the mother.)

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6 great Google Chrome gestures for Android and iOS

With Chrome on your phone, there?s no need to dig through menus or take aim at tiny buttons to make the most of your tabs and webpages.

Instead, just swipe, flick, tap and hold, or tap and pull to open a new tab, close one you don?t need anymore, copy an interesting URL to the clipboard, reveal all your tabs, and more.

Read on for 6 gotta-know Google Chrome gestures, starting with...

1. Tap and pull to reveal all your tabs (Android only) Ben Patterson

To see all your open Chrome tabs at once, tap and hold the address bar (the one with the webpage?s URL), then pull it down.

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Alibaba's UC Browser found leaking users' data

A mobile browser owned by China?s Alibaba Group contained privacy risks that could have exposed users? personal data, according to a security group.

The flaws were found in UC Browser, a third-party app that?s been expanding in popularity across the globe, and has over 100 million daily active users. Last year, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group acquired UC Browser?s parent company.

The Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto?s Munk School of Global Affairs investigated the mobile browser, and found that it was sending user data unencrypted, or with not enough encryption. This included transmitting phone numbers and device serial numbers, in addition to user search queries and geolocation data.

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Freelance hacking site vows to clean up dodgy listings

Charles Tendell is trying to repair a reputation problem for his website, Hacker?s List.

The site debuted in November and quickly drew high-profile attention, including a front-page story in the New York Times. It?s an online marketplace where people can list computer-security related jobs for bidding and match them with the right ?hacker.?

It has been criticized as amateurish since forums where such deals are made are password-protected and generally hard to find for regular Internet users. It has also raised concern since many projects up for bidding appear illegal.

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Leaked database of Adult Friend Finder still online

Adult Friend Finder, one of the largest online dating sites, may have been breached more than two months ago, and the sensitive files?include names, ages, email addresses, zip codes and more?are apparently still online.

British broadcaster Channel 4 reported Thursday that the website had been breached, although information regarding the breach had been trickling out in a low-key way for some time.

FriendFinder Networks, a California-based company that owns Adult Friend Finder and other dating websites, said in an advisory that it has contacted law enforcement and is investigating.

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ICANN chief to leave office early, may miss key transition

The ICANN leader who kicked off the Internet organization?s move away from U.S. government control will leave his post early, possibly before the transition is finished.

Fadi Chehadé, who became president and CEO of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers in September 2012, will step down in March 2016, ICANN announced on Thursday. He is leaving for a new career in the private sector, outside of the domain name industry, the group said. Chehadé?s term was to have lasted until June 2017.

Chehadé?s biggest job at the helm of ICANN, which coordinates the Internet?s DNS (Domain Name System) and Internet Protocol addresses, has been to shepherd its transition away from U.S. control. ICANN operates under a contract from the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which is scheduled to expire in September.

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Microsoft begins to update with add-ins, Clutter, more

Microsoft began rolling out a slew of updates to selected users on on Thursday, including plug-ins or ?add-on? apps soon to come from Uber and PayPal.

Some of the new changes have appeared in the preview of Office 2016, such as simplified sharing from OneDrive?where users send a link to a file that lives in the cloud, rather than downloading and emailing the file to a friend or colleague.

In general, however, the new Outlook app represents Microsoft?s shift to Office 365, both in infrastructure as well as the look and feel of the site. revamped Calendar app.

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Google to change Maps search system after offensive White House results

Google said Thursday it would make changes to its Maps search system after racist search terms brought up the White House among their top results.

In Google Maps, some queries containing racist terms against African-Americans listed the White House and other surprising places among their top results. Google apologized and said it was working on a fix, but it had little else to say about what was causing the results to appear or how the company would fix the issue.

Now Google is providing more information. The company has begun to update its ranking system to address a majority of the searches in question, by building on a previous algorithmic change that was developed for Google Search, Google said in a blog post.

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US Senate leader to push for vote to renew NSA phone dragnet

The U.S. Senate on Thursday failed to move forward on efforts to extend the section of the Patriot Act that the National Security Agency has used to collect millions of domestic telephone records.

Congress is facing an effective deadline of this weekend to extend the phone records collection section of the antiterrorism law, with Section 215 of the Patriot Act expiring June 1 and lawmakers scheduled to take a weeklong break after finishing business this week.

On Thursday, Senators were wrestling with three alternatives: allow the Patriot Act?s records collection program to expire, extend the program with no new limits, or pass a House of Representatives bill that aims to end bulk records collection but allows the NSA to search phone and business records in a more targeted manner.

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Chromebook craze won't abate this year

Google?s effort to add features and push Chromebooks into more hands is working, with shipments of the low-cost laptops expected to jump 27 percent this year.

Chromebook shipments worldwide will touch 7.29 million this year, research firm Gartner said Thursday. Growth will slow down in 2016, though, with Chromebook shipments reaching 7.95 million units, Gartner said.

First introduced in 2011, most computer users are still just getting used to the Chromebook concept. The low-cost laptops, which run on Google?s Chrome OS, are designed for those who do most of their computing on the Internet. They are used in much the same way that tablets and smartphones are, with most applications requiring an Internet connection.

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HP's profit slips 21 percent as services business stumbles

Hewlett-Packard has reported another drop in quarterly revenue and profit, with a notable 16 percent slide in its enterprise services business.

The company said it?s on track to divide itself into two companies later this year, but made a last minute change to its leadership plans: CFO Cathie Lesjak will move to HP Inc., the division that will sell PCs and printers, and not to HP Enterprise, as originally planned.

HP has been trying to expand its business for a few years without success, and the split is a bold gambit to see if can perform better as two companies. Revenue slipped 7 percent in the quarter ended April 30, to $25.5 billion?its 15th straight quarter of declining sales.

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