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Garmin’s New inReach Mini 2 Marine Pack


OLATHE, Kan. – Garmin International, Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NYSE: GRMN), the world’s most innovative and recognized manufacturer of marine electronics, today announced the inReach® Marine Mini Pack 2a satellite communication device with two-way messaging and SOS capabilities1 Comes with a boat-friendly bracket that provides quick and easy access at a glance. Rugged, compact and purpose-built for life off the grid, the inReach Mini 2 is loaded with features that give sailors an extra sense of security on the water, such as two-way text messaging, location tracking and updates. weather updates through Iridium Global.® satellite network. In the event of an emergency, inReach Mini 2 users can trigger an interactive SOS message to Garmin’s International Emergency Response Coordination Center (IERCC), a professionally staffed emergency response coordination center 24/7.

“When performance and reliability are needed most, the inReach Mini 2 helps boaters, fisherman and sailors stay connected to loved ones when their explorations take them beyond cell phone reach,” said Dan Bartel, vice president of worldwide sales at Garmin. “The best plan is to always be prepared, which is why Garmin satellite communicators have become trusted tools for anyone leaving the dock. With its compact size, robust locating features and long battery life battery, the inReach Mini 2 is an invaluable companion for any boating adventure.

Optimized for life on the water

Small but mighty, the inReach Mini 2 measures 4 inches high and 2 inches wide, weighing just 3.5 ounces, and yet it encompasses everything from messaging to tracking to declaring an SOS. Water tightness according to IPX72it can be paired with compatible marine electronics on board, including GPSMAP® 8400/8600 series chartplotters and GPSMAP 7×3/9×3/12×3, quatix® Series 7 and up marine GPS smartwatches, or freely used on their own. Unit-to-unit wireless connectivity allows users to remotely control the inReach Mini 2 to send and receive messages, start and stop tracking and, in an emergency, trigger an interactive SOS directly from the device couple. For added peace of mind without taking up valuable space at the helm, sailors can securely mount the inReach Mini 2 and keep it charged in a convenient location with the included bolt-on mount and 12-volt power cable.

Battery life

Whether at sea or on land, inReach Mini 2 users can explore longer knowing their device offers up to 14 days of battery life in the default 10-minute tracking mode. To further extend battery life, tracking intervals can be customized to provide up to 30 days of continuous use in 30-minute tracking mode3. Mariners who only occasionally find themselves off the grid will be reassured to know that the inReach Mini 2 can remain charged and ready to use when turned off for up to a year, making it a valuable addition to any boating kit. emergency.

Companion ready for adventure

The inReach Mini 2 automatically records activities and passively stores routes traveled. If a user gets lost, they can simply engage TracBack® and a digital path on the device will trace their movements and guide them back to their point of origin.

To further aid navigation, the inReach Mini 2 features an electronic compass that displays an accurate heading even when stationary. In addition to the GPS satellite network, it leverages the GALILEO, QZSS and BeiDou satellite networks for faster initial satellite acquisition time and better coverage in harsh environments than GPS alone.

With the inReach Mini 2’s intuitive user interface, mariners can check for location updates, weather alerts and messages faster than ever. Using the new “Quick View”, users can scroll through device widgets to quickly review essential items, which are displayed on the new high-resolution device screen optimized for viewing in all conditions.

Sailors can expand the capabilities of their inReach Mini 2 by using the Garmin Explore Mobile app which allows users to map, track, sync and share their adventures. When paired with the inReach Mini 2, users can quickly type messages, get up-to-date weather information, download a variety of maps, review trips and more from their mobile device.

Share your adventures in real time

Even without cell phone coverage, sailors can virtually take friends and family on a trip, even when alone, using the location sharing features on inReach Mini 2. Thanks to inReach MapShare or by sending GPS coordinates embedded in their message, users can update loved ones on their location at any time. Friends and family can also contact inReach Mini 2 customers directly to check their ETA at the dock, see how the fish are biting or kudos along the way.

24/7 emergency response

With a dedicated SOS button on the inReach Mini 2, users can quickly declare an SOS in the event of an emergency. Once an SOS is declared, the inReach Mini 2 will send a distress signal to the Garmin IERCC. Using two-way communication on the inReach Mini 2, the IERCC can communicate with the inReach user and then request the relevant search and rescue organization to respond. The IERCC will provide confirmation that help is on the way and provide updates on the status of the response effort. The IERCC may also contact emergency contacts designated by the user.

To communicate using an inReach Mini 2, an active satellite subscription plan is required. A variety of plans ranging from flexible monthly options to an annual plan are available for individuals or professionals. Plans are available for as little as $11.95 per month.

The inReach Mini 2 Marine Bundle is expected to be available this month for a suggested retail price of $449.99. The set includes an internal rechargeable lithium battery allowing up to 14 days of use in the default 10-minute tracking mode and up to 30 days in the extended 30-minute interval tracking mode. It also includes a marine mount and hardware, 12-volt power cable, and flotation lanyard.

Designed inside for life outside, Garmin products have revolutionized the lives of anglers, sailors, navigators and boating enthusiasts around the world. Committed to developing the most innovative, highest quality, and easiest-to-use marine electronics the industry has ever seen, Garmin believes that every day is an opportunity to innovate and a chance to beat yesterday. For the seventh consecutive year, Garmin was recently named Manufacturer of the Year by the National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA). Other Garmin marine brands include Fusion® and Navionics®. For more information, visit Garmin’s virtual press room, email our press team, connect with @garminmarine on social media, or follow our adventures at garmin.com/blog.


Garmin International, Inc. is a subsidiary of Garmin Ltd. (NYSE: GRMN). Garmin Ltd. is incorporated in Switzerland and its principal subsidiaries are located in the United States, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. Garmin, inReach, GPSMAP, quatix, TracBack, Fusion and Navionics are registered trademarks and MapShare is a trademark of Garmin Ltd. or its subsidiaries. All other brands, product names, company names, trademarks and service marks are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.

Glasgow SMS smart meter revenue, rising profits


A SCOTTISH company that installs smart meters on behalf of energy companies has seen a significant increase in half-year turnover and profit.

Glasgow-based Smart Metering Systems said the 11 cent increase in revenue and, also according to its alternative performance measures, the 7% increase in pre-tax profit were strong results.

Its indexed annualized recurring income (ILARR) reached £93.1 million as of June 30, up from £84.2 million the previous year.

Statutory performance measures showed revenue up 21% to £62.7m and profit up 22% to £6.1m.

SMS Chief Executive Tim Mortlock said “the strong half-year results again demonstrate the resilience of our business model”, adding that it is supported by recurring indexed cash flow from meters and assets in data, and reflects the strong performance of its first grid-scale battery storage project.

READ MORE: Smart meter installations rise amid energy crisis

“We have made significant progress in executing the strategy set out last fall,” he said. “We are delighted to see a continued acceleration in our meter installation rates, an increase in our smart meter portfolio and a new contract to add to our smart meter order pipeline.

“Leveraging our end-to-end platform, we have built and begun successfully delivering a strong portfolio of grid-scale battery storage projects in a short period of time, with significant opportunities. in this substantial and growing market. »

He said: “Our two recent strategic investments in electric vehicle charging infrastructure and energy data are complementary to our existing end-to-end business model and enhance our ability to accelerate other carbon reduction products and services. (CaRe), offering additional long-term growth opportunities.

“The global energy market is going through a period of extreme turbulence and there is a fundamental need for the CaRe assets that we produce and own.”

These assets “enable the transition to a low-carbon, flexible, secure and, particularly important at this time for all businesses and consumers, low-cost energy system”.

Source: London Stock Exchange

He added, “We remain confident about the future growth prospects of the business.”

Real estate broker Cenkos pointed to a meter installation pipeline of 2.42m versus a full year last year of 2.55m, reflecting a contract win during the period and net new installations.

An average of 38,500 meters per month were installed in the first half with an average installation rate reported in the second quarter of over 40,000 per month.

With the portfolio of grid-scale battery projects increasing to 760 MW, of which 360 MW in total are fully secured, 190 MW are under construction.

“The battery storage portfolio has grown to 760 MW, with the first 50 MW project ahead of initial expectations. SMS is uniquely positioned to absorb inflationary pressure,” he said.

Last year the dividend for the full year increased to 27.5p with the fourth installment paid in July, and “in line with the policy of increasing dividends by 10% per annum”, a dividend of 30, 25 pence is planned for this full year.

Shares in SMS closed at 904p, up 0.33%, or 3p.

Death of Queen Elizabeth: The Queen’s coffin lands at Buckingham Palace after its final flight


The Queen’s family received the coffin upon arrival at the palace, where it will rest in the Bow Room overnight.

The coffin was flown from Edinburgh earlier on Tuesday in a C-17 Globemaster transport plane, Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston told Sky News on Tuesday in an on-camera interview.

It’s a “heavily used plane, it carried the majority of the 15,000 people we evacuated from Kabul last summer,” Wigston said.

“And since then he has been involved in airlifting humanitarian aid and deadly aid nodes to support Ukraine,” he added.

Princess Anne accompanied the Queen on her final flight. The only daughter of the late monarch, Anne was also the only one of the Queen’s four children to accompany her coffin from Balmoral Castle to Edinburgh on Monday.

In a statement, Anne said it had been “an honor and a privilege” to accompany her mother on her final travels.

“Witnessing the love and respect shown by so many on these journeys has been both humbling and uplifting,” she added.

“We will all share unique memories. I offer my thanks to everyone who shares our sense of loss.”

Princess Anne and her husband, Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence, look on as pallbearers carry the Queen's coffin to Edinburgh.

Mourners had lined up outside St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh on Monday evening to pay their last respects. The Scottish government said more than 26,000 people were able to file past the Queen.

Tuesday marked Charles’ first trip to Northern Ireland as the UK’s new monarch, following in the footsteps of his mother, who is seen as a symbol of union and an important figure in the Northern Ireland peace process.

The historic visit saw the King arrive at the royal residence, Hillsborough Castle, where he greeted the public and watched the floral tributes. There he met the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Chris Heaton-Harris, and the leaders of the biggest political parties in Northern Ireland.

Britain's King Charles III, flanked by Camilla, the Queen consort, delivers a speech after receiving a message of condolence in Northern Ireland.
People line up to view the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II as she lies in repose in St. Giles'  Edinburgh Cathedral, Scotland.

Charles and Camilla received a message of condolence from the Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Alex Maskey, to which the King replied: “In the years since her long life of public service, my mother has seen the Northern Ireland is going through significant and historic change. . During all these years, she never stopped praying for the best of times for this place and for its people.”

King Charles added that he would follow his mother’s example in devoting himself “to his country and his people and upholding the principles of constitutional government”.

After the reception at the castle, the King and Queen consort arrived at St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast for an afternoon of prayer and reflection. They will be presented to religious and community leaders across Northern Ireland. More than 800 people are expected to attend the church service, which was also attended by British Prime Minister Liz Truss.

How the Queen's soft power helped keep the UK together

His visit comes at a difficult time for Northern Ireland, where political tensions are high and key issues around Brexit remain unresolved.

As the majority of the country voted to remain in the European Union in the 2016 referendum, the UK’s ruling Conservative party signed a Brexit deal that created new customs barriers between Northern Ireland and mainland Britain.

Elizabeth was the monarch for 70 years out of Northern Ireland’s 101 year history.

She was queen during the bloody 30 years of violence known as ‘The Troubles’, which pitted British unionists against Irish nationalists, with the British crown emblematic of all that divided the province.

Unionists are loyal to the Crown and the traditional British values ​​they believe it enshrines. For Irish nationalists, it is the symbol of the British forces that subjugated their ancestors and annexed their land.

Louis Mountbatten, the last British Viceroy in India and Charles’s favorite great-uncle, was assassinated by Irish Republicans along with several of his grandchildren in 1979.

The Queen publicly set aside those differences during a visit to Northern Ireland in 2012, shaking hands with Martin McGuinness, one of the Republicans most associated with past violence.
Charles also shook hands with Gerry Adams in 2015, seen as another milestone in the fragile peace process as Adams had long been associated with the Irish Republican Army (IRA), once considered the armed wing of Sinn Fein. which is now the largest party in the North. Ireland.

The King and Queen consort are now back in London on their return from Belfast.

Charles III, centre, and other members of the Royal Family hold a vigil at the Queen's coffin at St. Giles'  Cathedral on Monday.
To receive updates on the British Royal Family delivered to your inbox, sign up for CNN’s Royal News newsletter.

CNN’s Nic Robertson and Max Foster contributed to this report.

After SMS scams rise, NTC orders telecom providers to block clickable links in texts


The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has ordered telecom providers nationwide to block clickable links to malicious websites in text messages, following the recent alarming rise in SMS scams.

“Telecom operators are hereby ordered to block or disable domains or URLs, TinyURLs, smart links and/or QR codes emanating from malicious sites based on an existing database extracted from government agencies such as the National Telecommunications Commission, National Privacy Commission, Department of Commerce and Industry, law enforcement, subscriber reports and those generated by machine learning or artificial intelligence,” the NTC memo reads.

The commission also asked suppliers to submit a written report of compliance by September 16.

The NTC’s order comes after lawmakers sounded the alarm as they too had started receiving more of these messages, many of them with their full names.

These texts range from fake bank notifications, which claim that a user’s account has been blocked and require them to click on a URL to recover it, to questionable quick-money schemes which involve clicking on certain advertisements or connections.

Globe and Smart, the Philippines’ leading telecommunications companies, said last week that they had spent billions of pesos to strengthen their infrastructure to fight cybercrime and block fraudulent messages.

LILY: Worried about SMS scams containing your full name? Globe, Smart say they’re working on it

While some netizens said they were grateful to hear that the malicious clickable links would be blocked, others were skeptical that this would deter scammers as they would likely simply change their schemes to circumvent the new regulations.

Others have also called on the government to pass the SIM card registration law, which President Rodrigo Duterte vetoed last year.

“Prepaid SIM cards also need to be registered, so we know who is using them,” one comment read.

“The sale of prepaid SIM cards should also be done through legitimate authorized resellers,” another suggested. “Many of them sell them everywhere – on the streets, in sari-sari shops, in homes.”

An invoice obliging to register the SIM cards was approved at House of Representatives committee level last week in response to the growing threat of SMS scams.

Online shopping services shut down in Afghanistan due to economic crisis


Almost all major online shopping services in Afghanistan have closed, with the two major online shopping services recently announcing the closure of their services due to the financial crisis in the country.

Nearly a year after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, the lack of legitimate governance power in the country has thrown it into total crisis. The sudden collapse of the Afghan administration has led to an economic crisis and financial problems in the country.

According to Khaama Press, a well-known online shopping app, Click.af, with a successful marketing track record of six years, announced its closure on Saturday evening.

A message posted on Click.af’s Facebook page indicates that they are no longer able to continue their activities due to financial problems.

“The precarious economic situation, capital flight and economic cycle freeze have severely affected market sales, and Click.af is no exception,” the app’s operator(s) said in a Facebook post.

Click online store owner Masih Stanekzai said he was not ready to express his feelings yet.

“I’m not interested in giving a negative feeling about it,” he said.

“I hope the future will be brighter in the years to come so businesses like Click.af can restart, thrive and become a success!” Stanekzai added.

A day later, Baqal, another online shopping service with a 3-year background, announced its closure due to financial difficulties.

A message posted on Baqal’s Facebook page said it was a medium-sized investment that eventually collapsed when citizens’ purchasing power declined and local banks froze funds from citizens. people in bank accounts due to Taliban restrictions on the banking sector. , reported Khaama Press.

Online shopping services in Afghanistan have facilitated and improved communication between customers and traders, but this comes as other major online businesses including an online taxi service called “Bubar”, the online shopping portal The Finest superstores online shopping and the Hindukosh online shopping website were shut down months after the collapse of the administration of the republic of Afghanistan.

Immediately after the Taliban took power in August 2021, the first two months were particularly difficult for many Afghan civilians.

As Afghanistan continues to witness a debilitating rights situation, the UN humanitarian affairs body has expressed concern about the seriousness of the situation, noting that 25 million people in the countries live in poverty, according to the media.

The human rights situation in the country has been exacerbated by a national economic, financial and humanitarian crisis of unprecedented scale, however, the Taliban have repeatedly denied reports of human rights violations and called them unfounded.

According to a report by a global analysis company, under the Taliban regime, Afghanistan ranked first among the most unhappy countries in terms of physical pain, mental stress, mental disorders triggered by poverty and unemployment. , anxiety and anger.

Since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of US forces, the emotional state of Afghans reflects instability and uncertainty according to the survey report.

The Taliban have dismantled the system to respond to gender-based violence, created new barriers to women’s access to health care, prevented aid workers from doing their work and attacked women’s rights protesters.

With the withdrawal of US troops from the country, large-scale violence was unleashed, creating political uncertainty in different parts of the country. At least 59% of the population is now in need of humanitarian assistance, an increase of 6 million people from the start of 2021, according to UNAMA.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Porting the mobile number is very simple, change your SIM card with an SMS, just follow these simple steps

technical information office There may be many Airtel, Vi or any other companies in your phone, but if the network is not working properly, users are tired of the company’s service. Or even if the cost of the plan is high, you start to worry. In such a situation, they have only one option and that is to transfer the phone number. But users don’t know how to transfer their phone numbers. In such a situation, if you want to change your telecom operator and you don’t know their process, today we will tell you how to do it, which will be a better option for you. Explain that if the port is made in the same telecom circle, the number is activated within 3 days after successful validation. If you transfer a number outside the telecom circle, it takes 5 days for the number to become active. But it takes 15 working days to transfer customer numbers from J&K, Assam and North East. During this time, your services will not be stopped and you can use your old SIM card until the process is complete.

To get the SIM port, users will need to text 1900 from their existing number. For example, writing a message to PORT 9811111111, send it to 1900. After that, your mobile number carrier will send an 8-digit UPC (unique porting code) to your registered mobile number. This code number will be valid for 15 days. With this code number, visit the retail store of your telecommunications operator nearest to the company whose services you wish to benefit from. Ask the staff to carry the SIM card. When carrying, you will need to bring your photo ID and a copy of the ID. Once the paper verification is completed, the existing SIM card will be deactivated and a new SIM card will be provided by the new company. This whole process can take up to a week. Once your request is accepted, the new operator will send you a message with the time and date of the mobile SIM port process. Your phone services will be cut off for approximately 2 hours during the porting process. After that, you need to insert a new SIM card into the phone. After that, you can enjoy the new service.

Nepal announces 3 days of national mourning for Queen Elizabeth II


Nepal’s Council of Ministers on Friday evening announced three days of national mourning following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, who breathed her last on Thursday.

The Government of Nepal has expressed deep sadness at the passing of Queen Elizabeth II and wished eternal peace to the deceased soul. Furthermore, the meeting announced to fly the national flag at half-mast in government offices and Nepalese embassies and missions abroad for three days (September 10-12) to mourn the passing of Elizabeth II.

Nepal’s President Bidya Devi Bhandari and Foreign Minister Dr Narayan Khadka also visited the British Embassy in Kathmandu on Friday to sign the book of condolences on the passing of Queen Elizabeth II .

Writing a message in the book of condolences, the President sent his deepest condolences to King Charles III, the Royal Family and the friendly government and people of the United Kingdom. The President said the late Queen was a dedicated and compassionate guardian to the UK and to Nepal, she was a great supporter.

“The President also today sent a message of condolence to His Majesty King Charles III of the United Kingdom. In her message, the President said that this tragedy has stunned not only the United Kingdom but also people around the world. who knew the late Queen as a caring leader and a wonderful human being. The President also said that the late Queen’s rich legacy of public service will be remembered for years to come,” a statement from the Nepalese ministry said. Foreign Affairs.

Recalling Queen Elizabeth’s state visits to Nepal in 1961 and 1986, the President mentioned that the late Queen’s contribution to strengthening ties between Nepal and the UK was immense.

Similarly, in his message of condolence to MP Elizabeth Truss, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba also paid tribute to the late Queen as a respected world leader who distinguished herself through duty, honor and service to the nation and to humanity.

“Recalling the late Queen’s contributions to strengthening Nepal-UK relations and her close ties to Nepal represented by her two State visits, the Right Honorable Prime Minister said that on her death, Nepal has lost a great admirer and friend,” the statement added.

Separately, Foreign Minister Dr Narayan Khadka also sent a message of condolence to James Cleverly MP, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Commonwealth and Development of the United Kingdom, expressing deep sadness at the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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iPhone won’t adopt RCS messaging used by Android phones : NPR


Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks onstage at Vox Media’s Code 2022 conference in Beverly Hills, California.

Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Vox Media

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Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Vox Media

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks onstage at Vox Media’s Code 2022 conference in Beverly Hills, California.

Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Vox Media

Sorry, Android users.

Those green bubbles that appear around the text messages you send friends and family with iPhones don’t seem to be going away anytime soon.

Apple CEO Tim Cook appeared to reject the idea of ​​adopting a new messaging protocol on company devices that would make it easier to communicate with Android users.

“I don’t hear our users asking that we put a lot of energy into it at this point,” Cook said of the RCS implementation on iPhones., according The edge. He was speaking at Vox Media’s Code 2022 event on Wednesday.

Apple uses its own iMessage service.

When Vox Media’s LiQuan Hunt complained to Cook that his mother couldn’t see the videos he sent her because they had different phones, the Apple chief replied, “Buy an iPhone at your mother.”

Blue and Green Bubbles, Explained

In the early days of mobile messaging, cellphone users could send each other short text messages no longer than 160 characters. It was called SMS or Short Message Service.

MMS, or Multimedia Message Service, builds on this by allowing users to send a photo or a short video.

Now, texting is much more than that. This is where RCS – which stands for Rich Communication Services – comes in.

RCS is a new messaging standard used by Google and other telecommunications companies that supports group chats and read receipts, allows users to send higher quality photos and videos, and has end-to-end encryption between other features.

If it sounds a lot like iMessage, that’s because it is.

But iMessage is only available for Apple users. When an Android user sends an SMS to someone with an iPhone, their message appears as an SMS or MMS message, because Apple does not support RCS. Hence the pixelated images and buggy group chats.

Text messages sent via iMessage appear as blue bubbles on iPhones, while their SMS/MMS counterparts are green.

Google deployed RCS for Android users in the United States in 2019. The company has launched a public relations campaign aiming to shame Apple into adopting RCS, but so far the iPhone maker hasn’t budged.

Internal Apple emails showed executives arguing that allowing iMessage on Android devices “would hurt us more than it would help us” and that restricting the app to Apple users had a “serious lockdown” effect, according to The edge.

Globalstar stock soars after satellite company discloses Apple deal


Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during an event at the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California on September 7, 2022. In a presentation titled Far Out, Apple is set to unveil the iPhone 14 line, a new line of smartwatches and new AirPods.

Nic Coury | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Mobile satellite communications company Globalstar saw its shares jump 42% after being interrupted for information during Wednesday’s trading session. The company revealed at Apple’s annual hardware launch in the fall that it will operate a satellite-powered emergency SOS service for the upcoming iPhone 14. The stock closed 1% but rose around 2 % after hours.

The stock quickly gave up most of those gains and is currently trading down around 5% for the day, having fallen more than 10% before the news. Nonetheless, the stock move shows how exposure to a large tech company like Apple can have a significant impact on the operations of a small entity.

investment related news

Here are Tuesday’s biggest analyst calls: Apple, Amazon, Tesla, FedEx, Target and more

In early 2020, Globalstar said it agreed to provide services to a “potential client” it did not name. On Wednesday, Globalstar disclosed in a regulatory filing that the customer is Apple.

A copy of the agreement shows that Apple can elect to receive warrants to purchase up to 2.64% of Globalstar’s outstanding shares at $1.01 per share. But Apple is not obligated to receive the warrants.

Globalstar now sees revenue of between $185 million and $230 million in 2023, depending in part on how well it meets targets related to its deal with Apple. Analysts polled by Refinitiv previously expected the company to earn $130.6 million in revenue in 2023.

“The company expects these financial metrics to continue to improve significantly through 2026, which is expected to be the first full year in which the new satellites will be operational, with total revenue increasing. is expected to increase approximately 35% from the 2023 guidance, primarily due to revenue growth under partnership agreements,” Globalstar said.

Apple has agreed to pay Globalstar 95% of approval capital expenditures related to new satellites and other costs, according to Wednesday’s filing. Globalstar said as part of the deal, it needs to raise more debt capital to launch the new satellites.

A satellite connection for iPhones had been expected at least since 2021. Analysts at B Riley, who have a buy rating on Globalstar shares, said in a note last month that they suspected the potential mystery shopper was Apple.

Apple said Wednesday that a compatible iPhone’s antennas will be able to connect to a satellite and communicate in places where there’s no regular cellular connectivity, and a phone will compress a message to speed up delivery to a station. on the ground, who can then transmit the message. to rescuers.

Globalstar’s infrastructure was launched in the late 1990s through a partnership with Loral Space and Communications and Qualcomm. The Louisiana-based company filed for bankruptcy and received backing from private investment firm Thermo ahead of an initial public offering in 2006.

LOOK: Apple showcases new iPhone 14 Pro models at September event

Apple showcases new iPhone 14 Pro models at September event

Parents: The First Teachers | News, Sports, Jobs



“It is the light of parental love and encouragement that allows a child to develop their skills and slowly master their surroundings.” —Felicity Bauer

The sounds of bells summoning students for a new school year adventure echo through buildings, hallways and playgrounds. This journey, for the most part, begins with rekindling old friendships and discovering new ones. While this can be very exciting, it could also create a period of heightened anxiety fueled by worries about teachers, classrooms, subjects, and building navigation.

A parent can alleviate some of these stressors in their child. One of the most important ways is to be actively involved in their education. You are your child’s first teacher. This means that from the moment your child is born, time is continually spent teaching not only life skills, but also nurturing them: from how to write their name, to counting, to identifying letters, colors and numbers, dexterity aid and so much more.

Even when your child enters a new phase in their education, whether they are starting pre-kindergarten or high school, your continued commitment to participate is paramount. The possible methods listed here are just a few examples:

— Team: Take the time to develop a positive relationship with your child’s teacher and emphasize that you are open to two-way communication and interested in recommendations on how to help your child . This could be supported by the following: phone calls, text messaging or feedback via the child’s weekly records. These aforementioned suggestions are critical to your child’s success.

— Meetings/Open Houses/Orientation: Always, when possible, capitalize on these important events, positively approaching and learning about avenues/methods that could be used that would benefit your child.

— Parent-teacher organizations: Working with these organizations is beneficial in providing assistance to students and teachers. This can include planning activities, becoming a classroom volunteer, helping with fundraising and more.

— Curriculum: It is extremely important to work with your child on their homework and review their weekly progress in the homework files. During this time, take the time to review the program and what is being taught. If you have questions, ask; don’t assume. This is also where an established relationship with your child’s teacher comes in handy.

— Listening: Pay particular attention by asking questions during family time, household chores, and conversations between siblings and their friends. This can reveal information about what is happening to your child at school.

As your child’s first teacher, your positive and active involvement sends a vital message that his education is important to you and that you are working together with his teacher. By actively participating in your child’s education, you are doing what God approves of.

“No school can function well for children unless parents and teachers act in partnership on behalf of the best interests of children.” — Dorothy H. Cohen


Daniel J. Paul is a retired school administrator. His articles cover parenting, outdated family values, relationships and other topics. Go to his website at significantdifferences.net.

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Address by HE Governor Nigel Dakin CMG at the Queen’s Birthday Parade


Good morning, Turks and Caicos, and a particularly warm welcome to all who are with us in the Nation’s Capital to celebrate not only Her Majesty’s 96th birthday, but also Her Platinum Jubilee – 70 extraordinary years of uninterrupted service and making Her Majesty the longest- reigning monarch in British history.

Before I say anything else, let me congratulate those marching today for your participation, your foot and rifle practice, and most of all, your service. The “shine” that our security and emergency services show here on the parade square belies the necessary “grime” of their daily efforts on behalf of our territory. We thank you all for your service. Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in a round of applause acknowledging your services in uniform.

Over the past three years, I have come to understand your respective roles, but also the impact of this work on your families and on your life at large. To your families here, who support you, as they support you every working day of your life, I convey my personal thanks.

With the mention of families and children, in view of this extraordinary 70 year Jubilee, I will concentrate on the early years of Her Majesty’s reign for I hope that, even with the remoteness of time, the young people here among we today will be able to appreciate what it must have been for Her Majesty, both a child and a young woman, to take on enormous responsibilities throughout life and then stick to her vows. In this, I think she is a world model.

We often associate heavy responsibilities with middle-aged and older people, but the leadership and burden of service can—and sometimes should—be taken by the young. Considering the impact of the pandemic on young people and youth activities, it is so heartening to see the Cadets, Scouts and Cubs here marching in such numbers and looking so grand. So, moms and dads, uncles and aunts, brothers and sisters, let us recognize our young people with us today, in the parade, who stood and carried their flags of the Turks and Caicos Islands with such exuberance and joy.

None of us know – let alone our children – what their future holds and our queen, as a young child, never expected to be a monarch. His fate changed upon the unexpected abdication of his uncle – Edward VIII – when his father George VI took the throne.

As a result, the current Queen made her first radio broadcast in the early months of World War II when, aged just 14, she recorded a message on the BBC in support of young people across Europe evacuated from their homes. them: “I can say to all of you” – she said – “that we, the children at home, are full of joy and courage”. “We try to do all we can to help our gallant sailors, soldiers and airmen, and we also try to bear our own share of the danger and sorrow of war.”

Princess Elizabeth’s first solo public engagement was on her 16th birthday, when she inspected the Grenadier Guards at Windsor Castle. During the war, she remained with the royal family in London even as Buckingham Palace was bombed. She enlisted to become the first female royal to join the armed forces as a full-time serving member and learned to be a car mechanic.

At just 18, Princess Elizabeth was appointed as a Councilor of State during the King’s absence while he visited the Italian battlefields and, for the first time, she performed some of the duties of Head of State . On VE Day, she and her sister Princess Margaret, aged 19 and 14 respectively, joined crowds in London incognito, Princess Elizabeth with her military cap pulled down over her face.

In 1947, Princess Elizabeth, then 21, married Prince Philip of Greece. The couple went on to have four children: Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward. Queen Elizabeth now has three generations of heirs in line for the monarchy. His son Charles, Prince of Wales, is followed by his grandson, William, Duke of Cambridge, and the most recent heir, his great-grandson, George.

In February 1952, Elizabeth became queen at just 25, after her father died of cancer. Three million people walked the route from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace after his coronation ceremony. Britain was slowly emerging from the privations of war, rationing and shortages. The sudden arrival of a beautiful 25-year-old woman, whom the public had watched since she was a child, created new hope. Prime Minister Winston Churchill spoke of “a new Elizabethan era” to rid ourselves of the sorrows and losses of war.

To put this into context, she became our queen while we at TCI were still a dependency of Jamaica. It would be another 10 years before John Glenn splashes right next to Grand Turk after his three Earth orbits, 21 more years before TCI has its first governor and 24 years until JAGS McCartney wins the election. from 1976.

She has therefore been on the throne during the tenure of 14 British prime ministers and 14 American presidents. She was Defender of the Faith during the time of 7 Popes – of whom she met four – and she saw the baton pass nine times between Secretaries General of the United Nations when she was at the head of the Commonwealth. An outstanding record of service and experience.

What I think is important for us here today is that the Queen is a committed Christian and a churchgoer and has often spoken of her faith in her speeches and broadcasts. On her 2014 Christmas show, she said, “For me, the life of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, whose birth we celebrate today, is an inspiration and an anchor in my life.” “A model of reconciliation and forgiveness, he reached out in love, acceptance and healing. Christ’s example taught me to seek to respect and value all people, regardless of their faith or none.

The Queen’s longest overseas tour began in Bermuda in November 1953 and ended in Gibraltar in May 1954. She was away for 168 days. The most countries the Queen has visited in a single trip is 14. This was on her 1966 trip to the Caribbean, which included TCI.

Looking back, many, including myself, like to recall the words spoken by Her Majesty on her 21st birthday – “I declare before you all that my whole life, whether long or short, shall be devoted to your service”. Isn’t it inspiring to think of a young woman, making such a profound promise, on her 21st birthday, and then living up to that promise – throughout her life until her 96th birthday.

If I were to be presumptuous and suggest what Her Majesty’s greatest achievement is, it would be the Commonwealth. Queen Elizabeth, then still in her twenties, threw herself behind a fledgling group her father had initially overseen. The Queen has made the Commonwealth a priority and under her leadership it has grown from eight members to 54 members today. In the words of his son, Prince Charles: “As a family of some 2.6 billion people, from fifty-four nations on six continents, the Commonwealth represents a rich diversity of traditions, experiences and talents that can help build a more equal, sustainable and prosperous future”. Contributing to building a world organization second only to the UN in size is a remarkable and positive legacy.

Now back to the parade ground. We will present medals today to those who have served for 18, 25 and 30 years. There are many who are not on Parade today and will receive their rewards separately. To commemorate the Jubilee, those who have completed five full years of service, on February 6, 2022, in the emergency services and armed forces will also receive the Platinum Jubilee Medal. It bears on it a Latin inscription which translates as: “Elizabeth II, by the grace of God, queen, defender of the faith”. In order not to keep those of Parade in the sun too much, many Parade already wear their medal and, therefore, I will only present a representative sample.

I end by welcoming, for the first time to this parade and alongside the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police, a force with a 220-year history, the newest addition to those who protect us; those who represent the officers and marines of our own regiment in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Not only is it the first time on this parade, it’s also the first time they’ve worn their new ceremonial uniform which is inspired by the theme of their green berets and their affiliation with the greatest – and in my opinion the best – Infantry Regiment of the British Army – ‘Les Fusils’.

Britain’s former Chief of the Defense Staff (the UK’s highest-ranking military officer in the Navy, Army and Royal Air Force) and current Chief of the General Staff (the highest ranking officer in the British Army) are both ‘rifle’ officers. and I am grateful to both of them for the support they have given us, including having one of their best non-commissioned officers permanently working with our Marines.

Currently they are just over 40 and are expected to grow again by around 30 in the coming months – and given their success we expect further growth next year. The majority are part-time volunteers, but they are constantly operational, supporting our Marine Police and Immigration Law Enforcement team. They are the only overseas military force operational every night, and their contribution is already significant. It would be fair to say that their story has only just begun. I’m incredibly proud to be able to take the salute at their first Queens Birthday Parade.

So, to celebrate this platinum jubilee, God bless Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. God bless the Turks and Caicos Islands. May God bless all who have gone before me and all that you represent to serve our people and ensure our future. With that, it only remains for me to say, in the words of the national anthem: “Long May She Reign Over us”. God Save the Queen’.


HE Governor Nigel Dakin CMG

Governor Selfie with TCI Cadets

Turks and Caicos Cadets

Cloudflare drops service for harassment site Kiwi Farms


Web infrastructure and security services provider Cloudflare announced on Saturday that it is immediately blocking the Kiwi Farms site known for organizing the harassment and targeting of transgender people.

Drive the news: In the face of an activist campaign urging the company to stop providing services to Kiwi Farms, Cloudflare had appeared to be digging in its heels, according to an Aug. 31 blog post from CEO Matthew Prince.

Yes, but: “The rhetoric on the Kiwifarms site and the specific and targeted threats have escalated over the past 48 hours to the point where we believe there is an unprecedented urgency and immediate threat to human life contrary to what we have seen before from Kiwifarms or any customer before,” Prince wrote in a new post on Saturday.

Why is this important: Cloudflare has long argued that its role as a back-end website service provider means it shouldn’t play a role in rating or censoring the content its customers distribute.

Catch up fast: Kiwi Farms is a 10-year-old site that emerged from 8chan and is dedicated to running campaigns for trans, autistic and other people. In several cases, the targets of these campaigns have committed suicide.

  • Cloudflare’s services are widely used by website publishers to efficiently distribute content and protect their sites against denial of service attacks.

What they say :

  • Matthew Prince, CEO of Cloudflare: “This is an extraordinary decision for us to make and, given Cloudflare’s role as an Internet infrastructure provider, a dangerous decision that we are not comfortable with… We are also not making this measure directly because of the pressure campaign.While we have empathy for its organizers, we are committed as a security provider to protect our customers even when they go deeply against opinion popular or even of our own morality… In this case, the imminent and urgent threat to human life which continues to worsen compels us to take this action.”
  • Protest organizer Claire “Keffals” Sorrentia trans Twitch streamer and target of a harassment campaign by Kiwi Farms, in a statement on Twitter: “This is a historic moment when thousands of people have stood up and taken a stand against online harassment and hate. We are pleased with Cloudflare’s decision, and it is a blow to Kiwi Farms and their community that they may never recover from. »
  • Josh Moon, operator of Kiwi Farmsin a statement posted on Telegram: Cloudflare’s decision to block the site was made without any discussion. The message I received is a vague notice of suspension… If there is a threat to life on the site, I have not received any communication from any law enforcement.”

You will soon be able to access Starlink directly with your cell phone, from anywhere in the United States and eventually the world


The future of satellite communications is almost upon us. SpaceX has signed an agreement with T-Mobile to provide the operator’s customers with SMS services from its Starlink satellites across the United States starting next year.

It was only a matter of time before SpaceX turned to the cellular industry. The company recently accelerated its rollout of internet connectivity, enabling everyone from van lifers to remote outposts to be connected to the internet. But cellular connectivity is an entirely different thing.

Most people who travel to the most remote parts of the world, half a million square miles in the United States alone, have to lug around expensive satellite phones if they need to reach someone. But T-Mobile and SpaceX have developed a system by which Starlink can provide service to customers on existing T-Mobile networks, using the phones they already have in their pockets.

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SpaceX YouTube video announcing partnership with TMobile

It’s not the same as providing the internet, and rollout of the system will begin slowly, with only text messaging being the first of the top three cellular services users expect from their carriers. Voice calls, and possibly data, will follow in the future, with no specific date for when that might be.

Starlink itself has come under intense scrutiny lately, as it has continued to intrude on astronomers’ images of the night sky. The FCC is waging a legal battle involving SpaceX, the parent company of the Starlink system, over whether or not it should be eligible for an $800 million prize pool promised to the entity that provides internet to rural communities in the United States.

Even with all the legal frustrations SpaceX faces, it also faces technical challenges. Supporting this new cellular infrastructure will require changes to its existing Starlink 2.0 satellites, which were announced in June. Launching these satellites will require Starship to be operational, which still has no timeline other than potentially within the next few months.

Fraser discusses some of the challenges Starlink faces.

This will give the company and its new cellular partner ample time to flesh out the technical details of their deal. And even a little time to persuade other mobile phone providers to join their collaboration. T-Mobile’s network only reaches the United States. To become a truly global mobile provider, both companies will need to expand their coverage framework above and beyond to other mobile operators. So far, no one has taken over, but there are undoubtedly conversations behind closed doors.

Ultimately, this all leads to the future of seamless internet and cellular connectivity around the world, which has been the dream of technologists since the dawn of the internet. SpaceX and T-Mobile have taken another step in this direction. It remains to be seen which others will join them.

Learn more:
Parabolic Arc / T-Mobile – T?Mobile takes coverage above and beyond with SpaceX
UT – Starlink is the only communication link for some Ukrainian cities, but terminals could also be a target
UT – Starlink can also be used as a navigation system
UT – How will Starlink packet routing work?

Main picture:
Falcon 9 payload fairing with 60 Starlink satellites
Credit – Elon Musk

Government free at-home COVID testing will be suspended tomorrow – NBC Chicago


A program that provides free at-home COVID tests to every household that orders one in the United States will end on Friday.

The government announced last weekend that the program would be suspended due to a lack of funding.

“Ordering through this program will be suspended on Friday, September 2 because Congress has not provided additional funding to replenish the country’s test inventory,” a message on the website to order the tests read over the weekend. .

Chicago’s top doctor said the measures appear to be part of a shift to treat COVID like other viral illnesses.

“I think what we’re seeing here is a phase-out of consideration of COVID different from other diseases, right?” Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said at a press conference Thursday. “We’ve really gotten used to, as a country, COVID treatments, COVID vaccines, COVID testing has been free, hasn’t it? It’s been outside of our mainstream healthcare system. Federal authorities have really bought and paid for all of this. And, you know, with the decisions at the federal level not to allocate additional funds for COVID, what we’ll see is a transition, I think, to treat COVID like we treat other diseases, which means there will still be COVID tests being made, but you’ll more likely get them through your insurance.”

Here’s what we know so far and how you can still get yours:

What is the deadline for ordering tests?

The program will end on Friday. Those looking to claim their tests will need to place their orders by then.

A senior Biden administration official told NBC News the deadline could change, however, if Congress grants a surprise round of funding.

“If Congress provides funding, we will quickly resume distributing free tests through covidtests.gov,” the source said. “Until then, we believe that reserving the remaining tests for distribution later this year is the best solution. »

Funding for the current round of testing came from the US bailout.

How many tests can I get?

The tests were part of the government’s second round of free deliveries to US residents, which included eight tests per household.

In previous rounds of test distributions, residents could only claim up to four per household, but residents can now request up to eight of the tests, which will be shipped to their homes free of charge, according to the United States Postal Service. United.

How do I get my tests?

You can register through the USPS website here.

According to the government, each order can contain eight rapid COVID-19 antigen tests. These tests will be presented in two separate packages, with four test kits in each package, according to the USPS website.

Package shipping will be free and tracking numbers will be provided when registering for test kits.

In the state of Illinois, more than 6,000 new cases per day are being reported, the highest average since early February.

How to Check Telkomsel Quota Balance via USSD, SMS and AppKabarMedan.com


Medan, KabarMedan.com The rest of the Internet quota or the Telkomsel data package can be easily checked.

By checking internet quota regularly, users can monitor plan usage and know how much internet quota is left so that they don’t go overboard and consume their main credit.

The remaining internet quota or Telkomsel data package can be checked by accessing the USSD code *888#, by sending an SMS to 3636 or via the MyTelkomsel application.

If there are any data packets left or they have expired, the user can immediately activate the latest Telkomsel Internet packet as needed.

Now, for how to check the remaining Telkomsel quota, please refer to the steps below.

How to check Telkomsel quota balance via USSD code * 888 #

– Open the “Dial / Phone” menu
– Enter the code *888# in the dialing menu and press the “Call” button
– Type the number 7 to select the “Check credit” menu and press the “Send/Send” button
– Type the number 2 to select the “Check Quota” menu, then press the “Send/Send” button
– Type the number 1 to access “Check Quota”, then press the “Send/Send” button
– Wait to receive an SMS notification from Telkomsel which will display detailed information about your remaining quota

3636. How to check Telkomsel quota balance by SMS

– Access the “Messages / Messages” menu on your phone
– Type “ul info” send to 3636
– Wait a few moments until you receive a notification about your internet plan
– Checking Telkomsel quota by SMS for information is free.

How to Check Remaining Telkomsel Quota via MyTelkomsel App

– Download the MyTelkomsel app from Google Play Store (Android) or App Store (iOS)
– Log in using your Telkomsel number
– On the main menu / home page you can see the remaining Telkomsel quotas
– In addition to the remaining quota, you can also find the detail of the telephone number and the distribution of the main and multimedia quotas. [KM-01]

Royal Caribbean’s new partnership with SpaceX’s Starlink opens up the possibility of working remotely on cruise ships


Royal Caribbean Group will now allow those who work remotely to work on cruise ships, as they have adopted SpaceX’s Starlink internet technology, a first in the cruise industry.

The “high-speed, low-latency connectivity” will enable “a better onboard experience for guests and crew across the fleet,” the group said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Our goal as a company is to responsibly deliver the best vacation experiences to our customers, and this new offering, which is the largest public deployment of Starlink broadband internet to date in the travel industry, demonstrates our commitment to this effect,” said Jason Liberty, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group.

Installation of the new internet service, which Starlink provides via nearly 3,000 low-orbit satellites, will begin “immediately” on all Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Silversea Cruises and is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2023.


Liberty added: “This technology will provide revolutionary internet connectivity onboard our ships, enhancing the cruise experience for passengers and crew. It will enhance and enable more high-speed activities like video streaming as well as activities like video calling. Using Starlink is just one more example of our continued focus on innovation and excellence for our guests, our crew, the communities we visit and our shareholders.”

SpaceX Vice President of Starlink Sales Jonathan Hofeller said adopting Starlink “will make their passenger getaways even more luxurious.”

“We couldn’t be more excited to work with Royal Caribbean Group to ensure sea travelers can stay connected with a great internet experience,” he added.


Starlink’s parent company recently announced a partnership with T-Mobile to use shared technology to provide “truly universal cellular connectivity…virtually anywhere in the continental United States, Hawaii, parts of Alaska, Puerto Rico and in territorial waters”.

Currently, the companies said about a fifth of the United States and 90% of the world lack cellular access and that “these dead zones have serious consequences for remote communities and those who move off-grid for work or leisure”.


The plan, which SpaceX chief engineer Elon Musk and T-Mobile CEO and chairman Mike Sievert announced earlier this week, is exclusively focused on allowing text messaging, including SMS and MMS. , while voice and data coverage will be included at a later date.

“This satellite-to-cellular service will provide near-complete coverage anywhere a customer can see the sky, meaning you can continue to text and potentially make a call on your cell phone even when you leave terrestrial coverage,” said SpaceX said in a statement.

A SpaceX rocket and facility

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with a Crew Dragon spacecraft named Freedom stands ready for launch at Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center April 26, 2022 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. (Paul Hennessy/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images/Getty Images)

The service will extend beyond T-Mobile’s wireless network.


Starlink’s internet service operates through “the world’s largest constellation of highly advanced satellites operating in low Earth orbit” and is priced at $110/month with a one-time hardware cost of $599, according to its website.

FedEx Power Play Sends the Wrong Message to Contractors



FedEx Corp. has taken aggressive action to address complaints from many of the 6,000 contractors who perform last-mile deliveries for its land unit. The problem is that it’s the wrong move.

The company on Friday sought to cut off the head of the contractor rebellion by accusing the consultancy firm of Spencer Patton, the de facto leader of the revolt, of defamation and revoking the contracts of Patton’s firm, which operated approximately 225 delivery routes in 10 states. . It came less than a week after Patton gave a keynote speech in Las Vegas to a few thousand entrepreneurs, Wall Street analysts and even a few FedEx investors. In the speech, which received a standing ovation, he said the contractors were in serious financial trouble and pushed FedEx to pay them more while emphasizing that he wanted to work with the company.

The widespread dissatisfaction among entrepreneurs didn’t start with Patton and it won’t end now. The situation can be confusing as entrepreneurs are by no means a monolithic group, and some may be relieved that the loudest voice of the recent uprising has been silenced for the time being. Even so, the ease with which FedEx Ground eliminated Patton’s delivery business and the net worth of these routes raise questions about how the contractor model has changed and whether it can be reshaped to benefit consumers. two parts.

Several entrepreneurs discussed being stuck in the system because they injected their savings and mortgaged their homes to keep their businesses afloat. It’s clear now that FedEx has all the power to do whatever it wants with these delivery companies, and that includes shutting them down, as Patton’s predicament has shown. In its lawsuit, FedEx Ground said Patton “exaggerated and misrepresented alleged financial hardship.” FedEx may wonder if it’s within its rights to destroy Patton’s business, but what’s undeniable is that the company wields that power over all of its contractors.

The entrepreneurial model – which FedEx founder Fred Smith inherited with the acquisition of Caliber Systems in 1998 and became the company’s growth engine – has suffered from growing pains. It all started with one person with a van delivering packages for FedEx Ground. As the business grew, FedEx required each contractor to operate multiple routes, pushing drivers to become contractors. The model worked and both parties made a lot of money.

The rise of e-commerce has changed the equation for Ground, which is based in a suburb of Pittsburgh, and its contractors. Since residential deliveries are more expensive and harder to predict, profit margins have started to decline at FedEx Ground. In 2019, the company imposed operational and financial changes on its delivery partners, such as extending service to seven days a week and adjusting payments to favor one rate for each stop rather than for each package. Among some other changes and complaints about inefficiencies in the FedEx network, these made the model far less lucrative for contractors, leading to tensions with the company.

Under the contract, FedEx determines the amount it will pay and has the authority to take any action to ensure delivery of packages.

A telling example of the lopsided power dynamic is that FedEx Ground decided a few years ago that it would examine the financial health of its contractors. The company simply ordered the contractors, under threat of not renewing their contracts, to hand over all of their financial information to a third-party vendor called RapidRatings, which in turn provided FedEx with a financial health score. (FedEx says it doesn’t have access to detailed financial information.) Financial distress followed shortly after FedEx forced contractors to hand over their financial information, according to the contractors.

Despite its overwhelming position of power over its contractors, FedEx Ground is still struggling with its profit margins, which fell to 8% in 2022 from 18% in 2012. That compares to 13% in 2021 for rival United Parcel Service Inc., where union drivers earn twice as much as those at FedEx Ground and receive the best benefits package in the parcel industry. These numbers indicate that UPS is a much better carrier, and analysts often point to UPS’s unified network improving efficiency. During the peak season in December last year, FedEx’s on-time delivery performance dropped to 89% while UPS’s percentage was in the 90s, according to ShipMatrix, which compiles data on the parcel industry.

Of course, FedEx Ground offers benefits to contractors. FedEx is a ubiquitous brand and parcel growth has been rapid and steady over the past two decades, with FedEx Ground delivering approximately 10 million parcels a day. Entrepreneurs don’t have to hustle after sales or spend on advertising. FedEx provides them with packages. Ground pays contractors promptly every week, a huge plus for a small business. FedEx also provides extensive insurance support, especially for catastrophic accidents. Additionally, since July 1, the company has accepted about 40% of contractors’ renegotiation requests and more than 90% of those talks have led to higher contract payments, according to its lawsuit against Patton.

Yet FedEx’s brazen effort to silence one of its most prominent critics is the wrong message to send to its contractors. The company needs to work with its delivery partners to improve its network and find solutions to improve profitability on both sides, not just dangle the threat of turning small businesses to dust whenever it wants.

More writers at Bloomberg Opinion:

• FedEx investors need this data. They Don’t Have It: Thomas Black

• FedEx can do more to quell contractor revolt: Thomas Black

• FedEx finds out that if you pay them, they’ll come: Brooke Sutherland

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Editorial Board or of Bloomberg LP and its owners.

Thomas Black is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering logistics and manufacturing. Previously, it covered US industrial and transportation companies as well as Mexican industry, economy and government.

More stories like this are available at bloomberg.com/opinion

Should the Eagles trade Andre Dillard to the Cowboys or Saints?


When the Eagles selected left tackle Andre Dillard in the 2019 draft, the plan was to make him the cornerstone of the offensive line, protecting the Eagles’ blindside quarterbacks for at least a decade.

However, you know what the saying goes about the best laid plans. Dillard enters this season playing the final year of his rookie contract, supporting Jordan Mailata and waiting to see if he will be pushed into action.

After the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints suffered significant injuries to their left tackles, Dillard was suddenly seen as a trade target, potentially giving him a chance to play full-time. While it may be tempting to fire Dillard for a draft pick, the best move may be not to send him elsewhere.


The Cowboys are weighing their options after Tyron Smith suffered a fractional knee avulsion in practice, meaning he could be out until December. Smith is one of the best left tackles in the league, having been named to two All-Pro teams and eight Pro Bowls. Without Smith, the Cowboys offensive line has a serious problem.

Even though Eagles general manager Howie Roseman shot a scene from the movie “Draft Day” and told Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones that he wanted the Cowboys’ first pick this year, the year next and the year after, making that move in the division would have consequences.

The Cowboys are expected to be the Eagles’ main contender for the NFC East title, and the loss of Smith paves the way for the Eagles to win the division a bit better. Dillard replacing Smith would give the Cowboys a competent tackle, allowing their offense to be fully functional and not having to find ways to compensate for a rushing pass coming from the left side.

Another reason the Eagles shouldn’t trade him to the Cowboys is that Dillard has intimate knowledge of the Eagles’ pass blocking systems. Having been with the team for almost four years, Dillard knows how the Eagles like to adapt to different defensive fronts. You could bet the Cowboys would debrief Dillard to get the valuable information, helping the Cowboys defense.

The Saints are trying to figure out what to do after rookie left tackle Trevor Penning was diagnosed with a torn ligament in his foot. Since there is no timetable for his return, Dillard could be a short-term option in New Orleans. The bigger question is whether the Saints think they’ll be a serious contender in the NFC, which will impact their decision on whether they’re willing to give up a decent upside to get Dillard.

Roseman and Saints general manager Mickey Loomis already has a good relationship, with the two teams committing to a tentative deal that saw the Eagles send one of their three first-round picks to New Orleans while receiving a 2023 first-round pick and a 2024 second-round pick.

Although Dillard is expected to score a fourth- or fifth-round draft pick, the Saints will still have holes to fill. The draft will likely be the route the Saints will try to go, given that they will be $54 million over the salary cap, according to Over the Cap, which will make it difficult to pursue some big-name free agents.

The Eagles will also need Dillard in the event of a long-term injury. Dillard is no stranger to the role of coming off the bench. Dillard played well in the four games Mailata missed last season with a knee problem, not giving up a sack during that span.

When Mailata and Dillard missed practice earlier in training camp, Le’Raven Clark, Kayode Awosika and Josh Sills filled in to play the position, each struggling at times. If Dillard were to be traded, one of those players would have to step in as a starter, opening up the potential for more pressure on quarterback Jalen Hurts.

Thank you for counting on us to deliver journalism you can trust. Please consider supporting us with a subscription.

Chris Franklin can be reached at [email protected].

8×8 CPaaS Receives Singapore CSA Cyber ​​Trust Certification


Singapore’s Cyber ​​Security Agency (CSA) has recognized 8×8 CPaaS for its strong cybersecurity practices with the Cyber ​​Trust Mark certification.

This certification is granted to companies with more extensive digitized business operations and identifies 8×8 for its strong cybersecurity practices and measures.

“Our customer-first mentality drives us to always focus on the customer and what they need to ensure success in their business communications.

“This includes delivering programmable communications and CPaaS capabilities that provide the highest levels of security and reliability while enabling businesses to create engaging customer experiences,” said Anton Shchekalov, VP of CPaaS 8×8 Engineering. .

“We are honored to have our efforts recognized by CSA and to be among the first organizations to receive the Cyber ​​Trust mark certification.”

8×8 CPaaS comes with the company’s recently released Connect Automation Builder no-code multi-channel communications management offering.

Additionally, it includes a range of communication APIs such as SMS, voice, chat apps, video, and performance monitoring.

8×8’s communications APIs are part of the company’s eXperience Communications as a Service (XCaaS) cloud contact center, single-vendor voice, team chat, and video meetings offering.

This Singapore CSA certification comes after 8×8 made CPaaS capable of delivering code-free functionality, enabling businesses to create better customer experiences.

The company’s new 8×8 Connect Automation Builder technology acts as a no-code multi-channel communications management solution, enabling various user roles in organizations.

The company says the new solution is a better way for organizations to implement effective communication solutions, regardless of their coding expertise, and allows them to create workflows that improve productivity, flexibility and efficiency.

8×8 product manager Marc Magnin says the key to success is automation, and the new solution offers a wide range of ways to reduce the manual workload.

The 8×8 Connect Automation Builder can help organizations leverage digital channels to deliver better customer experiences, with features such as:

  • Eliminating the need for engineering or development resources through automation.
  • Custom iterations that users can modify and implement.
  • Drag and drop modules to create complex workflows or choose from pre-made templates.
  • Creation of communication workflows on all channels, including SMS, chat applications and voice.
  • Optimized processes for prospects and managers within marketing operations, customer support, and operations.

8×8 Connect is a core component of the 8×8 CPaaS communications API portfolio, including SMS, voice, chat applications, video, and performance monitoring.

8×8 currently operates globally, working to break down the silos between Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) and Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS).

FG and Oyo Seek Collaboration to Address Housing Deficit and Provide Affordable Housing | The Guardian Nigeria News


The Federal Government and the Oyo State Government have called for greater collaboration with the private sector to tackle the growing housing deficit and provide affordable housing in the country.

The Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folashade Yemi-Esan and Governor Seyi Makinde made the call during the fourth Ibadan International Housing and Construction Fair (IIHCF) held at the Center international lecture hall at the University of Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State.

The two-day event, themed “Rethinking National Housing Policy to Close the Gap Between Sustainability and Affordability,” drew key construction industry stakeholders.

Yemi-Esan, whose message was delivered by the Deputy Director of the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Ms. Ochana Ofoma, instructed the private sector to commit to providing quality housing that is comfortable, safe and affordable to Nigerians.

Yemi-Esan said that to meet a global standard, housing must be seen as decent, safe, comfortable, affordable, green and smart.

The head of department explained that government alone cannot manage the growing housing deficit in Nigeria, hence the need to create an enabling environment for public-private partnership.

In his goodwill message, Makinde, said his administration is committed to urban renewal, infrastructure development and affordable housing for all.

The governor, who was represented by his special assistant for housing and urban development, Olatilewa Folami, said the state, in its quest for decent and affordable housing, has created new government reservation areas (GRAs) with the provision of infrastructure, such as in-site services, to enable in-state residents and interested non-residents to access quality housing.

He said the government, through Oyo Investment and Public-Private Partnership Agency (OYSIPA), is partnering with private and non-governmental organizations, such as Family Hope Limited, to to ensure that people have access to decent and affordable housing.

“The Oyo State Government through the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development is working effectively with private property developers to ensure compliance with standards and regulations in the construction industry,” did he declare.

In a remark, the event organizer and Managing Director of Next City Estate Limited, Mr. Ola Rotimi-Shodimu, said there was an urgent need to shift the Nigerian housing economy to a circular economy.

Rave Mobile Safety and RapidDeploy to Deliver the World’s Largest Public Safety Data Sharing Project


In In fairness, the following is a press release submitted to SOURCE Media through its business wire service.


FRAMINGHAM – Rave Mobile Safety, a Framingham-based technology solutions provider that improves critical communications, increases resiliency and enhances security, has partnered with RapidDeploy, the industry leader in 9-1 mapping and analytics -1 cloud-native, to launch the world’s largest public safety incident data sharing solution in the state of California.

This first-of-its-kind project will use Rave Aware’s public safety data aggregation, intelligence sharing, workflows, and notification capabilities to enable computer-aided dispatch (CAD) data sharing, interoperability and real-time information exchanges while getting the most out of – Classroom mapping and data visualization of RapidDeploy Radius Mapping.

With the increase in size and frequency of disasters such as wildfires, earthquakes, and floods, collaboration between police, fire, EMS, and other agencies has become more critical. In the past, integrated responses have been hampered by jurisdictional boundaries, siled communications, and reliance on on-premises legacy technologies. California is the first statewide implementation of Rave Aware’s data-sharing technology, combining information from disparate systems for better results, and leading the way in integrating a wide variety of data into the RapidDeploy platform in a unified way as part of the 9-1-1 call answering workflow.

“This is a major step forward for public safety in general, and for California residents in particular, who will benefit from reduced response times and more data-informed decision-making every time they call 9-1-1,” the CEO of Rave Mobile Safety said. said Todd Piett. “Every day we witness tragic events that demonstrate the importance of a holistic response, and until now public safety organizations have been unable to transparently share critical information across jurisdictions about events of concern. as they unfolded.”

The innovative company uses Rave Aware’s data aggregation technology so that public safety agencies and the wider response community have access to incident details and can respond quickly. Agencies will also be able to view data shared as part of RapidDeploy Radius Mapping, a next-generation cloud-native solution, as well as call data from mobile devices with live location capabilities, streaming video, text messages , accident data and alarm data.

“This project breaks down silos across the state, improving outcomes for its citizens, first responders and social workers,” said Steve Raucher, co-founder and CEO of RapidDeploy. “We are honored to partner with California officials and Rave so that 9-1-1 call takers have critical information when and how they need it to improve workflows and safety outcomes. .”

California has one of the largest 9-1-1 systems in the world, with 450 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) handling nearly 30 million calls annually.

Earlier this year, Rave Mobile Safety announced that it had been selected as California’s emergency notification alert and alert system for California’s Next Generation 9-1-1 or NG911 infrastructure project. ‘State. The company will now expand its work in California using Rave Aware to foster cross-agency data sharing. For the past three years, RapidDeploy has partnered with California to bring next-generation mapping and SMS to 911 to the state. During this period, more than 150 million signals were processed.

Communities have relied on 9-1-1 systems to meet emergency response needs for over 40 years, but as cell phones, text messaging, video chat, social media and other Internet devices have emerged, it has become clear that PSAPs need to be able to accept information from various communication sources.

The National Emergency Number Association (NENA) or the 9-1-1 Association has been advocating for updated 9-1-1 systems since 2000 so that emergency call takers are ready to meet the needs of anyone requesting public safety assistance.

“NENA has long championed the importance of data sharing and interoperability in the NG911 emergency response process,” said Brian Fontes, CEO of NENA. “We applaud California Public Safety leadership for taking this bold step in improving emergency response, and the technology partners they have chosen for this groundbreaking initiative. This level of data transmission and visualization will certainly improve public safety response statewide and pave the way for similar efforts in other states.

By taking these steps, California has laid the foundation for future security enhancements, including the ability to collaborate with innovative emerging first responder processes, mobile crisis teams, and the new 988 Suicide and Crisis call center. Lifeline, which provides confidential support for suicidal people. mental health crisis or distress. Additionally, the state will be able to universally protect schools and other vulnerable targets by leveraging Rave Aware’s Smart Proximity Alerts feature, which allows authorities to set up automatic notifications regarding certain types of incidents or activities. in geo-fenced protection areas.

Rave Mobile Safety is the leading provider of essential communication and collaboration technologies used to save lives, manage crisis incidents and increase resilience. From major disasters and crisis events to everyday emergencies and operational incidents, the Rave platform enables critical data sharing, mass notification and emergency response coordination. More than 8,000 first responders, emergency managers, 9-1-1 and federal, state and local agencies, as well as businesses, healthcare organizations, universities and schools, all rely on Rave to better prepare, react faster, recover faster, and mitigate anticipated critical incidents.

RapidDeploy is the industry’s leading provider of mapping and analytics solutions, transforming 9-1-1 communications centers of all sizes into data-centric organizations. RapidDeploy delivers on its mission to save lives by reducing response times through new levels of situational awareness and seamless integration of third-party data on its cloud-native platform, ensuring it’s available when, where. and how carriers and first responders need it.

Online process, link with SMS,


PAN link with Aadhar status, www. incometax.gov.in pan aadhar link, PAN link with Aadhar offline, PAN link with Aadhar via SMS

The Indian government has made it mandatory to link the PAN (permanent account number) with the aadhar card. With the connection PAN card With the Aadhar card, the income tax department can easily track all transactions of the user. In this article, we will discuss the process of linking PAN card with Aadhar card online.

Link PAN with Aadhar map

The Indian government has made it compulsory for all Indians to bind their Permanent account number card with his Aadhar card. The central government has extended the deadline for AADHAR-PAN linkage to March 31, 2023. Previously, the last PAN linkage date with Aadhar was March 31, 2023, the reason for extending the AADHAR PAN linkage date is due to Covid-19 in India. A fine will be imposed on the taxpayer or the individual if he has not linked his PAN card to the Aadhaar card before 31/03/2023.

Associate the PAN card with the Aadhar card before March 31, 2023

Linking the PAN card to the Aadhar card is an important process, it will enable smooth transactions on Rs. 50,000 and it will allow your tax return to process smoothly. The Income Tax Department announced that if anyone fails to link their permanent account number card with Aadhar before 31st March 2023, the individual’s PAN card will become inoperative. The department also said that inoperative PAN cardholders would face severe consequences under the Computers Act and be fined Rs. 10,000 under Section 272B of the Computers Act.

Link PAN with Aadhar

Consequences of not linking the PAN card with Aadhar

The Income Tax Department said that PAN card holders inoperative due to PAN not being linked with Aadhar card should face severe consequences under the IT Act and a fine of Rs. 10,000 under article 272B of the computer law. If your PAN card is not linked to your Aadhar card before 31st March 2023, then you have to face serious problems like

  • Your PAN card becomes invalid and the user will not be able to perform financial transactions.
  • A 20% TDS will be imposed on your transactions and you will not get any refund.
  • You will not be eligible for any type of loan in the future.
  • The user will not be able to purchase foreign currencies over Rs 50,000.
  • It will be impossible for the non-operational PAN card user to reserve a FD of more than Rs 50,000; he will not receive any new debit and credit cards from the bank.
  • Depositing cash above Rs 50000 and maintaining a mutual fund will not be allowed to the person whose PAN card is not linked to the aadhar card.
  • A fine of Rs 1000 will be imposed.
Link PAN with Aadhar

Combine PAN with Aadhar card benefits

  • It would be easier to detect fake PAN cards used in tax evasion.
  • The government would be able to identify multiple permanent account number cards registered under the same name and take corrective action if this occurs.
  • The government will be able to broaden its revenue base and pass the savings on to you in the form of reduced tax rates once tax evasion has diminished.
  • It will allow taxpayers to easily file their forms online.
  • Currently, when filing your tax return, you have required a physical signature or a digital signature, but by linking your AADHAAR to your permanent account number, you can authenticate your return via your AADHAR number itself.
  • It will also be easier to keep track of his taxes by attaching a summary to Aadhaar for future reference.

Important Documents Needed to Link PAN Card to Aadhar Card

  • Map of Adar
  • PAN card
  • Phone number
Link PAN with Aadhar online process
Income Tax Department
  • A welcome page will appear on your screen.
  • If you are a new user, you must register first.
Official income tax website
  • After registering, you must log in by entering your user ID, password and captcha code.
Income tax
  • A new pop-up will appear on your, asking you to link your PAN card to your AADHAR card.
  • Alternatively, go to menu bar > profile settings > AADHAR link.
  • Enter details such as name, date of birth and gender, same as mentioned in your PAN details.
  • Now check the details, if you find any errors in it, fix them.
  • If the details are correct and match, you can enter your AADHAR number and click on the “link now” option.
  • After clicking on Bind Now tab, you will get a pop-up message confirming binding your PAN card with Aadhar

How to link PAN with Aadhar via SMS

The income tax department said that the user can also link their permanent account number to the Aadhar card SMS. The process of linking with SMS is very simple and hassle-free. If you want to link PAN to Aadhar via SMS, you need to send SMS to 567678 or 56161 from your registered aadhar number in a specific format. Please send the SMS in the format mentioned below.


UIDPAN 103049587890 EPVPS8384S


Linking the PAN card to the Aadhar card is very important because the income tax department wants to keep track of all transactions to prevent money laundering, black money, income tax invasion , etc. We suggest you link your PAN to Aadhar to avoid fines and other consequences.

Quilt of Valor Comfortably Covers Vietnam Vet and Brings the Message: “Thank You for Your Service and Sacrifice” | New


by Gordon Wolf

Vietnam War veteran Vincent Mahaney of rural Denison received a bravery quilt during a ceremony outside the Crawford County Courthouse on Wednesday afternoon.

A Quilt of Valor is awarded by members of the Quilts of Valor Foundation whose mission is to cover war-affected military and veterans by comforting and healing the Quilts of Valor and to say “Thank you for your service and sacrifice” .

Family and friends gathered to watch the ceremony, led by Sheryl Podey, from Westside, a member of the Quilt of Valor group in Winterset.

Podey said, “Vietnam vets are brothers who fought without America’s support and came back without America’s welcome, brothers who will always be the best Americans have had.”

She then listed Mahaney’s history in the military and her life after the military.

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Mahaney enlisted in the U.S. Army in February 1969. Basic training took place at Fort Ord, California, and advanced training at Fort Eustis, Virginia.

His Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) was Helicopter Power Transmission Repairer. Because of the army way, he never used this MOS.

In August 1969, Mahaney deployed to Vietnam and landed at Tan Son Nhut Air Base near Saigon. He was assigned to the American Division and stationed at Chu Lai. For six months he remained there with the 723rd Maintenance Battalion.

Following this assignment, he became a logistician for the repair of helicopters. Responsibilities included traveling from Chu Lai to Tan Son Nhut every other day, collecting parts for Hueys, Cobras and LOCs.

Instead of being reassigned to the States after a year of service in Vietnam, Mahaney twice extended his Vietnam tour by six months each time. He returned to the United States for 30 days before each extension.

During his last three months in Vietnam, Mahaney was still stationed in Chu Lai, providing guard and escort,

In October 1971, Mahaney left Vietnam for the last time and arrived at Fort Lewis, Washington, to be released.

His final rank was Specialist 5th Class E-5

Mahaney’s civilian career included working as a truck driver in South Dakota, carpentry for four years, and returning to driving tractor-trailers for 40 years until retirement.

“A veteran, whether active duty, demobilized, retired, or in the reserves, is a person who, at some point in his or her life, has written a blank check to the order of the United States of America to uphold and defend our Constitution for any amount, up to and including their lives,” Podey said at the ceremony.

“All the veterans gave it; some gave their all and you upheld military codes of loyalty, duty, respect, selflessness, service, honor, integrity and personal courage.

“As Ronald Reagan once said, some people live their whole lives wondering if they’ve ever made a difference in the world. A veteran doesn’t have that problem.

“This quilt tells you and your family the importance of your service. You have given your time away from home and family to serve part of your life as a member of the United States Armed Forces,” Podey concluded. “I hope your duvet brings you comfort and keeps you warm when it’s wrapped around you.”

The quilt was assembled and quilted by Lisa Samuelson of West Des Moines. Each quilt has a tag on the back that indicates when it was awarded and to whom, as well as who made the quilt.

Those who receive a quilt can be nominated on the Quilts of Valor website, https://www.qovf.org/.

Podey would welcome anyone interested in helping with Quilts of Valor.

The Quilts of Valor Foundation was started in 2003 by Catherine Roberts, whose son, Nat, was deployed to Iraq. She had a vivid dream of a young man whose war demons were dragging her down an emotional gutter, but then, after being wrapped in a duvet, her demeanor turned to hope and well-being. Her dream message was the quilt equal to healing.

Roberts has set standards of excellence for Quilts of Valor. They should be quality, not a “charity quilt”, and they should be quilted, not knotted, which means hand or machine quilting. Quilts should be rewarded, not distributed like magazines or videos, and should say, “Thank you for your service, sacrifice, and bravery in service to our nation.”

The Quilts of Valor Foundation has grown into a movement of more than 10,000 volunteer members in 600 groups in all 50 states. They are represented by nearly 700 volunteer leaders whose goal is to bring healing to service members and veterans. Quilts are a symbol of gratitude that brings tangible comfort to those who receive the quilts.

Over 318,000 Quilts of Valor have been reported in the United States and abroad. Valor quilts traveled from the United States to war-stricken areas, were carried by doctors in mobile hospital units, awarded on aircraft carriers and on foreign soil. Most Quilts of Valor are awarded in communities across the United States.

Podey recited the following: “A Quilt of Valor says in a way mere words cannot, thank you for your service, your sacrifice and your bravery. Thank you for putting yourselves at risk to protect the freedoms enjoyed by the rest of us. Thank you for putting your life on hold to serve. Your Quilt of Valor represents our appreciation for the fulfillment of your duty.

Twilio says breach also compromised users of two-factor app Authy – TechCrunch


US messaging giant Twilio has confirmed that hackers have also compromised the accounts of some Authy users as part of a wider breach of Twilio’s systems. Authy is Twilio’s two-factor authentication (2FA) application acquired in 2015.

The Twilio breach earlier this month, which saw malicious actors gain access to the data of more than 100 Twilio customers after successfully phishing several employees, continues to grow. This week, researchers linked the attack on Twilio and others to a broader phishing campaign by a hacking group dubbed “0ktapus”, which stole nearly 10,000 employee IDs from at least 130 organizations since March.

Now, Twilio has confirmed that Authy users were also affected by the breach.

In a update In its Aug. 24 incident report, Twilio said hackers gained access to the accounts of 93 individual Authy users and registered additional devices, allowing attackers to generate login codes for any logged-in 2FA-enabled account. .

The company said it has “since identified and removed unauthorized devices from these Authy accounts” and advises affected Authy users it has contacted to review linked accounts for suspicious activity. It is also recommended that users review all devices linked to their Authy accounts and disable “Allow multiple devices” in the Authy app to prevent new devices from being added.

While using any two-factor authentication is better than none, hackers are increasingly devising new ways to trick users into handing over app-based codes, which is usually much more. difficult to obtain than the codes sent by SMS.

Twilio also said in the update that the number of compromised Twilio clients increased from 125 to 163, with hackers accessing data from these organizations for a “limited time.” Twilio did not name its affected customers, but some – like encrypted messaging app Signal – informed their own users that they were affected by Twilio’s breach.

Identity giant Okta also confirmed on Thursday that it was compromised following the Twilio breach. The company said in a blog post that hackers – which he calls “Scatter Swine” – have spoofed Okta’s login pages to target organizations that rely on the company’s single sign-on service. Okta said that when hackers gained access to Twilio’s internal console, they obtained a “small number” of Okta customer phone numbers and SMS messages containing one-time passwords. This is the second time Okta has reported a security incident this year.

In its analysis of the phishing campaign, Okta said Scatter Swine hackers likely harvested mobile phone numbers from data aggregation services that link phone numbers to employees of specific organizations. At least one of the hackers called targeted employees posing as IT support, noting that the hacker’s accent “appears to be North American.” That could line up with this week’s Group-IB investigation, which suggested that one of the hackers involved in the campaign may reside in North Carolina.

DoorDash also confirmed this week that it was compromised by the same hacking group. The food delivery giant told TechCrunch that malicious hackers stole employee credentials from a third-party vendor that were then used to access some of DoorDash’s internal tools. The company declined to name the third party, but confirmed the vendor was not Twilio.

T‑Mobile goes beyond coverage with SpaceX


In a live event today, T-Mobile (NASDAQ: TMUS) CEO and Chairman Mike Sievert and SpaceX Chief Engineer Elon Musk announced Coverage Above and Beyond: A New Plan revolutionary way to bring mobile phone connectivity everywhere. Leveraging Starlink, SpaceX’s constellation of satellites in low Earth orbit, and T-Mobile’s state-of-the-art wireless network, the Un-carrier plans to provide near-complete coverage in most locations in the United States, even in many of the most remote locations previously inaccessible by traditional cellular signals.

Today, despite powerful LTE and 5G wireless networks, over half a million square miles of the United States, as well as vast swathes of ocean, are unaffected by cellular signals… from ANY provider. . And as anyone who has ever encountered a mobile dead zone knows, the wireless industry has struggled to cover these areas with traditional terrestrial cellular technology, most often due to land use restrictions (eg. (e.g., national parks), land boundaries (e.g., mountains, deserts, and other topographical realities) and the vastness of America. In these areas, people are either disconnected or pay exorbitant rates to lug around a satellite phone. SpaceX and T-Mobile share a vision where these uncovered areas are a relic of the past, and today the companies are taking the first step to making that vision a reality.

From the middle of Death Valley to the Great Smokey Mountains or even that lingering neighborhood dead zone, T-Mobile and SpaceX have a vision to give customers a crucial extra layer of connectivity in areas previously unreachable by cellular signals from any carrier. And the service aims to work with the phone already in your pocket. The vast majority of smartphones already on T-Mobile’s network will be compatible with the new service using the device’s existing radio. No additional equipment to buy. It works.

“We’ve always thought differently about what it means to keep customers connected, and that’s why we’re working with the best to deliver coverage beyond anything customers have ever seen before,” Sievert said. “More than just a groundbreaking alliance, this represents two innovators shaking up the industry and challenging old ways to create something entirely new that will further connect customers and scare away competitors.”

“The important thing about this is that it means there is no dead zone in the world for your cellphone,” said SpaceX chief engineer Elon Musk. “We are incredibly excited to do this with T-Mobile.”

To provide this service, the companies will create a new network, broadcast from Starlink satellites using T-Mobile’s nationwide mid-band spectrum. This true satellite-to-cellular service will provide nearly complete coverage almost anywhere a customer can see the sky.

Using this technology, T-Mobile plans to offer customers text coverage virtually anywhere in the continental United States, Hawaii, parts of Alaska, Puerto Rico and territorial waters, even outside of the T-Mobile’s network, starting with a beta in some regions by late next year following SpaceX’s planned satellite launches. Text messaging, including SMS, MMS and participating messaging apps, will allow customers to stay connected and share experiences almost anywhere. Going forward, the companies plan to continue adding voice and data coverage.

Additionally, the CEOs shared their vision for expanding Coverage Above and Beyond globally, issuing an open invitation to operators around the world to collaborate for truly global connectivity. T-Mobile is committed to offering reciprocal roaming to carriers working with them to enable this vision.

Today’s news is the next step in T-Mobile’s quest to deliver coverage beyond that. Earlier this year, the Un-carrier offered its customers enhanced connectivity beyond the reach of its network – in the air and abroad. Today’s move is the next step on the road to the ultimate hedging experience.

Message sent! California Attorney General Announces $1.2M CCPA Settlement With Retailer, Focuses On Selling Customer Information


On August 24, 2022, California Attorney General (AG) Rob Bonta announced a settlement with beauty retailer, Sephora USA, Inc. (“Sephora”), resolving allegations that Sephora violated the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) for, among other things, failing to disclose to consumers that it was selling their personal information (including precise location data) and failing to honor opt-out requests through Global Privacy Controls (GPC ) served from users’ web browsers. The proposed settlement has been submitted to a California state court for approval.

This regulation is notable in that it is the PG’s first CCPA enforcement action. After the final proposed CCPA regulations were published in June 2020, businesses were advised that enforcement would begin on or after July 1, 2020 (although the regulations were still being finalized, with additional changes published in March 2021 the regulatory authority has since been assumed to be the California Privacy Protection Agency, which was created by the California Privacy Rights Act of 2020). Since then, the AG has published a wealth of CCPA case examples that offered background information on various situations where the AG had issued a CCPA notice of non-compliance to a covered entity, which then remedied the alleged breach within the 30-day period. currently permitted by law. The Sephora settlement is the first enforcement and monetary settlement implicating the AG on alleged violations of the CCPA.

According to the AG’s complaint, Sephora installed third-party tracking technology on its website and mobile app that monitored and profiled user activity (including precise location data) to help Sephora target ads. The complaint alleges that consumer data was packaged and sold by the third-party data company to other companies. The AG said that “if companies make consumers’ personal information available to third parties and receive a benefit from the arrangement, for example in the form of advertisements targeted to specific consumers, they are deemed to ‘sell’ the information. of consumers under the law” and are required to notify customers.

The complaint alleged that Sephora failed to provide consumers with a clear and prominent “Do Not Sell My Personal Information” link (or two or more designated methods for submitting opt-out requests). The complaint also claimed that Sephora failed to address GPCs or “user-enabled global privacy controls” that give consumers the ability to universally opt out of all online sales with just an adjustment of their web browsers. After being made aware of these alleged violations, the AG claimed that Sephora had failed to heal within 30 days, which triggered the AG’s investigation that led to this settlement.

As part of the proposed settlement, Sephora has agreed to pay $1.2 million in penalties and comply with various injunctions, agreeing to:

  • Notify consumers that it sells personal information and that consumers have the right to opt out;
  • Provide consumer opt-out requests made through GPC;
  • Conform its service delivery agreements to the requirements of the CCAC; and
  • Implement a compliance program surrounding CCPA opt-out requests and provide an annual report to the CAG for a period of two years regarding its compliance regarding its sale of personal information and compliance with CCPA opt-out requests , the status of its relationships with service providers, and its efforts to honor GPC.

Messages the GA hopes companies will receive

First, the AG focuses on the use of data tracking and what it calls “commercial surveillance” (including the sale of precise location data) that typically occurs without the full understanding of consumers. The language used by the AG echoes language used by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in its recent proposed rulemaking advisory regarding potential trade regulations limiting trade surveillance practices, among other things. While comprehensive federal bipartisan data privacy legislation (e.g., the so-called ADPPA) remains in the US Senate, data privacy enforcement continues to be a priority for states (and the FTC).

Secondapplication and the additional announcement that the AG has sent additional notices to companies alleging various failures in processing consumer opt-out requests made through GPC’s privacy controls underscores that this particular breach is on the radar of the ‘AG.

Third, the illustrative examples of previous CCPA investigations and notices show that the AG is willing to work with companies to remedy violations within the 30-day remedy period currently allowed by the CCPA. Still, looking forward, it should be noted that the CCPA’s Notice and Remedies provision, which requires companies to be given notice of an infringement and an opportunity to remedy before the CAG can take action, will expire on January 1, 2023. So, with this grace period ending soon, companies should re-examine their CCPA compliance to prepare to operate within CCPA requirements on a sort of tightrope, with no safety net.

The tech startup that helps employees deal with grief and death


Hello, CHRO Daily readers! Lila MacLellan here, replacing Amber today.

The bureaucratic demands that come with the death of a loved one are not always unwelcome: sometimes the details of end-of-life matters provide an outlet for a whirling, grief-stricken mind beyond the loss itself.

Typically, however, the seemingly endless paperwork and funeral expenses add to the emotional and physical toll of bereavement. And it doesn’t help that a lot of people are unaware of the various details that require watch out when the chosen family or relatives die. For American workers, the vast majority of whom get insufficient paid bereavement leave of three or four days (compared to experts’ 20 days recommend), the leave is barely enough to scratch the surface of logistical tasks, like closing someone’s bank accounts or arranging an obituary.

Recently, however, more and more American companies are offering their employees tips for survivors or funeral planning, among other death-related benefits. Tel Aviv-based tech startup Empathy, which launched in 2020, has created a digital assistant application which creates personalized to-do lists for grieving employees. The benefits platform combines technology solutions like nudges and automated form filling with a human touch: its bereavement counselors and obituary writers are real people. This recipe has already won over customers like technology-focused insurance companies Lemonade and Bestow and banking giant Goldman Sachs.

Empathy’s services are available to employees at any stage of the process because “there is no time limit for grief,” says Angel Paravicini, vice president of business development. Fortune spoke with Paravicini to learn more about how Empathy is expanding the category of bereavement benefits.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Fortune: Do you think the pandemic has made the benefits of grief and bereavement more important?

Over the past two years, the taboo subject of loss has come to the fore. We have lost loved ones or we know someone who has lost a loved one. It’s normal to be able to express this: “I just lost a loved one and I can’t resume my hustle and bustle at work.

But after a loss, employees don’t really know where to go, how to take the next step. This is where empathy comes in. This is where the employer can create a culture of “we want to be there and let you know that we will be there to support you through the process”. It’s not just about listing a benefit on page 60 of an employee handbook.

How it works? If I notify my manager of a claim, will I receive an email or a QR code for an app?

We will do as much heavy lifting as the employer allows, from picking up the phone and calling employees to texting. We make integration as simple as possible: “Here is an access code. Distribute them to your employees, let them know they can download the app and get the service and care they need 24/7.

As for the logistics part of the loss, we will hopefully eliminate some of that delay and bring them back to themselves. We’re going to say, “Have you taken care of the funeral arrangements? Have you contacted a real estate agent? Have you contacted the life insurance company? Have you contacted all utility companies? »

What do you hear from HR professionals about managing grief at work?

We can create employee benefit plans, but I don’t think that’s the solution. When I have these CHRO conversations, they don’t think that’s the answer either. It’s about building loyalty. A CHRO told us about an employee whose cousin had health issues, and the company supported his cousin. The CHRO said: “This employee will never leave us. We showed up for him. He knows we are loyal, we care about him, and we care about his extended family.

Statistics show that grief leads to millions in lost productivity. But what would you say to someone who thinks that life experience shouldn’t be the job of employers?

It’s true that there will always be “What’s the return on investment here? What is the added benefit? » in our exchanges. As with EAPs, there will always be some kind of sweet ROI in the conversation, but it’s really hard to quantify the value this can bring. It’s about looking outside the ROI.

When grief occurs, it is not just because of an immediate loss; maybe someone lost a pet, or it could be a miscarriage. They can be aunts, uncles or siblings. At least 20% of your staff is going through something that you may not always be aware of because they don’t take time off for it. Knowing that the resource is there is what makes the difference.

Lila MacLellan
[email protected]

Around the table

A roundup of the most important HR headlines, studies, podcasts and long reads.

– The reservation wage, or minimum wage that a person will agree to quit their job, is now $72,873, an increase of 5.7% from July 2021, according to a survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. With 10.7 million job openings in June and falling real wages due to inflationary pressures, workers today have stronger bargaining power and increased financial needs. Bloomberg

Starbucks will close stores in Kansas City, Missouri and Seattle, citing safety concerns. The Starbucks union says the decision is a retaliation for the stores’ unionization efforts. “If Starbucks really wanted to address safety issues, they could work with partners and our union,” the union said. CNBC

– Ford plans to cut about 3,000 jobs as it focuses on electric vehicles, the company said in an internal email. The cuts will come from full-time employees, while unionized factory workers will not be affected. The company said it had determined its cost structure was not competitive with rival automakers and would have to change “virtually every aspect” of its operation. PA

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Everything you need to know about Fortune.

Diversity from home. JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said remote work is bad for diversity. Meta’s 2022 Diversity Report May Prove Otherwise. The social media giant met its U.S. diversity goals two years ahead of schedule. One of the possible reasons? The company’s decision to permanently switch to remote work. —Gleb Tsipursky

The great return. According to a survey by software company Visier, about a third of hires over the past three years were “boomerang hires,” employees returning to jobs they had previously left. Bringing former employees back is usually a win-win. Employers find someone who can start, and employees can negotiate the things that made them leave in the first place. —Jeanne Thier

The man of the “Miracle” is suing PwC. An employee is suing PwC after an accident during a work outing that allegedly “encouraged excessive alcohol consumption”. The man, who works at one of PwC’s offices in England, said he drank too much during the business event, before falling and hitting his head. Doctors called it a “walking miracle”. —Chloe Taylor

forgive and forget. President Joe Biden is expected to announce a decision today to erase up to $10,000 in student loan debt for Americans earning less than $125,000 a year and extend the loan repayment freeze through January. (Additional note: loan repayment assistance is a social advantages.) —Alicia Adamczyk

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Twilio Hack confirmed to have exposed 1,900 phone numbers from privacy messaging app signal


A breach involving a partner of private messaging app Signal revealed around 1,900 phone numbers used to create an account with the app. Signal says only a very small percentage of its user base was affected and no information beyond phone numbers was exposed, but the Twilio hack raises questions about the degree of partner access and contractors of Signal to service focused on security.

Leading private messaging app exposes ‘small amount’ of phone numbers via partner customer service portal hack

Twilio is the third-party service used by privacy messaging app Signal to verify phone numbers when users create new accounts. An incident report says the Twilio hack was caused by a “sophisticated” phishing attack on a number of employees who had access to the company’s customer service portal. The attacker apparently sent spoofed SMS messages that appeared to come from the IT department to a number of Twilio employees stating that their company login credentials had expired or that their work schedule had changed, urging them to visit a fake hookup site. Although the company did not provide a specific figure, Twilio’s hack report indicates that several employees were victims of this attack.

A status update from Twilio said data for 125 customers has been accessed by threat actors over a period of time and each of these affected parties has been contacted. Signal said the attackers had some level of access to approximately 1,900 saved phone numbers it has custody of during the Twilio hack. For these customers, the attackers were able to either display the SMS verification code they used to sign up for the private messaging app, or enter a phone number and have the system tell them if it was registered. on a Signal account. However, Signal says that during the Twilio hack window, the attackers only searched for three specific numbers, and only one of them was re-registered on another device.

The Twilio hack did not leak any passwords, authentication tokens or API keys, according to the company. Signal added that the attackers did not have access to message history, profile information or contact lists. The private messaging app does not store message history on a server and customers must use a personal Signal PIN to access other aspects of the account. The company said affected customers were contacted on August 15 and asked to re-register.

Twilio hack raises questions about who has access to Signal

With guaranteed end-to-end encryption enabled by default, Signal’s privacy messaging app should have secure messaging no matter what type of hack or breach might occur. If the company can’t access the messages, neither can the attackers.

However, the Twilio hack raises questions about ancillary information that could be obtained by attackers, particularly through third parties that Signal works with. Although this attack gave hackers the ability to re-register a Signal account on a new device, previous messages are stored only on the original device and attackers would need the victim’s Signal PIN to access their aspects. online such as contacts and account information. But simply verifying that a known phone number is linked to a Signal account could expose activists, journalists and others protecting themselves from surveillance and harassment.

Signal said it could improve this aspect of its privacy messaging app by requiring users to simply sign up with usernames instead of phone numbers, but there are no details yet. timetable for this change. This feature is available in several other privacy messaging apps in the market, such as Wire. In the meantime, while there has only been one instance of a device re-registering with an attacker, Signal’s mandatory re-registration of the 1,900 affected devices will rule out the possibility of them being hijacked by the Twilio hackers. Signal currently offers an optional “Registration Lock” feature that extends user PIN protection to any re-registration attempts on another device.

Signal’s terms of service and privacy policy page clarifies that the app works with third-party service providers, but doesn’t go into detail about who they are, how many, or what they have access to. In early 2022, the app added crypto wallet functionality in partnership with MobileCoin, of which Signal founder Moxie Marlinspike was also a co-founder. The private messaging app’s partnerships are likely very limited due to its non-profit status and reliance on donations to operate, but the potential third-party exposure profile is not entirely apparent. for the average end user.

Twilio said threat actors accessed data from 125 customers over a period of time. The #Privacy Signal messaging app said the attackers had some level of access to around 1,900 registered phone numbers. #cybersecurity #respectdataClick to tweet

Erich Kron, security awareness advocate at KnowBe4, notes that an app that handles such sensitive communications as this (and bills itself as one of the most privacy-focused software available) depends even more user trust than most organizations. and this perception needs to be nurtured and handled with care: “While not much sensitive information has been leaked, with apps such as Signal that are privacy-focused, the erosion of trust can be a significant issue in itself. Just knowing that a phone number is registered with Signal can be used by potential attackers to create very specific phishing text messages that could lead to further compromises. It’s also a lesson in the impact that trusted vendors, in this case Twilio, can have on your own organization… Phishing remains a powerful weapon for cybercriminals, so organizations need to ensure that employees are trained to spot and report phishing attempts by bad actors. Organizations would do well to ensure that partner organizations also take the threat of social engineering seriously and address it in their own security as well.

Russian nationalist’s slain daughter hailed as martyr

  • This content was produced in Russia, where law restricts coverage of Russian military operations in Ukraine.

MOSCOW, Aug 23 (Reuters) – Russian politicians bid farewell on Tuesday at a service to Darya Dugina, the slain daughter of one of Russia’s most prominent nationalist ideologues, hailing her as a martyr whose death must inspire the Russian forces fighting in Ukraine.

Dugina, daughter of ultra-nationalist Alexander Dugin, was murdered in a car bomb attack near Moscow on Saturday. Russia’s FSB security service has accused Ukrainian intelligence agencies of orchestrating his murder, which Kyiv denies.

As the sixth anniversary of what Russia calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine looms on Wednesday, Dugina’s murder has sparked calls for revenge among Moscow’s political elite. The US Embassy in Kyiv has warned of an increased possibility of Russian military strikes.

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On Tuesday morning, high-ranking politicians, nationalists and friends marched past Dugina’s dark wooden coffin to a hall in the Moscow TV Center to say goodbye, lay flowers and convey their condolences to her parents who were sitting nearby.

A large black and white photograph of the deceased woman, 30, who worked as a journalist and commentator for nationalist media, hung on a black wall behind her coffin as dark music played.

Her father, Dugin, 60, who for years has advocated the creation of a new Russian empire that would absorb the territory of countries like Ukraine, told mourners that his daughter died for Russia.

“If her tragic death touched anyone, she would have asked them to defend Holy (Russian) Orthodoxy, the people and the fatherland,” said Dugin, dressed in black and visibly distressed.

“She died for Russia, in the homeland and on the front line which is not in Ukraine but here.”

Konstantin Malofeyev, a close family friend and wealthy ultra-nationalist business tycoon, set the tone for many of the tributes that followed from Russian politicians, hailing the murdered woman as a martyr whose death brought all the more important for Russia to win against Ukraine.

“The people who are fighting us do not understand that the Russian people are not only made up of those who are alive now. But are made up of those who lived before us and will live after. And we will become stronger with the blood of our martyrs.

And thanks to the untimely end of our dear and beloved Dasha (Darya), we will definitely be victorious in this war,” he said.

Russia accuses the United States and its allies of using Ukraine to wage a proxy war against it, including supplying Kyiv with weapons and intelligence. The West says it is helping Ukraine defend itself against an imperial-style land grab by Moscow.

Parliamentary leaders from the three main pro-Kremlin parties spoke at the service, hailing Dugina as a patriot and promising that those who ordered and carried out her murder would get their due.

Leonid Slutsky, leader of the nationalist LDPR party, predicted streets and squares would be named after Dugina before calling for unity.

“One country, one president, one victory,” Slutsky told mourners.

A message of condolence was also read by a Russian-backed leader in eastern Ukraine, and Sergei Mironov, who leads the Just Russia party in parliament, called for the destruction of what he called ” the regime” in Kyiv.

“The victory will be the best monument to Dasha,” Mironov said.

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Reuters Montage reporting by Andrew Osborn and Mark Trevelyan

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Ghana plans to educate and manage deployment of GMO cowpea


As Ghana prepares GM cowpea for commercialization, good management is paramount to safeguard the responsible management of the technology, stakeholders say.

This will ensure the success of the technology after Ghanaian farmers get the seeds in 2023.

Having the right management measures in place is important and necessary to avoid any future failure of the Bt technology that gives GM cowpea its ability to resist the pod borer pest, said Professor Walter Alhassan, former Director General of the Council for science and industry. Research (CSIR) and a stewardship expert. Responsible management is needed throughout the life cycle of Bt cowpea – from seed production to cultivation by farmers – in order for the promised benefits to be achieved, he said.

It’s especially crucial that real Bt cowpea seed is sold to farmers — not conventional seed or a blend, Alhassan said. The right packaging, as well as some traceable elements, will make seed control easier and help avoid problems, he noted.

“We need to make sure farmers get real Bt seeds to plant because there could be a lot of scammers in the system,” Alhassan said. “As there is no [visible] differences between Bt cowpea seeds and others, farmers can’t tell them apart, not even me a scientist, unless we analyze it in the lab. They can’t just pick it up in a container or a cup at the market and plant it like they do now. It must be packaged properly as Certified seed, so that farmers can rest after the required number of sprays and not wake up to the invasion of maruca pests on their farms.

Bt cowpea has been genetically engineered to provide resistance to the maruca pod borer insect, dramatically reducing the number of pesticides farmers need to control the insects.

Alhassan also touched on resistance management, saying it’s important to consider creating refuges or growing systems of conventional cowpea plants that maruca can use as alternative hosts. He explained that this will prevent the targeted pest from developing resistance to the Bt gene, rendering it ineffective for a period of time.

He was quick to add that a second gene could be used to guard against the development of such resistance.

“I think SARI [Savanna Agriculture Research Institute] already working on that,” he said. “They will also get a second gene that is not exposed to the insect. So even if the insect mutates against the first gene (Cry 1 Ab), the second gene will knock it out. So that’s another safety valve that’s put in place to make sure we don’t have this problem where we have resistant maruca pests around the place and the farmers are disappointed.

The regulatory process followed by the National Biosafety Authority (NBA) to issue the approval is strict enough as Nigeria followed a similar process to approve Bt cowpea, Alhassan said. However, he recommended the NBA put in place post-release monitoring systems to ensure the technology is working properly. The National Variety Release and Registration Committee (NVRRC) must also quickly approve the seeds to prevent farmers from finding their own ways to obtain the seeds illegally, he added.

NBA CEO Eric Okoree told the Science Alliance that there will be periodic monitoring after the Bt cowpea seeds are finally released, multiplied and put into the hands of farmers. The Authority can only educate the public on activities under the law followed to approve Bt cowpea, he said, while education on responsible cultivation of Bt cowpea rests solely with the licensee. .

Although approved by the NBA, Bt cowpea seed must still go through certain required regulatory processes before reaching the market. Currently, SARI scientists are conducting multi-site trials, which include 15 field trials and 100 farmer-run trials before an application is sent to the NVRCC, for final checks and publication.

Dr. Jerry Nboyine, the project’s principal investigator, told the Science Alliance that they follow the right steps to ensure that Bt cowpea seeds are properly released, distributed and responsibly managed to produce the potential benefits. Structures are in place to engage particular seed companies after approval, he said. They will multiply basic Bt cowpea seed to produce certified seed for farmers.

“The seeds will be properly packaged and the packaging material will come with a special code, so that anyone who buys the seed from the companies that produce them, or their retailers, can easily verify its authenticity through a scan. QR or a short code SMS,” Nboyine said. “The way we’re going to do it will be so unique that anyone who produces adulterated seeds won’t be able to produce the QR code and you’ll know right away that it’s not the Bt material.”

He revealed that they will work closely with the extension department of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to train stewardship management teams in areas where Bt cowpea will be grown to easily trace any farmers’ complaint about the seeds to the production company responsible.

Reacting to the issue of insect resistance, Nboyine said an elaborate program will be launched with Ministry of Food and Agriculture extension officers in cowpea growing communities to educate farmers on the use responsible for the technology to prevent maruca insects from developing resistance. to GM technology.

“If the product is not handled responsibly, insect resistance issues can set in, so we need to educate farmers on the importance of having refuges to delay resistance development,” a- he declared. “They need to understand that GM technology is not a silver bullet, but needs to be managed responsibly to delay the development of resistance or stop it altogether. Additionally, we will include grower manuals in the seed bags to provide education on how the seeds should be grown to get the maximum benefit.

Nboyine confirmed that work is underway to introduce a second gene (Cry 2 Ab) into planting material to serve as a long-term strategy to guard against the development of maruca resistance.

He noted that they have also taken a cue from Nigeria by putting in place a seed multiplication strategy so that seeds are easily accessible to farmers the moment they are released.

Image: Conventional cowpea for sale in a market in Ghana. Photo: Dennis Baffour-Awuah


Scary moment for Giants: Kayvon Thibodeaux leaves preseason game against Bengals with knee injury


Kayvon Thibodeaux, the Giants’ prodigious forward, was involved in a scary moment in Sunday night’s second preseason game at home against the Bengals.

With 11:16 left in the second quarter, Thibodeaux injured his right knee.

Bengals tight end Thaddeus Moss blocked Thibodeaux’s leg as Thibodeaux rushed into the backfield on a run play. It was Moss’ own game, but Thibodeaux apparently never saw it coming. (Moss is the son of Hall of Fame catcher Randy Moss.)

The cart came out for Thibodeaux, the fifth pick in this year’s draft, but he waved it off. He left the field on his own. He was examined by coaches, but before long he was walking on the sidelines without assistance or medical attention – or even with a significant limp. And he was laughing and joking with his teammates too – a good sign for Thibodeaux and the Giants.

Officially, Thibodeaux was ruled out for the remainder of Sunday night’s game with a knee injury. But based on early indications, Thibodeaux escaped without serious injury, although the scene looked rather scary and ugly at first. Still, there is no official word yet on the nature of his injury.

The NFL Network reported there is “initial optimism” that Thibodeaux has not suffered a major injury.

The Giants desperately need Thibodeaux — in coordinator Wink Martindale’s lightning defense — to improve their peak production, which has lagged in recent seasons. So they obviously can’t afford for one of their most promising players to miss a lot of time.

Thibodeaux mostly performed well in training camp, which shows why the Giants were so high on him coming out of Oregon. He’ll start across from outside linebacker Azeez Ojulari, who had eight sacks last season — a new Giants rookie record. Thibodeaux said he wanted to break this record.

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Darryl Slater can be reached at [email protected].

A tourist group in Ukraine uses its cameras and employees to spy on Russians



CHERNOBYL, Ukraine — At home in Kyiv, Yaroslav Yemelianenko was glued to a secret live broadcast from the Chernobyl Gate, the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster. In disbelief, he saw the Russian tanks pass the yellow information booth advertising his business, Chernobyl Tour, and head south toward the capital.

It was a few hours after the start of the war, on February 24. Publicly, Ukrainian leaders have said that Russian troops have not yet crossed there.

Elsewhere in Kyiv, Chernobyl tour guide coordinator Kateryna Aslamova watched the same scene unfold in shock.

“It was confusing and scary,” she said. “It was different from what the authorities were saying.”

On the road to war: the United States struggled to convince its allies and Zelensky of the risk of invasion

Chernobyl Tower had a small battery-operated camera perched near the checkpoint in the area that Yemelianenko and Aslamova could access remotely. He was there to monitor their stand. But on the day of the invasion, they said, it provided early information on the movement of Russian troops through Belarus and beyond Chernobyl as Moscow began its bid to take Kyiv.

“The first thing the Russians did when they passed the Chernobyl checkpoint was to take down the Ukrainian flag and turn off all the cameras,” Aslamova said.

But they missed the little booth camera, which kept spinning. So tour operators began to count the number and type of military vehicles. Hundred. Five hundred. It continued. Yemelianenko said he forwarded this information to contacts in the Ukrainian military and intelligence agency. Kyiv-based tour guides also contacted the company’s network of employees in villages around Chernobyl that were coming under Russian occupation.

Within a day, Chernobyl Tour had turned into a sort of Ukrainian network of informants tracking the movements of Russian troops. Its employees were part of something that became key to Ukraine’s resilience: the will of ordinary people to take the defense of their nation into their own hands.

“We had a responsibility,” Yemelianenko said.

In the delicate nuclear laboratories of Chernobyl, the Russians plundered the security systems

It is impossible to know what impact singular actions had on the larger trajectory of the war. After nearly six months of fighting, however, civilian and corporate power has clearly become central to Ukraine’s wartime strategy and mindset.

By the end of the first day of the war, Russian forces had captured Chernobyl. For five weeks they held this strategic area, about a two-hour drive from Kyiv in normal times, in its failed campaign to take the Ukrainian capital.

During those same five weeks, the Ukrainians also secretly resisted.

Chernobyl Tour provided the Washington Post with its surveillance footage and accounts of Russian troops crossing into Belarus. The group said it chose to share its story only when it could ensure the safety of all employees.

Ukraine’s security service and armed forces did not respond to a request for comment on the help they received from the tour group.

The Russian occupation of the former Chernobyl nuclear reactor site – where Soviet authorities first tried to hide the 1986 explosion with disastrous effect – did not lead to the massive radiation leak that many feared .

But after nearly six months under Russian control, the risks are growing in southeastern Ukraine at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe. There, the security situation is rapidly deteriorating amid growing fears of a possible nuclear disaster. As in Chernobyl, workers at the Zaporizhzhia plant take serious risks to conceal critical information.

Inside the nuclear power plant captured by Ukraine, explosions and constant fear

Before the war, Chernobyl Tour took visitors to the “exclusion zone,” a 1,000 square mile area where radioactive contamination is highest. Visitors would see the reactor site, the city the Soviets built to house the workers, and the natural habitats that have since thrived in the isolated area.

During the 25-day Russian occupation of the Chernobyl power plant, nine workers were killed and five kidnapped. The Russians also stole hundreds of computers, radiation dosimeters, firefighting equipment and irreplaceable software.

Chernobyl Tours said it could not provide certain details about the group’s work due to its sensitive nature. Additionally, they said, they cut off almost all communications during the first weeks of the war to protect sources, especially in case Russian forces captured Kyiv. The videos and Telegram exchanges that the group kept, which they shared with The Post, seem to support their account.

February 24 began quietly near the camera of the travel agency at the Chernobyl booth, Aslamova said.

On the video feed, she could see Ukrainian soldiers hanging around. One fed a dog. Suddenly they withdrew from the border. It was quiet again. Then a column of military vehicles marked with the letter V – one of the letters identifying Russian troops – started pouring in, Aslamova said.

After two days, the flow of military vehicles slowed down. A few days later, the camera stopped. Yemelianenko could not say exactly when but said he either ran out of batteries or was knocked out by the Russians.

By then, the Russians had cut internet service and phone lines. It was nearly impossible to get information in and out. But employees of Chernobyl Tour still tried.

Until the invasion, local company employees based in surrounding villages had provided logistical support for tourists; then they stayed and gathered information about their attackers.

The group’s local staff declined to speak to The Post, citing privacy and security concerns. But some recorded Telegram screenshots shared by Chernobyl Tour that capture what happened next.

Ukraine worries about disaster as Russia targets nuclear power plants

Over several harrowing weeks, about a dozen employees, along with family members and trusted neighbors, secretly recorded the number, location and direction of Russian military vehicles and supplies, Yemelianenko said.

“Eight light jeeps,” reads a partial list of a Telegram message. “Four petrol trucks.”

At grave risk, villagers headed for fields and forests in search of mobile phone service to send their notes back to Kyiv.

In the capital, Yemelianenko said, he and his team shared the information with intelligence contacts. They also tried to send information about the war back to the villages to counter Russian propaganda, and they pushed for a humanitarian corridor to evacuate civilians from Chernobyl.

Chernobyl Tours, however, was running its own disinformation campaign.

Yemelianenko, who also joined the Ukrainian Territorial Defense Forces, launched what he called a “special information operation”. He tried to scare Russians into leaving Chernobyl by telling the media that soldiers sleeping in trenches or looting in villages in the area were being exposed to dangerous levels of radiation.

“To be honest, that was a huge exaggeration,” Yemelianenko said. “The goal was to make the Russians worry…that they were all going to die.”

Yemelianenko had grown up in fear of Chernobyl. His family evacuated Kyiv shortly after the 1986 collapse.

Years later, he became interested in learning more about Chernobyl and, after extensive studies, co-founded his travel agency. Part of the group’s message is that Ukraine’s successful cleanup of the region is something to celebrate. To this, he said, he will now add the work of Chernobyl against an invading army.

“Chernobyl is not just a place of tragedy,” Yemelianenko said. “It is also a place of our victory.”

PGI installs 12 digital payment machines


With the number of patients increasing steadily in PGIMER’s OPD, emphasis has been placed on upgrading patient-friendly services, which will reduce time, ease the rush and also manage long queues more effectively.

These include a centralized room for sample collection, an SMS facility for lab tests, online registration of OPDs and now the long-awaited system of digital payments for medical tests, surgeries and miscellaneous expenses. , during treatment and hospitalization at the institute .

Up to 12 POS scanning machines have been installed at Nehru Hospital (Counter No. 16), Nehru Hospital, Emergency Counter, Trauma Center, Advanced Pediatric Center, Cardiac Center advanced and at the advanced ophthalmological center. According to Kumar Gaurav Dhawan, Deputy Director of Administration, installation of more digital payment machines is underway at Research Block A, Radiology Fee Counter at Nehru Hospital, New OPD.

“As all processes are computerized, there is little room for error and the process has reduced the time needed for payments. All debit and credit cards are accepted and it is possible to scan the QR code for digital payments. Acceptance of American Express cards has also been launched,” Dhawan said.

For many patients and attendants, the new facility means having to spend less time making payments and shorter queues.

ICE officials told to wipe cellphones, agency says

By Hailey Konnath (August 19, 2022, 10:44 p.m. EDT) – US Immigration and Customs Enforcement had a practice from the time of the Trump administration to instruct its personnel to delete all text messages from phones issued by their agency when they quit their job. , ICE said Thursday in federal court in Massachusetts.

The revelation came amid litigation over public records requests involving a Massachusetts state judge who was indicted for helping an immigrant escape police custody. In an affidavit, an ICE official said the agency – under former President Donald Trump – left it to employees to preserve all communications on their mobile devices.

ICE Chief Technology Officer Richard J. Clark said ICE “didn’t…

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DC Attorney General: Instacart to pay $2.54 million in costs settlement



Grocery delivery service Instacart must pay DC $2.54 million to settle a 2020 lawsuit that alleged the company failed to pay required sales taxes and misled consumers in the district about his service fee over a two-year period, DC Office of Attorney General Karl A. Racine (D) announced Friday.

Racine alleged in the lawsuit that between 2016 and 2018, Instacart misrepresented its service fees as tips that went directly to workers, but were actually used to subsidize the company’s operating expenses.

Instacart must now pay $1.8 million to fix the issue, money that Racine’s office says can be used to pay legal fees and compensate affected workers and consumers. The company must also release $739,057 in disputed tax payments to the district, Racine’s office said in a statement, after it failed to collect and pay DC sales taxes on service and delivery fee revenue. from 2014 to 2020.

DC sues Instacart, alleging ‘misleading’ service fees and unpaid sales tax

Instacart has been operating in the DC area since at least 2014; in a statement, the company disputed the allegations that sparked the lawsuit.

“While we strongly deny the District’s allegations, we are pleased to put this matter behind us after the waiveable service fee was phased out more than four years ago,” the statement read.

Racine said in a statement that Instacart changed its service fee practices in 2018 after the company was contacted by his office.

“Today’s settlement with Instacart sends a clear message that any company that tries to dodge its obligations to workers and consumers will be held accountable,” Racine said.

Constant Contact launches SMS marketing


Innovative new feature is a direct result of customer feedback and helps small businesses build relationships with customers beyond email

WALTHAM, Mass., August 17, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — constant toucha digital marketing platform trusted by millions of small businesses and nonprofits, today announced the launch of SMS Marketing, a new feature that allows small businesses to leverage SMS campaigns to reach, engage and retain customers. The new feature was developed to help Constant Contact customers build stronger relationships with their customers by enabling easy communication with them through their preferred channels.

In an increasingly mobile world, Seeking constant contact shows that more than half of consumers would consider making a purchase after receiving a text message from a small business. SMS Marketing helps Constant Contact customers capitalize on this intent by allowing them to quickly create, personalize and send SMS campaigns.

Popular features, such as a character counter and link shortener, are built right into SMS functionality to provide a smooth user experience and reduce friction associated with starting a new campaign. Businesses also receive a single phone number with an area code (10DLC) to send SMS from, which builds consumer trust and dramatically increases message deliverability. Constant Contact also helps SMS customers obtain consent before they start sending SMS messages, similar to the email marketing process.

“Our customers needed a way to reach consumers via text, so we took their feedback and designed an innovative tool that feels like a natural extension of the Constant Contact experience,” said Ben Kaplan, Vice President of Products at Constant Contact. “SMS marketing is built right into the platform, allowing customers across all verticals to start leveraging text messages in conjunction with their other marketing. email, posting to social media, hosting an event or selling online, the addition of SMS makes our platform a more robust and reliable place for small businesses to manage all their marketing digital.”

“We’re always trying to become more accessible to our customers, and even if they can’t call or drop by the store, we realized that many of them would be open to communicating with us via text,” said Mary Ginderco-owner of Gindo’s Spice of Life. “Creating a text campaign with Constant Contact is quick and easy, and we’re thrilled that it gives us another way to build stronger customer relationships and grow our business.”

Constant Contact customers using SMS Marketing will also appreciate:

  • Automated triggers – Similar to email automation, SMS Marketing leverages behavior-based triggers to help small businesses automate SMS messages for use cases like welcome texts and drip campaigns.
  • Insightful reports – Essential metrics help SMS Marketing users measure the success of their campaigns by highlighting which text messages were delivered, what type of content generated clicks, and which prompted a customer to unsubscribe. Additionally, users can access revenue data to understand which posts prompted a customer to make a purchase.
  • Lead generation landing page – Users can easily create a personalized website landing page designed to help generate new business and encourage customers to sign up for SMS messages.
  • SMS registration email template – Customers can take advantage of a customizable email template to grow their subscriber lists by encouraging their Constant Contact email subscribers to also opt for SMS messaging.

Constant contacts SMS Marketing is immediately available in the US for current customers and anyone starting a new free trial, as an add-on to any Constant Contact package. Introductory price starts as low as $5 per month for a limited time and includes up to 500 text messages.

About Constant Contact

Constant Contact offers small businesses and nonprofits powerful tools that simplify and amplify digital marketing. Whether it’s driving sales, building a client base, or engaging an audience, we provide the performance and guidance needed to build strong connections and drive powerful results. For more information, visit www.constantcontact.com.

SOURCE Constant Contact

Aitch apologizes for promotional painting of album on Manchester’s Ian Curtis mural


Manchester rapper Aitch has apologized for inadvertently painting a mural of Joy Division’s Ian Curtis with an advert for his new album Close to the house. The advert went live in Manchester’s Northern Quarter on Port Street today ahead of the album’s Friday release date. “It appeared that the iconic Ian Curtis mural on Port Street was painted with my album cover,” Aitch tweeted. “This is the first time I’ve heard of this, me and my team are working on this straight away. I wouldn’t want to disrespect a local hero like Ian in any way. The rapper also said that he didn’t know where the ad would be placed, but that he would rectify the situation immediately.”Thank you,” Curtis’ former teammate Peter Hook replied on Twitter.

Democrats push for Secret Service records, hint at subpoena – WABE


Leading congressional Democrats are demanding that the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security turn over information about deleted Secret Service text messages related to the January 6, 2012 attack on the Capitol, accusing him of using delaying tactics to block their investigation.

In a letter released Tuesday, leaders of the House Oversight and Homeland Security committees said they were prepared to subpoena Inspector General Joseph Cuffari if he did not comply with their demands.

Lawmakers are pushing for Cuffari to provide records and testimony about alleged efforts to cover up the erasure of Secret Service communications related to the Jan. 6 attack.

They also want Cuffari to recuse himself from the department’s internal investigation into text processing.

“Your obstruction of committee investigations is unacceptable, and your justifications for this noncompliance appear to reflect a fundamental misunderstanding of the authority of Congress and your duties as Inspector General,” the chairman of the oversight of the Congress wrote. House, Carolyn Maloney, and Homeland Security Chairman, Bennie Thompson. in the letter.

“If you continue to refuse to comply with our requests, we will have no choice but to consider alternative measures to ensure your compliance,” they wrote.

The renewed request comes a week after Cuffari told the committee he would seek legal advice before providing internal documents about his office’s ongoing investigation or making his staff available for transcribed interviews with lawmakers.

“Sharing information about ongoing criminal investigations could impact potential witnesses or others who may be involved in the investigative process,” Cuffari wrote in an Aug. 8 letter to the two committees. . “To protect the integrity of our work and preserve our independence, we do not share information about ongoing cases, such as the information you have requested in your letters.”

This is just the latest back-and-forth on text messages since mid-July, when Cuffari sent a letter to Congress revealing that Secret Service text messages sent and received around January 6, 2021 have been deleted despite requests. Congress and federal investigators. that they are preserved.

Since then, both House committees say they have obtained evidence that shows the Inspector General’s office was first made aware of the missing Secret Service text messages as part of its investigation into the attack on the Capitol. American, in May 2021.

They say emails between senior IG Homeland Security officials show the agency – which oversees the Secret Service – decided to abandon efforts to retrieve those text messages in July 2021, nearly a year. year before informing Congress that they had been erased.

Lawmakers want answers on why surveillance officials chose “not to seek critical information from the Secret Service at this stage of this investigation,” and have decided to renew their request to DHS for some text messages only more than four months later in December 2021.

The deletion of the messages raised the prospect of lost evidence that could shed more light on then-President Donald Trump’s actions during the insurgency, particularly after testimony about his confrontation with security as he attempted to join supporters at the Capitol. There are now two congressional investigations into the handling of these communications by the Secret Service and DHS.

The missing texts are also the focus of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack, of which Thompson is chairman.

The Secret Service has since turned over a slew of files and documents to the committee investigating the Capitol uprising, but only one text message between agents the day before the attack and as a crowd of rioters broke into the Capitol building on January 6.

The Secret Service insisted that proper procedures were followed. Agency spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said last month that “the insinuation that the Secret Service maliciously deleted text messages following a request is false.”

Maloney and Thompson told Cuffari that its “failure to comply with our outstanding demands has no legal justification and is unacceptable.”

They have given his office until Aug. 23 to provide “all relevant documents” and make staff available for interviews before lawmakers issue a subpoena to Congress.

Phone numbers and SMS codes of 1,900 Signal app users potentially leaked


Encrypted chat service Signal reports that 1,900 users may have had their phone number leaked due to hackers breaching Twilio, a service provider for the messaging app.

Additionally, the same users may have had the necessary SMS codes to register the Signal app on a leaked smartphone to hackers. In the wrong hands, the exposed information paves the way for an attacker “to save a Signal user’s phone number to a new device if that user hadn’t enabled the record lock,” or what amounts to a risk of diversion, the messaging app says.

“Among the 1,900 phone numbers, the attacker explicitly searched for three numbers, and we received a report from one of those three users that their account was re-registered,” Signal said. said(Opens in a new window). “In the event that an attacker could re-register an account, they could send and receive Signal messages from that phone number.”

As a result, Signal is contacting the 1,900 affected users about the potential data exposure via an SMS message. Vulnerable users will also need to re-register the Signal app on their smartphones.

The potential breach is troubling because many Signal users expect the encrypted chat app to protect their privacy. The app is best known for offering end-to-end encryption, which means Signal itself can’t even read your messages. But the app has long required consumers to use a real phone number when signing up, which has come under criticism.

Signal uses Twilio’s SMS messaging to verify phone numbers for new sign-ups on the app. Twilio says pirates infiltrate(Opens in a new window) the company’s computer systems earlier this month by successfully phishing some company employees. The resulting breach led to hackers temporarily gaining access to data belonging to 125 Twilio corporate customers before they were booted from the system.

In its defense, Signal points out that the Twilio breach only affected a small number of victims compared to its user base of approximately 40 million(Opens in a new window). The app’s end-to-end encryption also ensured that attackers had no way of accessing users’ private messages.

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“All users can rest assured that their message history, contact lists, profile information, people they have blocked and other personal data remains private and secure and has not been affected” , said the messaging app. wrote(Opens in a new window) on a support page.

Signal also encourages users to enable the “record lock(Opens in a new window)” on the Signal app. This will effectively lock the Signal app to your smartphone, eliminating the risk of hijacking. “We created this feature to protect users against threats such as the Twilio attack,” the messaging service adds.

“While we don’t have the ability to directly address issues affecting the telecommunications ecosystem, we will work with Twilio and potentially other vendors to strengthen their security where it matters to our users,” Signal says.

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Text-Based MFA Has Many Security Issues / World of Digital Information


Password protection was once the gold standard for keeping you safe online, but it has recently fallen out of favor due to brute force attacks making passwords difficult to protect. Multi-factor authentication creates a new layer of security that’s useful because it’s the kind of thing that could potentially end up making things more complicated for potential malicious actors. Despite this being the case, using SMS-based MFA codes might not be as secure as many assumed.

Black Hat researchers recently revealed that there is a technique known as “smishsmash” that can make it very easy for hackers to access MFA codes sent via SMS. Smishing is a form of phishing that uses text messaging to send you a link that would give away all of your login information to a malicious actor, and with all of that said and now out of the way, it’s important to note that this makes MFA considerably less secure.

Spoofing a text message is remarkably easy with all things having been considered and accounted for. Also, people tend to trust text messages they receive much more than emails, so they would be more likely to enter requested details without realizing the risk it may pose to them.

A much more secure method for MFA is to use texts sent through an authenticator app, and the main advantage of this method is that it is quite difficult for malicious actors to spoof notifications if you are using one. Businesses that require their customers to use 2FA or MFA should be encouraged to avoid SMS-based codes in favor of the much more secure authentication enforcement method.

It just goes to show that security improvements will be useless if they don’t take into account all the different factors. MFA is important, but it won’t provide the required security if malicious actors can use phishing techniques to get their hands on the login code. It is therefore essential to make the change as soon as possible.

H/T: PC Mag

Read next: New ‘invisible finger’ may soon attack your touchscreen devices without even touching it

AICPA Tackles ‘Dropping’ Level of Service with Priority Service Hotline for IRS Practitioners


The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) submitted a letter to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regarding the drop in service level of the Practitioner Priority Service (PPS) phone line and providing recommendations for improvement. Despite recent efforts by the IRS to ease the burden the backlog has caused on taxpayers and practitioners, the AICPA notes that service levels of the practitioner priority service phone line have been in steady decline for several years.

“We hear every day from tax practitioners about their significant PPS line challenges and the impact of those challenges on their interactions with the IRS on behalf of taxpayers,” the letter said. The AICPA submitted comments on specific PPS line challenges and provided suggestions to improve the experience for tax practitioners and IRS customer service representatives in the following areas:

  • Power of attorney (POA) issues
    • If, at the start of a PPS call, the practitioner indicates that their power of attorney is likely not on file, provide a fax number to the practitioner at the start of the call.
    • When a delegated proxy is presented and appears in order, do not require the first proxy to be posted to the central authorization file before acknowledging the delegated proxy.
    • Ensure that PPS customer service representatives are consistently trained in the appropriate taxpayer business entity titles.
    • The IRS should allow the use of powers of attorney signed by the taxpayer and the calling representative – even if they are not yet signed by the other listed representatives.
  • Transcripts
    • Restore the provision of internal screen-print type transcripts over the phone during PPS calls.
    • Restore the IRS message line (transcripts).
    • Eliminate the “line of law” – the line used to provide interpretations of the law.
  • Account management versus automated collection system
    • Restore the ability to grant cycle locks with account management staff.
    • Empower automated collection systems to resolve more account issues.
    • Authorize PPS customer service representatives to issue 180-day holds when correspondence has been sent.
  • General recommendations
    • Re-staff the PPS line with highly trained and highly empowered personnel.
    • Stop asking practitioners for their social security number and date of birth.
    • Improve the new automatic reminder system.
    • Empower PPS customer service representatives from a single line to handle all types of calls, whether corporate master files, individual master files, or exempt organizations.
    • Require that all PPS customer service representatives accept and consider the submission of correspondence, documentation and other communications by taxpayers or their representatives through electronic or facsimile services.
    • Authorize PPS customer service representatives to process and release extensions.
    • Offer more availability to supervisors.
    • Allow PPS customer service representatives to manage international issues and international taxpayers and allow representatives to apply a first abatement in international situations, such as international sanctions.
    • Prohibit PPS customer service representatives from answering a call when their shift ends in the next 15 minutes.
    • Investigate some systemic call response issues.

“The recommendations we provided to the IRS are important adjustments that could significantly improve service for countless practitioners and their clients. They would also serve to empower customer service representatives and enable them to perform their duties more effectively,” said AICPA Vice President, Tax Policy and Advocacy, Edward Karl, CPA, CGMA. “We strongly urge the IRS to consider implementing these recommendations as part of its plan to reduce the backlog and improve services and believe this will have a significant positive impact on the services provided by the IRS. “

Police beaten for Saturday August 13


The following people are wanted on arrest warrants, according to various sheriff’s departments. The addresses given are the last known addresses provided by the money orders and may be outdated.

• Jonathan L. Well, 36, of 1921 N. Illinois Route 78 is wanted on a warrant charging him with failing to appear in court for driving while license is revoked and operating an uninsured motor vehicle. Authorities said he was also wanted in Montgomery County.

He is a Caucasian male, 6 feet 6 inches tall and weighing 220 pounds. He has brown hair and blue eyes.

• Ryan E. Dokka, 38, of 1652 Old Airport Road is wanted on a warrant charging him with trying to evade a peace officer.

He is a white man standing 6 feet tall and weighing 160 pounds. He has blond hair and blue eyes.

Submit tips anonymously at tipsubmit.com, by calling 217-243-7300 or by texting CRIMES (274637) with “payment” as the first word of the tip.


Morgan County



• Joshua E. Turner, 44, of 816 W. 11th St., Beardstown, was arrested at 5.50pm on August 6 for battery after being charged with kicking a person’s ankle in the 800 block of Main Street in Meredonia.


• MPs are investigating a report that someone dumped rubbish in Concord Cemetery on Sunday.

Jacksonville Police


• Perry Handy, 48, of 1117 E. Morton Ave. was arrested at 4:57 a.m. Thursday in the 1200 block of Lincoln Avenue for possession of methamphetamine and driving with a revoked or suspended license.


• Mankila Y. Hart, 25, of Jacksonville was cited for improper lane use after the car she was driving and the car being driven by Shay E. McGarvey, 37, of Jacksonville collided at 8:28 p.m. Thursday in the 200. block of West Beecher Ave.

• Ann M. Moreno, 54, of Jacksonville was cited for improper use of lanes and driving an uninsured motor vehicle after the car she was driving left the road at 9:59 p.m. Wednesday and hit a utility pole on Lafayette and Westgate Avenues. .


• A scooter was stolen between 7:00 p.m. Thursday and 6:00 a.m. Friday in the 300 block of West Beecher Avenue.

• Firearms were stolen from a resident of the 400 block of East Lafayette Avenue, according to a report filed at 9:11 p.m. Wednesday.

Cass County

Beardstown Police


• Levi M. Kessel, 23, of Littleton was cited July 27 for driving with a license suspension.

• Jermaine D. Campbell, 35, of Beardstown was arrested July 18 for battery.

• Alex F. Fisher, 48, of Beardstown was cited July 20 for driving while license is revoked, driving while license is suspended and disobeying a stop sign.

• Darla A. Downs, 40, of Springfield was arrested July 17 for disorderly conduct and assault.

• Mainukuoro Leopold, 36, of Beardstown was arrested on July 7 for driving under the influence, driving under the influence aggravated and without a driver’s license.

• Russell J. Wubker, 53, of Beardstown was cited July 15 for disorderly conduct.

• William S. White, 42, of Beardstown was arrested July 14 on charges of driving under the influence, possession of cannabis and improper use of lanes.

• Jason W. Hawk, 44, of Beardstown was arrested July 13 on charges of failing to register.

• Derrick James, 25, of Beardstown was cited on July 12 on a charge of not having a valid registration.

• Agustin Urguiza, 19, of Beardstown was cited on July 7 for disobeying a stop sign and possessing adult-use cannabis while driving a motor vehicle.

Compiled by David CL Bauer

Phil Weiser files written arguments in Supreme Court case of company seeking to deny services to same-sex couples


Colorado’s attorney general presented his office’s arguments on Friday for an upcoming U.S. Supreme Court case involving a Denver-area graphic designer who claims the state’s anti-discrimination laws infringe on her rights. to freedom of expression.

Phil Weiser, in a written brief, argued that Colorado’s public accommodation law does not violate the protected freedom of speech of business owners. Lorie Smith, owner of 303 Creative, a graphic design company, is asking the Supreme Court to grant her the right to post a message on her website stating that she will not design wedding websites for same-sex couples because of his religious beliefs. .

“In essence, 303 Creative doesn’t want to offer its services equally to all customers,” Weiser said at a press conference, where he laid out his case for state law. “Advertising that effectively says ‘straight couples only’ is not protected speech under the First Amendment.”

Weiser’s filing is a small procedural step forward in the case, which has been making its way through Colorado courts for years. Last year, the Denver-based 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that Smith’s request would violate Colorado’s anti-discrimination law and that the law itself does not violate the First Amendment. .

Smith appealed the decision. In February, the Supreme Court agreed to take up the free speech issue in the case, but not the religious freedom aspect.

In other words, judges will decide whether enforcing Colorado’s public accommodations law that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation violates the First Amendment’s free speech clause.

Smith and his lawyers argue so.

“This lawsuit is about protecting the right of every American to speak their minds without fear of government punishment,” said Jake Warner, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom, the conservative legal group representing Smith.

The case is similar to the 2018 Masterpiece Cakeshop case, in which a Lakewood baker was sued after he refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. Unlike Masterpiece, Smith’s case was filed before she launched her wedding website design business.

Both sides believe the case could potentially settle the constitutional issue of whether creative professionals are required to take commissions for same-sex ceremonies, regardless of their religious views on such unions.

“I’ve been waiting nearly six years to create and design websites to celebrate weddings without Colorado forcing me to say something I don’t believe,” Smith wrote in a National Review column earlier this year. . “I’m not just defending my own freedom to speak freely. Just as I don’t want to be forced to say something contrary to my core beliefs, I don’t believe anyone else should either.

If legal precedent is any indication, Smith could face an uphill battle in the nation’s highest court. The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of state anti-discrimination laws for decades.

Weiser said his office plans to build on that story.

“Regulating conduct to prohibit discrimination is a protected activity and it’s really critical that we don’t break that line,” Weiser said. “When a business says we are open to the public, it means they must serve all members of the public.”

ADF, the organization representing Smith, will now have the opportunity to file a response to Weiser’s brief. Both parties are expected to present their closing arguments in October.

CPR’s Allison Sherry contributed to this report.

What could go wrong? Plenty


Multi-factor authentication is fancy these days. All websites ask you to enable it, and with good reason. When a data breach exposes your password as “password”, bad guys still won’t access your account because they don’t have the other authentication factor. This is usually a code texted to your phone or sent through an authenticator app.

These two methods seem similar, but the first one turns out to be a big security risk. In an engaging team presentation to Black hatThomas Olofsson and Mikael Byström, CTO and Head of OSINT at FYEO, respectively, demonstrated a technique they call smishmash to prove that using text messaging for your second factor is very risky.

What is FYEO? What is OSINT? What is Smishing?

According to its website, FYEO is “Cybersecurity for Web 3.0”, which means it promotes a decentralized internet, as well as decentralized finance and security. FYEO is also used by some to mean for your eyes only – shades of James Bond!

As for OSINT, it is the abbreviation of open source intelligence, and the term was very present at Black Hat. It means collecting and analyzing freely available information to develop useful intelligence. It’s amazing what a dedicated researcher can find based on information that is in no way hidden.

You’ve heard of phishing, the technique where clever scammers trick you into logging into a replica banking or other secure site, stealing your login credentials. Phishing links usually come from emails, but SMS messages are sometimes the vector. In this case, we use the beautiful term of smishing.

Why are the texts not secure?

“We call it smishmash because it’s a mix of techniques,” says Olofsson. “SMS for two-factor authentication [2FA] is broken. This is not news; it’s been broken from the start. It was never intended for this use. We’ve been spoofing text messages for as long as we’ve been hacking. It’s just that now we are seeing militarization.

Text messages have higher implicit trust than email scams, and therefore a higher success rate, he notes. Olofsson reviewed several newsworthy breaches involving smishing and 2FA, including a major theft of NFT from OpenSea. “We are seeing a huge increase in the number of smishing attacks,” he says. “How many of you received an unsolicited text message last week? Your phone numbers are increasingly leaked.

“What we have done [is combine] research on the clear-net and the darknet to create a huge database,” Byström explains.

“While doing this research, we received so much spam,” adds Olofsson. “Even ‘Do you want to buy the Black Hat participant list?’ We’ve brought the price down below $100.”

“The leaked credentials were previously username and password,” says Olofsson. “Now if you have a hacked username, password and phone number, you have a very good chance of breaking 2FA. We have a database of 500 million phone numbers, so we can link one in five email addresses to a phone number.

How does a 2FA breach work?

“The most common way to trick 2FA is to initiate a password reset and then trick the device,” says Olofsson. “We looked at six real attacks and three involve account takeover. In general, the account recovery process is very lax. »

SMS was developed in the 80s and the first SMS was sent in 1992. “It was never designed to be secure. There is no checksum, no sender verification, nothing. And there are many ways to text,” he says. “Manually through your phone, duh. Send it through a modem with an old phone. Or use an API service.”

This usurpation is what the duo demonstrated to Black Hat. Afterwards, Olofsson pointed out that you can just buy the technology to perform these attacks. “For $160 you can buy custom hardware from Alibaba to do this,” he says, viewing a page from the site. “Even those who can deal with 64 attacks at once. They can usurp the IMEI, spoof the SMS sender. It’s sort of a well-known secret, they’re actually marketing them.

The team reviewed some technical methods and services that organizations could use to protect against this attack, although it is clear that the best solution is to simply avoid relying on SMS. They also offered the entire database, complete with hashed and unreadable passwords, to Black Hat participants, so anyone could check to see if their phone number was exposed. Fully accredited security researchers can negotiate access to the full, unhashed version.

The lesson is clear. For any site that gives you a choice, don’t opt ​​for SMS authentication. If it’s a large account that has no other choice, such as your bank, contact the organization and tell them to do better.

Editor’s Note: After this article was published, Oloffson and Byström contacted us with a link for the public to verify their own phone numbers. Just click on this linkclick on this link and enter your phone number without punctuation, including the country code at the beginning (+1 for US numbers).

Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: here are the new features of the Samsung device


The Galaxy Watch 5 series will be launched in two weeks, and it is known as one of the most anticipated smartwatches to release this year, after the series 4 last year. Two models will be released this August 26, the Galaxy Watch 5 and the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, which feature longer battery life, improved durability, and skin temperature sensors.

(Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 7: The new Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is shown during a launch event at Barclays Center on August 7, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.

Improved specs over last year

With a 361mAh battery from last year, the Watch Series 5 offers much improved battery life with 410mAh for the Watch 5 and 590mAh for the Pro model. Another feature users should pay attention to is skin temperature, which is new to the Galaxy Watch. This will be added to Samsung’s health metrics to give users further options so they can achieve changes in their well-being.

This new series also features a new and improved design with its various color options including graphite, sapphire, rose gold, and silver. Due to the Pro model’s larger battery, it’s much thicker, bigger, and heavier than the Watch 5. The Pro model also highlights its titanium case (with a black or gray option) and stainless steel buckle. D.

Samsung also promised that this one will be more durable as it will be 60% harder than the previous ones due to its sapphire crystal quality (Aluminum for the Galaxy 5, Titanium for the Galaxy 5 Pro). Along with the specs, users have the option of LTE models, 5ATM water resistance, health sensors, and 16GB storage for music and apps.

Compatibility on different smartphones

The Apple Watch Series 8 is currently in the works and will launch in the coming months. If you, as an iPhone user, think the Galaxy Watch 5 Series will be a better alternative while waiting for its Apple Watch release, then you might want to rethink your choices because, according to CNET, the Watch 5 and the Watch 5 Pro will not work with iOS as it only fits Samsung devices and Android 8 or higher models with 1.5GB RAM.

However, older Samsung Watch models can work but with limitations as some apps are only partially supported in iOS such as text messaging, voice assistant, email and app store. TechTimes has provided a detailed tutorial on how to connect your Galaxy Watches to your iPhone.

Also read: Samsung Galaxy unboxed in August 2022: Double the number of foldables with the Galaxy Z Flip 4

Perfect match for Galaxy Watch 5 series

The Galaxy Watch 5 will start at $280 to $330, while $450 to $500 for the Pro model. Pre-ordering for the series begins today, and with that, pre-ordering for the Galaxy Z Flip 4, which will also be released on August 26. This phone will be a good match with the Watch 5 series as it will be launched at the same time. This phone features “Nightography” and the FlexCam which is already connected to Instagram. The foldable smartphone costs $999.

Related article: Samsung Galaxy unboxed August 2022: Breakthrough audio improvements with Galaxy Buds2 Pro

This article belongs to TechTimes

Written by Inno Flores

ⓒ 2022 TECHTIMES.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Teenager’s death is latest tragedy in flood-ravaged Kentucky


The mysterious death of a high school athlete who spent days helping fellow Eastern Kentucky people clean up historic flooding has added another layer of grief to the tragedy.

On Wednesday, Aaron “Mick” Crawford was counted as the 38th person to die from flash floods that washed away homes and engulfed communities last month in the Appalachian region. The teenager’s death was a crushing loss, said Perry County Sheriff Joe Engle, his friend and pastor.

“It was just a joy to be with him,” the sheriff said Wednesday.

When Engle last contacted his 18-year-old friend, Crawford asked where he could step in to help victims as floodwaters rose.

For three days, the high school footballer and wrestler helped clean up the floods before suddenly falling ill. He died late last week and was officially added to the list of those who died following Wednesday’s flooding.

Crawford’s death came days after he fell ill. His mother, Ronda Crawford, told the Lexington Herald-Leader that her son “went into cardiac arrest.”

The family still does not know what caused Crawford’s death, media reported.

The kid who loved superheroes — even making his own costumes — and aspired to be a conservation officer immediately wanted to help others as rain flooded the area, Engle said by phone Wednesday. Last month’s deluge dropped 8 to 10.5 inches (20.3 to 26.7 centimeters) of rain in just 48 hours, releasing floodwaters that caused widespread destruction.

“As soon as we realized there was a major disaster here, he messaged me,” the sheriff said. “I’m not even sure it had stopped raining yet by the time he messaged me on Facebook. He said, ‘Wanting to know where to go. Wanting to know where to help.

“And that was actually the last time I spoke to him.”

During a visit to eastern Kentucky on Wednesday, Gov. Andy Beshear said the teenager’s death had been added to the tally of flood deaths. A relief fund established by the governor for the disaster area will pay funeral expenses for Crawford’s family, as it has done for the families of other victims. Beshear said Kentuckians mourn the teenager and “every one of the 38 individuals who are lost.”

Meanwhile, Kentucky lawmakers are drafting legislation to aid the devastated region. Asked about the measure’s progress on Wednesday, State Senate Speaker Robert Stivers replied, “We’re getting there.” A bill is circulating among lawmakers, ahead of a special legislative session that Beshear intends to call, likely within the next month.

“Whenever he’s ready, we’ll be ready to go,” House Pro Tem Speaker David Meade said Wednesday.

On Monday, President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden saw some of the destruction for herself as she toured the area to meet with families and first responders. The president said the nation has an obligation to help all of its residents, saying the federal government will provide support until residents are back on their feet.

As the cleansing continues, so does the mourning. Crawford’s funeral is Thursday.

Crawford, known as “Mick”, lived in Jeff, a town in Perry County. Engle, who served as the youngster’s pastor at Blair Memorial Baptist Church, said Crawford was witty, fun and “strong as a bear”. Engle recalled that Crawford sometimes used his wrestling moves against him, until his mother told him to “rest up, you’re going to hurt the preacher”.

But he was also serious about his Bible studies, the sheriff said.

“He was way beyond his years when it came to his spiritual side,” Engle said. “He was kind of like a spiritually wise old man. He knew his Bible. He would go to Sunday school, but he could probably teach some of those Sunday school classes. That is to say how well he knew the Bible.

Crawford’s family told him that after three days of helping clean up the floods, Crawford came home exhausted, complaining that his arms were heavy, the sheriff said. He was eventually placed on a ventilator, according to media reports.

Engle will speak at the funeral, but another pastor will conduct the service. Engle said he didn’t think he could “get through the serve and hold on without crying and being able to get a message across.” That’s how close we were.

“He’s a superhero to me,” Engle said.

Cloudflare thwarts SMS phishing attack with security keys


Internet infrastructure provider Cloudflare says it prevented a phishing scheme from compromising the company’s network, thanks to the hardware security keys it issued to all employees.

According to Cloudflare, the hacking attempt was likely part of the same SMS phishing scheme that breached Twilio, which the company has publicly disclosed. disclosed(Opens in a new window) In Monday.

“Around the same time Twilio was attacked, we saw an attack with very similar characteristics also targeting Cloudflare employees,” Cloudflare wrote in a post. blog post(Opens in a new window) tuesday. “This was a sophisticated attack targeting employees and systems in such a way that we believe most organizations would be susceptible to hacking.”

Twilio and Cloudflare are now warning that the SMS phishing scheme is targeting employees of multiple companies. The attack comes via SMS messages claiming to be from the employer himself. In the case of Cloudflare, hackers tricked three employees into entering their company’s passwords into a fake login form.

The fake login used by hackers. (Credit: Cloudflare)

But even so, the attackers failed to breach Cloudflare because of these security keys. Unlike two-factor authentication codes, which can be shared online, a hardware key is a physical device. It is often designed to fit into a PC’s USB drive and adds an extra step to the login process that cannot be digitally phished.

In Cloudflare’s case, that meant hackers couldn’t break in unless they could physically steal a security key from one of the phished employees. “While the attacker attempted to log into our systems with the compromised username and password, he was unable to exceed the hardware key requirement,” Cloudflare explains.

At least 76 Cloudflare employees received the attackers’ phishing text messages. The messages specifically said: “Alert!! Your Cloudflare calendar has been updated, please tap cloudflare-okta.com to view your changes. However, cloudflare-okta.com was actually a hacker-controlled domain hosting a fake login page capable of stealing passwords.

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The phishing message

Text messages hackers sent to Cloudflare employees. (Credit: Cloudflare)

The phishing technique was also designed to defeat two-factor authentication systems. Cloudflare points out that the attacker’s fake login page may display a prompt for time-based one-time passcodes. “The employee would then enter the TOTP code on the phishing site, and this would also be passed to the attacker,” the company said. “The attacker could then, before the TOTP code expires, use it to access the actual company login page.”

It remains unclear who was behind the SMS phishing scheme and how they gained access to the cell phone numbers belonging to so many Cloudflare employees. But Cloudflare data shows the attacker used a Windows 10 machine running Mullvad VPN during the failed connection attempts.

The company added that it had not experienced a breach since rolling out hardware security keys for all employees. For more information on how security keys work, see our reviews.

SecurityWatch newsletter for our top privacy and security stories delivered right to your inbox.","first_published_at":"2021-09-30T21:22:09.000000Z","published_at":"2022-03-24T14:57:33.000000Z","last_published_at":"2022-03-24T14:57:28.000000Z","created_at":null,"updated_at":"2022-03-24T14:57:33.000000Z"})" x-show="showEmailSignUp()" class="rounded bg-gray-lightest text-center md:px-32 md:py-8 p-4 mt-8 container-xs">

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Brands and retailers are now able to predict when to text consumers and what to text them


American retail technology company Bluecore, which aims to turn occasional shoppers into lifelong customers for the world’s biggest retail brands, has launched Bluecore Mobile. The company that previously replaced instant messaging with 100% personalized communications across email, digital ads and e-commerce sites is now doing the same on mobile. For the first time ever, brands can enable their data to send the right messages and recommendations to every shopper via SMS.

Mobile devices are the bridge between digital and in-person interactions, but communicating with shoppers via mobile messaging remains a new frontier for most retail brands. While mobile traffic and engagement are growing, conversions are lagging. This is partly because shoppers have a low tolerance for irrelevant brand notifications, especially when they receive them in this very intimate, but potentially invasivee–mobile context. Yet brands and retailers are still sending mass (one-to-many) messaging, an approach that contradicts shoppers’ expectations that the brands they engage recommend products and offers specifically for them.

Bluecore’s shopper-first approach to mobile marketing is an alternative to the growing number of point solutions specializing in sending undifferentiated SMS/MMS messages to large customer lists. Unlike existing solutions, Bluecore Mobile™ can only leverage SMS when the platform predicts that mobile is the channel most likely to engage or convert buyers.

Bluecore Mobile is an extension of the company’s core retail AI model, which acts on live shopper signals (or activity) to deliver precision messaging to shoppers wherever they are. With an unparalleled understanding of ever-changing shopper behaviors and live product catalog data, Bluecore enables retailers to deliver the same types of personalized, predictive messaging on mobile that shoppers receive in email, on-site communications and digital advertisements (think: abandoned cart, back-in-stock, price drops, category affinity).

Bluecore Mobile drives retail growth by extending to mobile the consistent and personal experiences shoppers are used to receiving elsewhere in their journey:

Identify and acquire new buyers with SMS and MMS

Bluecore Mobile introduces a frictionless way to acquire people on mobile through its Tap-2-Join technology. Sign-up prompts appear on owned and third-party digital channels, including brand websites, as well as advertisements and social media, for further list growth. Brands using Bluecore Mobile™ in the first pilot saw a 50% increase in subscribers to their existing SMS audience lists.

Bluecore is the first in the industry to help retailers be more efficient with their mobile messaging spend so they can send and spend less, and get more in return. Its channel affinity model allows the platform to predict when shoppers will be most likely to engage on mobile (compared to other channels), so brands can optimize their channel mix and maximize engagement with the text messages they send. For retail brands with millions of shoppers, this AI-powered predictive targeting optimizes text messaging spend, where indiscriminately sending “more” to entire lists of shoppers, regardless of outcome, is a expensive strategy.

Send fewer messages, but get more conversions

Bluecore Mobile is able to predict shoppers’ likelihood to purchase based on their affinity with things like a specific product category, availability of discounts, and other factors. Armed with this information, Bluecore can tailor text messages to factors that actually convert individual buyers, rather than sending blanket discounts or recommending the same product to every buyer. Brands in the first pilot saw up to 4x increase in conversion rates.

Bluecore enables retailers to turn mobile into a personal, handheld shopping experience that is non-intrusive and even welcomed by shoppers. Bluecore uses predictive AI models to provide recommendations tailored to shoppers’ exact preferences, down to category, price, size, and other factors, all with the goal of driving repeat purchases. Conversely, if a product is out of stock in a buyer’s size or other preferences are unavailable, Bluecore Mobile™ automatically chooses not to recommend it.

“Shoppers have the same wants, needs and preferences no matter where they interact with brands, but their experiences are often fragmented as they move between channels,” says Fayez Mohamood, CEO from Bluecore. “We decided to solve this problem by focusing on the buyers rather than the channel they are on. Our mobile solution is the newest addition to the larger ecosystem we’ve built to make personalized shopper-specific messaging ubiquitous across all channels where brands connect and build relationships with shoppers. This results in more personal experiences that keep shoppers coming back for more.

Ultimately, Bluecore Mobile is another lever within the Bluecore platform to increase metrics that result in retail brand growth: first-time purchases, repeat purchases, and customer lifetime value. This approach covers the mobile environment and all other digital channels where more shoppers are discovering, reviewing and purchasing products.

>>> Did you know that we print Telemedia Magazine quarterly. Free for advanced readers. Essential reading for any business that wants to engage users, monetize content, and drive sales of VAS and premium apps. Download the current issue.

Death Valley inundated by record flooding, stranding around 1,000 people in the park



Death Valley National Park was closed on Saturday after exceptional amounts of rain inundated the park on Friday, triggering flash flooding that left around 1,000 park visitors and staff stranded.

The park received 1.46 inches of precipitation in the Furnace Creek area – just below the previous calendar day record of 1.47 inches, set on April 15, 1988. That’s about three-quarters of what the area receives typically in an average year, 1.94 inches, and is the highest amount ever recorded in August. The lowest, driest, and hottest place in the United States, Death Valley averages just 0.11 inches of rain in August.

The National Park Service said in a news release on Saturday that roads in the national park remain closed, but “visitors who were previously unable to leave area hotels [were] able to hunt cautiously with law enforcement escorts. He said the water had receded in most areas of the park and “extensive deposits of mud and gravel” remained.

Saturday morning “everything is fine,” said Nikki Jones, an assistant waiter at a restaurant in the park’s Ranch Inn, who also lives there and posted a video of his colleague’s Twitter flood. Jones told the Washington Post that the floodwaters receded Friday afternoon, but light debris remains on the roads.

“CalTrans did an amazing job of cleaning it up as soon as possible,” she told the Post in a Twitter post. “Drove the roads today.”

Jones said some people are stranded at the Inn at the Oasis due to car bombs, “but people can get out of the park today.”

“Flood waters pushed dumpsters into parked cars, causing the cars to crash into each other,” the National Park Service said in a statement Friday. “In addition, many facilities are flooded, including hotel rooms and commercial offices.

The torrent was triggered by the southwest monsoon, which develops each summer when prevailing winds shift from west to south, drawing a wave of moisture north. This moisture can fuel vigorous downpours that smother the parched desert landscape. Because there is little soil to absorb the rains, any measurable rain can cause flooding in low-lying areas, and heavier rains can accumulate in normally dry streams, triggering flash floods.

This year’s southwest monsoon was particularly intense, which helped relieve drought conditions in the region, but also led to extensive flooding. Severe flooding recently affected areas around Las Vegas and Phoenix.

Las Vegas floods send water gushing into casinos

The Death Valley flood also comes amid a series of extreme rain events across the lower 48 states. In the week spanning late July to early August, three 1 in 1,000 rainfall events occurred – flooding St. Louis, eastern Kentucky and southeastern Illinois. Earlier this summer, Yellowstone National Park was also flooded.

How two 1 in 1,000 year rain events hit the United States in two days

Death Valley holds the record for the highest temperature ever recorded on Earth, along with several runners-up. Officially, Death Valley reached 134 degrees on July 10, 1913, but some climatologists have questioned the legitimacy of that reading. The next highest temperature on record, 131 degrees from Kebili, Tunisia, set on July 7, 1931, is also controversial. Last summer and the summer before, Death Valley reached 130 degrees, which could be the highest reliably measured pair of temperatures on Earth if the readings for Tunisia in 1931 and the Valley of the Death of 1913 are not taken into account.

Death Valley soars to 130 degrees, matching Earth’s highest temperature in at least 90 years

Rains inundated the park, trapping vehicles in debris, according to a video tweeted by John Sirlin, an Arizona-based storm chaser. He wrote that roads were blocked by boulders and fallen palm trees and visitors struggled for six hours to leave the park.

Earlier this week, flash flooding hit parts of western Nevada, forcing the closure of some roads leading to the park from Las Vegas. Flash flooding also hit parts of northern Arizona.

Flash floods close roads in Death Valley National Park

Sirlin told The Associated Press that Friday’s rain started around 2 a.m. and was “more extreme than anything I’ve seen out there.”

“There were at least two dozen cars that were run over and stuck in there,” he said, adding that he had seen washouts running several feet deep although he hadn’t seen no one injured, and the NPS reported no injuries Friday.

Rare summer rain last July also drenched Death Valley, bringing 0.74 inches a day to Furnace Creek about two weeks after the park set the world record for the hottest average daily temperature, at 118.1 degrees Fahrenheit.

Desert showers: Rare summer rain soaked Death Valley and parts of California on Monday

Scientists say that human-caused global warming is intensifying extreme precipitation events. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has found evidence that southwest monsoon rainfall has increased since the 1970s.

Silvis will offer a text messaging service to residents to report problems | Local News


Reporting issues to City of Silvis staff has become easier for residents.

The Town of Silvis offers residents to report issues through a text messaging service called TextMyGov. Residents can report a problem and attach photos to their request without having to call the town hall.

The text messaging service provides 24/7 support.

Residents can text the word “Hi” to 309-865-5550 to set up the automatic process. Issues that can be reported through the new service are potholes, litter, streetlights, signs, plows or yard waste.

The text messaging service uses smart text messaging technology to provide automated responses and should not be used to report emergencies.

Arrest made in the fire at Silvis’s apartment from Saturday evening

Residents of the Silvis building displaced after a fire on Saturday evening

Town of Silvis Partners with WIU Students for Lead Service Line Replacement Project

How one of the oldest buildings in the Quad-Cities became the headquarters of the John Deere Classic

Across the Sky podcast: meet the meteorologists of the Lee Weather Team!

How to Use Authy: A Beginner’s Guide

Image: David/Adobe Stock

It is increasingly common for users to enable two-factor authorization when accessing their various accounts on the Internet. Adding 2FA over a simple password provides an added layer of security and protection against hacking and phishing attacks.

The popular Authy app has become the choice for many when managing their 2FA authentication. Below, we’ll cover how to use Authy and get it up and running quickly to provide your accounts with an extra layer of security.

Using Authy Mobile App and Desktop Version

Authy works on both mobile and desktop with the ability to sync your different devices together. This means that once synced, you can use the mobile version or your desktop when logging into any site that requires 2FA.

SEE: Password Breach: Why Pop Culture and Passwords Don’t Mix (Free PDF) (TechRepublic)

To get started, install the mobile version. To do this, go to the iOS App Store or Google Play Store and download Authy like you would any other app. Make sure to download the official version of Twilio.

Once downloaded, launch the app and you will be greeted by the main setup screen. This screen will ask for your country code and phone number (Figure A).

Figure A

Enter your mobile number.

Enter the phone number of your device, then validate. At this point, Authy will then need to verify your phone number by sending an SMS or a robocall. Once you have received the confirmation by SMS or voice call, enter it in the field provided.

Authy is now installed on your phone and you are ready to start adding accounts for 2FA authentication.

Configuring your accounts to use Authy for 2FA

Now you’ll want to start adding specific login accounts that you want Authy to protect. This process will vary slightly between different platforms and websites, but ultimately it is the same across all sites.

In this example, we’ll be using GitHub, but almost all web accounts work exactly the same.

In GitHub – or whatever account you choose to protect – go to your Account Settings area (Figure B). This is usually accessed by clicking on your account name or the three horizontal lines indicating a drop-down menu.

Figure B

Select Settings in your account profile

From there, click Passwords and Authentication (Figure C). In some menus, this option will be called Security.

Figure C

Select the Password and Authentication option.

On the next page, select Enable two-factor authentication (Figure D).

Figure D

Enable two-factor authentication.

At this point, most sites will ask if you want to use an app like Authy or use SMS (Figure E). In this case, we will select Authy.

Figure E

Choose the app option.

You will then be presented with a QR code (Figure F). This is the code you will scan from the Authy mobile app to link the two apps.

Figure F

QR Code for synchronization.

Return to the Authy mobile app. If this is a new install, the app will only show a + icon. Click on it to add a new account. Alternatively, click the menu in the top right and select Add Account (G-figure).


Select the + sign or Add account from the menu.

The app will then tell you that it is ready to scan the QR code. Click the blue bar that reads Scan QR Code (H-figure).


Click Scan QR Code.

Then just use your phone’s camera to scan the QR code on the screen. Authy will recognize the QR code and present you with a six-digit PIN to access the website (I figure).

I figure

Enter the code from the Authy app on the website.

Enter this code and you have completed the process of activating two-factor authentication with Authy. Each time you log into this account, you will need to enter the six-digit PIN code provided by Authy.

This is a constantly changing PIN code that resets every 15 seconds. The next time you log in, you will need to enter the new PIN provided by Authy before the code is reset. If it resets before logging in, just use the following code presented by the Authy app. Never share this PIN with anyone.

Using Authy on Desktops and Sync Devices

Now that Authy is set up on your phone, you’ll want to add your desktop computer so you can log into sites without having to always have your phone handy.

Start by clicking on the top right corner of the mobile app, then Settings. You will then want to click Activate Multiple Devices (Figure J).

Figure J

Enable Enable multiple devices.

When finished, go to Authy’s website on your desktop browser and click the download link at the top of the page. Then select your operating system, macOS or Windows. Once downloaded, you will install the program as you would any other application on your computer.

Authy will then load after being installed and the screen will be almost identical to the mobile version you just installed earlier.

On the first screen, enter your phone number again. Make sure it’s the same one you used to set up the Authy mobile app (Figure K).

Figure K

Enter your number for the Authy office.

Once entered, the Authy app on your phone will be notified and alert you that a new device wants to sync with the account (L-digit).


Accept your new device.

You will be asked to confirm this synchronization by manually typing OK. Do this and you will receive a confirmation page. The process is now complete and your Authy desktop is synced with your mobile version.

All accounts added with one device will be instantly shared across all devices you add.

Don’t forget to enable backups for Authy

There is another crucial step when using Authy that is sometimes not enabled by default. This is to enable a backup password. This is one of the most important steps because if your phone or device is lost or damaged, there will be no other way to recover your accounts than using this password.

To enable this feature, navigate to the top right corner of the mobile app and select Settings. From there, click Enable Backups (Figure M).

Figure M

Enable backups.

Note: On some new installations of Authy, the prompt to enable password backups may appear when trying to add your first website account. In this case, just create your password at this time.

This password is very important, so be sure to write it down, check that it is correct, and then store it in a safe place. There is no way to retrieve or retrieve this password. So, if you lose or forget it and your devices become unusable, you will not be able to access your website login accounts.

Once you’ve set up your backup password, that’s all there is to using Authy. If you add new accounts or devices in the future, the process will be exactly like the previous examples described in this guide.

Activating Patients with Targeted Messaging and Segmentation: A One Pediatrics Case Study


One Pediatrics serves patients in Louisville, Kentucky and surrounding counties. With multiple practices serving children and parents in Kentucky, the new Relatient programs have helped them maximize patient education, communications and planning.

One Pediatrics uses Relatient’s services to reach patients year-round. Kellie Doligale, the Care Coordinator, will find appropriate recipients for personalized messages based on the needs of the practitioner. “We write messages to people we haven’t seen in a while, or we also make it seasonal, like around vaccinations,” Doligale said. In addition to personalized and seasonal communications, Doligale implements a monthly birthday check, cross-references to see if those patients are due for a well visit, and then personalizes the message around those information points.

“We’ve had the most success using text messaging communication, we feel it reaches the most people and we get the best response from it,” Doligale said. “Because it’s a text message, we have to be careful about the length of the message.” The shorter message format requires clarity and conciseness.

Comments from all practices praise the communication system. “Our parents consistently report getting timely appointments,” Doligale said. Initially, One Pediatrics only allowed sick visit scheduling. However, once they saw its success, they extended the option of well tours as well. Practices also report lower no-show rates.

Potomac sisters die in Long Island house fire



Two Potomac sisters died in a New York City house fire early Wednesday morning while vacationing with their family.

The sisters, identified by police as Jillian, 21, and Lindsay, 19, were sleeping on the second floor of a Long Island rental home as the fire spread. Their parents, Lewis Wiener, 60, and Alisa Wiener, 52, and their brother, Zachary, 23, were able to escape the home and were transported with non-life-threatening injuries to the hospital, said Lt. Susan C of the City of Southampton Police Department. .Ralph.

There were smoke detectors in the house, but no one reported hearing them, Ralph said.

In the Washington area, their community mourned their deaths.

“The world lost two beautiful lights today, and we are heartbroken,” the clergy and leaders of the Washington Hebrew Congregation, where their father, attorney Lewis Wiener, known as name “Lew”, is president.

Jillian and Lindsay were both graduates of Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, where they were “warm and committed members of the Holton community who had a positive impact on their classrooms and on the school community as a whole,” Susanna A Jones, the school principal, writes in a message to the community.

The sisters were in college: Jillian was entering her senior year at the University of Michigan and Lindsay was returning to Tulane University for her sophomore year.

At Holton-Arms School, Jillian was involved in athletics, football and ice hockey, but found her passion in yoga and community service, Jones wrote. She was a certified yoga instructor and for her senior project she gave classes to younger students. She has also raised funds for families whose children have cancer.

Lindsay served as president of the school’s Community Service Club during the coronavirus pandemic and served as president of the Jewish Culture Club, Jones wrote.

“Lindsay was a brilliant mind and a leader, who was also dedicated to service, particularly involving young people in politics and generally promoting volunteerism,” Jones said.

Officers and firefighters responded to a call received around 3:35 a.m. that an occupied house was on fire. Upon arriving at the scene, they found the house “completely engulfed by three people who had escaped the fire”, police said.

Lewis Wiener woke up “to the sound of glass breaking and alerted the family to come out,” police said. He and his wife, Alisa, escaped from the bedroom where they were sleeping on the first floor. Their son, Zachary, jumped out of a second story window, Ralph said.

When Lewis Wiener realized his daughters were still inside, Ralph said he tried to rush to save them, but flames stood in his way.

“He burned his feet quite badly. He couldn’t come in,” Ralph said.

Firefighters found the sisters in separate locations on the second floor of the home, and first responders performed CPR at the scene, en route to the hospital and upon their arrival, Ralph said.

Police are investigating the circumstances of the fire, including the cause and why no one has reported hearing a fire alarm.

Abortion wins in Kansas, Trump gets challenger for Whitmer


Republicans who impeached Trump in a ballot

Three House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump face key opponents on Tuesday.

Michigan’s Peter Meijer voted to impeach Trump just days after being sworn in for his first term. Trump endorsed his opponent John Gibbs, a businessman who worked for Trump Housing Secretary Ben Carson.

Meijer is a member of the Army Reserve, he served in Iraq and has been critical of the Biden administration’s handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan and the economy. He is accused by his opponent of not being a true Republican for his impeachment vote.

In Washington, two Republicans, Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse, have been criticized by their state party since the impeachment vote.

The two candidates with the most votes in each primary, regardless of party, will advance to the November general election.

Beutler is a six-term congressman and now faces eight challengers, including four Republicans in the state’s third congressional district. Trump endorsed Joe Kent, a former Green Beret who promoted the 2020 voter fraud lies.

In an interview with ABC NewsBeutler said he “did what I felt I had to do” during Trump’s impeachment trial.

“I felt like it was a constitutional duty,” she said. “When you read your oath of office, it says you are going to protect it and you are going to defend it. And for me, regardless of party, it was extremely important to make sure that I would hold the same standard for a Republican as I would a Democrat.”

Newhouse is a four-term congressman from the state’s fourth congressional district. He faces seven challengers, including six Republicans.

One of his challengers is Loren Culp, a Trump-backed police chief who refused to concede the race for governor in 2020.

These primaries will be a test for non-Trump Republicans, after the former president vowed revenge on GOP lawmakers who sided with Democrats in the impeachment trial.

In an article in Truth Social, Trump called on voters to “clear the impeachment mud” on Tuesday.

Ten Republicans voted to impeach Trump in January 2021, following the events of the January 6 Capitol riot to stop election certification.

Of these, four have opted out of running for re-election this year. A Republican, Tom Rice of South Carolina, lost his primary to a Trump-backed candidate. California’s David Valadao defeated his challenger to qualify for the general election in the fall. Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming will face a Trump candidate in her state’s primary on August 16.

Former U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp linked to bogus Kansas abortion amendment text


TOPEKA — Former U.S. Representative Tim Huelskamp was behind the bogus constitutional amendment text message that angered Democrats on Monday, The Washington Post reports.

The newspaper traced the unsolicited text messages to a political tech firm called Alliance Forge and identified Huelskamp’s Do Right PAC as the client behind the campaign.

Huelskamp, ​​a Republican who represented the state in Congress from 2011 to 2017, did not immediately respond to a phone call and voicemail from Kansas Reflector seeking comment on the story.

State officials said using voter registration data to deliberately mislead voters does not violate state law, as lying is allowed in election ads, and text messages. unsolicited polling questions do not require senders to reveal their identity.

Twilio, the company whose services were used to send the message, said its anti-fraud team was investigating and taking “appropriate action” to stop the spread of misinformation.

Democrats were infuriated by the text message they received on Monday, which incorrectly said that “voting YES on the amendment will give women a choice.” A yes would end the right to terminate a pregnancy in Kansas and give the legislature the power to pass a total ban on abortion. A no vote would preserve the status quo, in which abortion is heavily regulated and legal up to 22 weeks gestation.

“It’s as dirty as it gets,” Davis Hammet, a voting rights advocate, said in a tweet. “Anti-Abortion Coalition Sends Last-Minute Mass Text To Pro-Choice Kansas Voters Blatantly Lying About Abortion Amendment To Get Them To Vote The Wrong Way.”

Bryan Caskey, the state’s Chief Electoral Officer, said the secretary of state’s office had filed dozens of complaints about the text message, but the office had no power, under US law. Kansas, to investigate the case.

Political operatives can purchase the Voter Registration File from the Office of the Secretary of State, a public record that includes names, party affiliation, and contact information for voters. They can separately purchase a daily update of who voted in advance.

State law prohibits the use of this information for commercial purposes, but campaigns may use it to encourage certain voters to turn out to vote.

“Using voter registration data for this type of communication is not something that we believe violates the law,” Caskey said.

The Kansas Government Ethics Commission, in a statement responding to complaints about the text, said state law does not require text messages to show who paid for them if the messages were about a voting matter. Additionally, state law specifically allows misleading election advertising, the ethics commission said.

In a series of statements on Twitter in response to complaints about misinformation about the abortion amendment, Twilio said he’s “working diligently to make sure this is handled properly.”

“Spreading false information is a direct violation of our Terms of Service, so while we don’t have an update to share, we assure you that we take misinformation very seriously,” the company said.

According to The Washington Post, Twilio confirmed that the numbers used to send the text messages were leased from Nevada-based Alliance Forge. The CEO of Alliance Forge said the company was notified Monday night of a “possible content breach” and began working with Twilio to identify the source of the text messages. The CEO said the company “did not review the messaging strategy or content of this message,” The Washington Post reported.

Campaign finance reports show Huelskamp’s PAC spent more than $200,000 supporting the amendment, including $26,000 for Alliance Forge’s services between June 29 and July 11.

ITR verification time reduced to 30 days; know six ways to check the tax return


ITR verification time reduced to 30 days; know six ways to check the tax return

The Central Commission for Direct Taxes (CBDT) has reduced the period for verifying the income tax declaration (ITR) to 30 days (instead of 120 days) from the electronic transmission of the ITR data. The new directive came into effect on August 1, 2022.

For ITRs filed on or after August 1, 2022, the verification period for these has been reduced to 30 days. If you forget to check your ITR within the prescribed time, then it will be considered void.

“Data electronically will be the date of submission of the return if Form ITR-V is submitted within 30 days of the date of data transmission electronically. In the event Form ITR-V is filed after the deadline mentioned above, it will be considered that the declaration for which the ITR-V form has been completed has never been submitted and it will be the responsibility of the person evaluated to electronically retransmit the data and follow up on it by submitting the new ITR-V form within 30 days,” CBDT said in its latest notification.

Look at the six ways you can check your tax return:

Aadhaar-based OTP

Before trying to verify your ITR using Aadhaar based One Time Password (OTP), you need to ensure that your mobile number is linked to Aadhaar and registered as such in the database. Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) data and your PAN must be linked to Aadhaar.

On the ‘e-Verify’ page, select ‘I would like to verify using OTP on the mobile number registered with Aadhaar’ and click ‘Continue’. A pop-up window will appear on your screen. You will need to check the box that says “I agree to validate my Aadhaar information” and click on “Generate Aadhaar OTP”.

An SMS with the 6-digit OTP will be sent to your registered mobile number. Enter the received OTP in the box where it is required and click submit. Upon successful submission, your ITR will be verified. OTP is only valid for 15 minutes.

Net banking

The second method of verifying ITR is through Net Banking. On the ‘e-Verify’ page, select ‘Through Net Banking’ and click ‘Continue’. Select the bank you want to verify your ITR with and click ‘Continue’. A pop-up window will appear on your screen containing a disclaimer. Read and click ‘Continue’.

Bank account

For verification, the third option is to generate an Electronic Verification Code (EVC) through their bank account. You must have a pre-validated bank account to be able to generate EVC. Keep in mind that pre-validation of the bank account is essential to receive the income tax refund.

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Demat account

The process of verifying ITR through a demat account is similar to verifying through a bank account as mentioned above. On the e-Verify page, select “Via Demat Account” and click “Continue”. The EVC will be generated and sent to your registered mobile number and email id with your pre-validated and EVC-enabled demat account. Enter the received EVC on your mobile number and email id registered with your Demat account and click e-Verify.


The EVC can also be generated via an ATM bank card. This facility is available only through limited banks which are – Axis Bank, Canara Bank, Central Bank of India, ICICI Bank, IDBI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and State Bank of India. Go to your bank’s ATM and swipe your ATM card; enter your ATM PIN and select Generate EVC for the tax return. An EVC will be sent to your mobile phone number and email address registered on the e-filing portal.

Sending signed ITR-V / Acknowledgment of receipt

If you cannot verify your ITR using one of the electronic methods mentioned above, you can send a signed copy of the ITR-V (acknowledgment of receipt) to the tax department.

When did our phone numbers become the new identifier of the day?


While celebrating the 4th of July weekend in the United States during a DJ set by Bob Moses, my iPhone was stolen from my bag; luckily I still had my wallet and keys. Although I was able to observe the thief through “Find My iPhone” going to another concert hall the same night for other small theft attempts, I knew there was not much I could do.

Along with the normal feeling of being taken advantage of, I was also starting to feel more and more frustrated. No phone meant no contact with the rest of the world. Social media was irrelevant, as well as constant contact with my friends and family through the various chat apps I use – only the ones I communicate with via iMessage, thanks to the program on my MacBook. And though it was nice to take a break from my slight dependence on the phone and its many wondershe presented life’s greatest challenges.

Without a phone, I was stuck on personal, financial, social, and business accounts. Many services require a secondary authentication service, which is usually via SMS associated with a mobile phone number. “SMS”, or short message service, is a standard text message sent using a cellular signal instead of an internet connection, unlike iMessage, WhatsApp, Signal or other web messaging services.

SMS 2FA is a authentication protocol that is used after entering the standard password for a service — it sends a short one-time password to the user via a text message. It was a nasty surprise when I found out that SMS 2FA doesn’t include iMessage.

New day, new ID

When did our phone numbers become the new id of the day? The United States does not have a specific identifier to use to manage its population; instead, multiple identity documents such as social security numbers, passports, or state ID cards have traditionally been used to verify a person’s identity. But with the explosive rise of data breaches and identity theftit has become difficult for businesses and consumers to rely solely on these highly sensitive pieces of data.

Phone numbers are connected to most aspects of our lives. Thanks to the massive adoption of personal cell phonesthe evolution of digital ecosystems, and public awareness of how sensitive identifiers can be used — verification services had to look for other identifiers. And while that number isn’t really static like an SSN, it rarely changes. Just ask anyone who has moved to another country what the challenges are here. So it makes sense that more and more services are adopting phone numbers as their primary identity compared to traditional identity verification services. “Phone-centric identity“, using your mobile number with a password, is now being touted as the new, modern way to identify consumers.

All this to say that the 2FA phone and SMS numbers have been proven be insecure and ineffective identifiers. Usurpation, SIM card exchange, Remote Desktop Protocol, Man in the middle attacks and Social engineering are all common methods that criminals can use to effectively gain access to people’s phones and take control of their digital lives. Also, unlike messaging apps with end-to-end encryption, the SMS is integrated into the architecture of the mobile networks themselves. So the security of the SMS messages we send is inherently dependent on the security framework that our mobile carriers have, hopefully, and sometimes not completed integrated. And although this insecure authentication method is widely used, Forrester Research believes that SMS 2FA stops only 76% of attacks.

Alternative authentication methods?

Following my Kafkaesque nightmarepeers in the privacy community have offered to look at some sort of authenticator app, instead of SMS 2FA, as a safer and more efficient method of authentication. This version of 2FA or multi-factor authentication works similarly in that it generates an OTP that users must enter to access a service. Authenticator apps are typically refreshed every 30 seconds, so even if a criminal somehow gains access to the OTP, the likelihood of it working for them is minimized.

Unfortunately, it’s not common knowledge or easy to set up for the average consumer. Not all services offer alternatives to the 2FA SMS code option, and even when they do, setting up authenticator app support involves scanning a QR code, entering different keys, which I really couldn’t figure out, or only works with specific authentication services.

Authenticator apps are more commonly used in an enterprise context to Purposes of single sign-on (SSO) than they are by individuals alone. A tech-savvy friend showed me three different authentication apps on his smartphone, which still didn’t cover all the services that require a secondary form of authentication. And to add insult to injury, I couldn’t even use those authenticator apps during the multi-day phone-free period.

The future of phones and IDs

Despite the relief I felt at having a cell phone again, the whole situation left me feeling uneasy about our overreliance on these numbers. It may be a paternalistic thought, but I don’t see how a “reasonable user“could easily take preventative measures to secure their number and manage their digital livelihoods in the event a criminal steals more than their physical device.

Ideally, there would be a multi-party effort between mobile networks, device manufacturers, operating systems and major digital service providers to create a more streamlined, secure and seamless method that average users could enable to access services and protect their accounts and identities.

More likely, we will see less effort from passionate speakers looking to make a difference in this space. An exciting proposal is around decentralized identity: Users would have a “wallet” that stores their credentials and personal information, which includes verified identity details that one would need to provide eligibility to complete a transaction. This information is “signed” by several trusted authorities to prove its accuracy. And instead of relying on passwords, non-phisifiable cryptographic keys would authenticate users to the services they use.

The technology is still new and would result in significantly less data companies process about users – which is arguably good for user privacy/security and not so good for companies monetizing user data. But perhaps there will come a day when digital services and the users who transact with them will widely embrace such a proposition.

Until then, I’m not taking my eyes off my new phone.

FCC: Fraudulent text messages on the rise


The Federal Communications Commission warns of a substantial increase in smishing and fraudulent text messages targeting consumers, with 2022 on track to nearly triple what was reported to the commission in 2019.

According to the FCC, which tracks complaints about fraudulent calls and texts, there were about 8,500 such complaints through June 30, 2022, which is expected to rise for the fourth consecutive year.

The commission says spam complaints have risen steadily, from around 5,700 in 2019, 14,000 in 2020 to 15,300 in 2021. If the second half of 2022 is as busy as the first half, complaints would triple almost what was reported in 2019.

The FCC says the smishing texts have included “false but credible claims” that use fear and anxiety to get the user to interact. The messages contain false information about unpaid bills, package delivery issues, back account issues, or law enforcement action against the user.

Read more: Concerned about phishing and smishing attacks? The ICP can help you.

While some are financially motivated, others try to collect personal information or confirm a number is active for use in future scams.

Users are requested not to reply or click on any links contained in the message. Instead, users should independently research contact information and contact the suspected sender directly to verify the message.

To identify a smishing attack, the FCC says users should look for unknown numbers, misleading information, misspellings, longer phone numbers, sales pitches, and incomplete information.

In addition to not interacting with suspicious text messages, the FCC advises users to delete all texts, update their mobile device and security apps, install anti-malware software, and review scanning tools. text blocking.

The FCC is currently considering a rule that would require cellphone companies to block suspected illegal bots and examine how caller ID technology can be applied to text messaging, in addition to other measures being taken in partnership with the state attorney general.

Utilities Marketplaces Take Bold Steps to Increase Awareness


To meet ever-changing customer needs, utilities are increasingly launching online energy markets. However, with an average conversion rate for e-commerce sites between 2% and 3%, utilities remain a small part of an already crowded market.

To increase customer awareness and drive traffic, utilities are taking bold steps to differentiate their marketplaces from the plethora of options in today’s e-commerce landscape.

“I think utilities are realizing that if they don’t bring energy efficiency solutions to their customers, someone else will,” says Ryan Prestel, vice president of business development at Questline. Digital. “Utilities are looking for ways to meet customers where they are and offer them choices. They want to be seen as trusted advisors who provide proactive solutions to their clients. »

Education meets e-commerce

According to Felicia Chiles, director of marketing at FirstEnergy Corp., utilities should first view their marketplace as an educational resource, and second as an e-commerce platform. FirstEnergy has partnered with ibex, a company focused on creating customer experiences, to create a comprehensive energy marketplace designed to guide customers through their journey to smart home automation.

“When we entered the marketplace space, we didn’t want to be a point solution like Best Buy or Amazon where a consumer buys one thing and moves on,” Chiles says. “Our goal was to create a marketplace where our customers can go to a trusted resource for more information on smart home automation and energy efficiency, as well as to purchase products.”

Smart home automation is a complex subject – that’s why educational content is key to giving customers the confidence to make big purchases, like a smart home security system. Marketplace resources can be purely educational or provide step-by-step instructions on how customers can install or use the products. FirstEnergy House is peppered with in-depth content, including blog posts, interactive infographics, and videos, to help answer common customer questions.

“E-commerce success takes more than selling — it also takes giving back,” says Charlie Garcia, editor at WP Dev Shed, a website development company. “By helping your target audience find answers to their everyday problems, you become useful.”

Build it and they will come?

While utilities build e-commerce sites with the best of intentions, marketplaces are not a “build it and they will come” solution. Before customers can visit a market, they must first know it exists. That is why ongoing promotions are essential for raising awareness.

“Utilities will wonder why they are not attracting visitors to their market. My question for them is, ‘Do your customers even know this exists? Have you done anything to educate them on the benefits and how to use it? “Says Prestel. “You can’t expect customers to find your market and discover it on their own. If you don’t make it easy for them, they’ll just go somewhere else.

FirstEnergy Home uses blog posts, videos and informational graphics to educate customers about products on the market and how they fit into their daily lives. Content is shared in emails, on social media and throughout the website to keep the market top of mind with customers. The utility also takes advantage of seasonal changes and milestones, such as moving, for relevant and timely product promotions.

“There are different ways to use smart home automation that customers haven’t really considered before,” Chiles says. “Back to school, for example, is the perfect time to promote the benefits of smart home products to parents whose children are going home alone. We invest a lot of time and effort in content and promotions.

The power of personalization

Utilities are leveraging personalized content to reach segments of customers, whether they are tenants, homeowners, new families or seniors. An example is sending personalized market promotions to tenants with energy efficiency products ideal for apartment living. With the right message, public services can deliver value to a target audience.

“If done correctly, email marketing can be a very effective consumer engagement approach,” says James Rehm, chief operating officer at Skuuudle, a retail analytics firm. . “The goal here is not to send an email to your customers, but to do it correctly and with the right message. Never overdo it.

The utilities also use behavioral emails, triggered when a customer leaves a page, abandons their cart, or makes a purchase. For example, when a customer purchases a smart thermostat from FirstEnergy Home, they automatically receive an email with information about the utility’s installation services.

“It saves customers from having a frustrating experience and helps us manage returns,” Chiles says. “Once they get home and find the installation a bit tricky, they know we have a service available to install the product for them.”

Taking customization a step further, FirstEnergy Home bundles select products and services to meet the unique needs of different customer segments. For example, the Utility’s Energy Efficiency Starter Kit includes a Google Nest, Google Nest Thermostat and Sengled Smart Wi-Fi LED bulbs. we know they work well together,” Chiles says. “It makes it easier for them to get into smart home automation.”

Customer experience expectations

Utilities are revamping their marketplaces to ensure customers have the kind of user experience they expect from other e-commerce sites. For example, utilities organize products into easy-to-find categories, provide customer reviews, use abandoned cart emails, and other e-commerce best practices.

“The consumerization of everything is upon us, and utility customers expect the convenience, flexibility and choice they’ve become accustomed to in their daily lives,” Prestel says. “Traditionally, utilities weren’t able to provide a comparable experience, but that’s changing. In the future, an exceptional customer experience will be a requirement, not an asset. »

A key component of a quality customer experience is an easy-to-use, intuitive website that makes it easy for visitors to find products, services and educational resources. The more complicated an e-commerce site is, the less likely customers are to return in the future.

“The easier a site is to use and use, the happier the customer will be and the more likely they are to come back to it,” says John Cammidge, CEO and founder of e-commerce and advertising firm JTC Consultants. “Your site is a reflection of your brand, so it’s vital that it works fully across all formats. Many companies neglect to optimize their sites for mobile use, which causes them to miss out. Usability is crucial.

According to Cammidge, using industry best practices in the payment process builds trust and ensures a smooth and streamlined process. Additionally, utilities should be clear about shipping and other potentially hidden costs at the outset of the transaction.

“It builds trust and allows the customer to make an informed decision,” says Cammidge. “Limit the number of clicks needed to complete the payment and make the process as easy as possible for your customer. Putting the customer journey at the center is the best way to increase your chances of success.”

great expectations

As more and more customers shop for smart homes and energy efficiency, online marketplaces will be an expectation in the future. Utilities must find ways to differentiate themselves from their competitors and provide customers with the personalized experience they want. With the right strategy and user experience, marketplaces are a great opportunity to deliver value, be a reliable energy resource, and improve long-term customer satisfaction.

“We don’t want to compete with the distribution giants. It would be a waste of time,” Chiles says. “What we can do is play our own game…Offer products and services in a unique way and be a trusted advisor to our customers.”

Now just scan the QR code to pay your electricity bills in Goa | Goa News

PANAJI: The Goa Electricity Departmentwhich continues to make technological advancements to improve the consumer experience, became the second government utility in the country to launch the dynamic QR code system for bill payment.
Through the system, which was launched on Saturday, a QR (quick response) code will be printed on each consumer’s electricity bill, allowing them to make payments in seconds.
“The consumer will simply need to scan the QR code using apps such as Google Pay, Amazon Pay, Bhim, PhonePe, etc. The invoice details along with the amount to be paid will appear on the screen. The consumer n just press the ‘pay’ tab and the payment will be complete,” said a department official.

“Payment details will appear on screen and the consumer will also receive an SMS alert. The whole checkout process can be completed in seconds. QR code-based payment is more efficient, less time-consuming, error-free, more secure and tamper-proof,” the official said.
Union Minister of State for Ports, Shipping, Waterways and Tourism, Shripad Naik, launched the QR code on electricity bills on Saturday during a program at the Menezes Braganza Institute in the presence of Food Secretary VYYJ Rajasekhar, Chief Electrical Engineer Stephane Fernandesand others.
The function was part of the grand finale of Ujjwal Bharat, Ujjwal Bhavish Mahotsav celebrated across the country to highlight achievements in the power sector over the past eight years and the vision to 2047.
Naik appreciated the department’s initiatives as part of the goal of making it easier to do business and to provide service to consumers even during difficult times.
The QR code, he said, will be an additional easy payment option for consumers.
Rajasekhar paid the first electricity bill using the program’s QR code. Fernandes gave a presentation on the workings and benefits of the QR code and various other payment initiatives offered by the department. He also said the department ranks second in the country in the number of digital transactions.

Callers say “Can’t get through”; Callies say “I don’t want to let them through” – OpEd [Eurasia Review] – InsuranceNewsNet

Callers say “Can’t get through”;  Callies say “I don’t want to let them through” – OpEd [Eurasia Review] – InsuranceNewsNet

Most of us play the two roles of caller and called. Guess which role reigns? La Callee. I’ve lost count of how many older adults tell me, week after week, how hard it is to hit powerful Callees. Especially over the phone! These include your local electricity, gas and telephone company, your bank and insurance company, your members (or their staff) of Congress, your local, state and federal government agencies. It has never been so.

Imagine the days when you picked up your phone, dialed a number and communicated with a human being. You couldn’t be misled by the evasive robotic operator who gives you the “press one, or two, or three or four” exercise. Unfortunately, when you select “one”, you often get another auto-save. At some point you get a voicemail opportunity which is really a voice fail.

Oh, say the younger ones – how about trying email or text messaging? Clutter, filters, distractions, and sheer overload cannot adequately describe the ways the Callees can keep you from communicating with a human. The harder it is, the more people repeat their attempts, and the more overload there is for digital gatekeepers. Call it the Callees power plays.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics measures white-collar labor productivity. If they measured the billions of hours wasted by people trying to get through to get their jobs done, white-collar labor productivity would be far below where it is today.

Here are some areas of abuse. Our Constitution The First Amendment protects more than freedom of speech, press, and religion. It adds the “right to request the government to obtain redress for grievances”. “Grievances” include more than personal slights or injustices, such as petitions to get the government to adopt or repeal policies, practices or other behaviors. I am sure to say that the members of Congress and their staff have never been more insensitive to serious petitions (letters, calls, emails and old-fashioned petitions) on important issues than they are today.

Their quick responses are reserved for donors and ceremonial requests (diplomas, birthdays, weddings, funerals and friends). Civic groups supporting legislative priorities already chosen by a member find that their staff has a working relationship with a congressional office. But try to reach a member of Congress to sponsor a congressional hearing or expand their portfolio into urgent new arenas – yes, keep trying.

It is almost impossible to reach even the friendly members (or senior staff) of Congress on serious issues of undeclared wars, starving IRS budget to aid and abet the massive tax evasions of the super-rich and big corporations, the serial and lawless dismissals of the authority of Congress under the Constitution speak White Houseor even reinstate congressional committee staff that Newt Gingrich cut in 1995 when he knocked down the House Democrats. No answers everywhere.

It is so serious that we have written to each member of Congress and asked them what their office’s policy was on responding to serious communications. Only one out of 535 offices responded.

Of course, there’s the absorbing activity known as “constituent service” — intervening for people at home who don’t get answers from federal agencies for their personal complaints. Some responsiveness to voters’ personal stories is widely seen as good for re-election. (See my column, Does Congress need an ombudsman to handle its case? https://nader.org/2022/04/30/does-congress-need-an-ombudsman-to -look-after-its-case -work/, published in the Capitol Hill Citizen newspaper – https://www.capitolhillcitizen.com/).

If the Congress in the sixties and seventies was as callous as Congress It was today, ironically in the midst of the communications revolution, that we could not have enacted key consumer, environmental, worker safety and health laws, the Freedom of information and other laws. Obviously, if you can’t communicate consistently with all 535 members of Congress and staff, who are given massive sovereign powers by “We the People” (right in the preamble of our Constitution), you can’t even start doing anything American parliament.

There is one exception that destroys democracy – corporate lobbyists who grease the system with campaign money and assorted incentives and temptations in real time and in the future. Lobbyists for the oil, gas and coal industries, banking, insurance and brokerage firms, military weapons manufacturers, drug, hospital and nursing home chains, medical practices corporate lawyers, corporate media and other similar greed have access to it. They obtain the private cell phone numbers of our elected officials as they invite members and staff to lavish gatherings and tour packages, as well as more formal fundraisers or political action committee venues (PAC).

This phenomenon of incommunicado of elected officials vis-à-vis civic communities is a process of control by the powerful over the less powerful. Don’t make a mistake. This same story of two access systems is everywhere. The big banks (Bank of America is one of the worst) and utility companies have algorithms that tell them how they can hire fewer customer service workers if they can keep consumers waiting on taped lines or not answering emails and to letters. Big companies want customers to give up.

The courts are also guilty. People have complained that they can’t even reach small claims court for hours on end. The Postal service not known for quick phone calls, still under control of Trump’s nominee Louis DeJoy. Not to mention what G.O.P. made at the IRS regular taxpayer response budget.

But some companies are a bit more responsive, like FedEx or your small local retail family business.

Lack of access is a serious problem that degrades quality of life with increased stress and anxiety. And in some cases, during an emergency or disaster, failure to respond can have disastrous consequences.

Fifty billion robocalls a year have severely disrupted people answering the phone, even those from neighbors down the street. (The FCC and FTC simply don’t aggressively pressure communications companies to use the latest software to thwart these robocall outlaws). These agencies themselves are notoriously secrecy.

What to do ? Be louder. Favor politicians and marketers who are committed to having humans answer the phone and not keep you waiting, waiting, and waiting to give them your thoughts, business, and complaints.

Your suggestions, readers, will be welcome.

Reeves’ message to TROY graduates emphasizes integrity and service to others


Alumnus, former President of the Student Government Association and Mayor of Troy, Jason Reeves, on Friday encouraged Troy University graduates to be people of integrity and to take care of themselves and others .

Reeves, who has served as mayor of Troy since 2012, addressed the approximately 500 graduates who took part in the opening ceremonies for the summer inside Trojan Arena on the Troy campus. Recalling the University’s founding motto, “To Educate the Mind to Think, the Heart to Feel, and the Body to Act,” Reeves focused his remarks on an acronym for the first element of this mission – “Think.”

“The T in think stands for Time,” he said. “Time is the greatest resource you have ever been given. I encourage you to invest your time in the things that are important to you and will make a difference.

The second word Reeves pointed to was home.

“I want you to consider Troy and this college as a second home forever,” he said. “Whether you come from a wonderful home or a home where things weren’t so wonderful, you can build your home, that place of refuge for yourself and those you love.”

The third word Reeves emphasized was integrity, encouraging graduates to invest their time wisely in building integrity.

“Be people of integrity,” he said. “Be someone people can count on to be there no matter what. Be a person of your word. The world needs people of integrity more than ever.”

Reeves also stressed the importance of being “nourishing”.

“Feed yourself. You have to make sure you take care of yourself,” he said. “You have to be able to take care of yourself before you can take care of others. Be kind – being kind is nurturing. Our world lacks and needs people who will take care of themselves and others.

Finally, Reeves used the K in “Think” to remind graduates of the importance of being lifelong learners.

“The K in ‘Think’ stands for knowledge. Although we often think of commencement ceremonies representing the completion of your degree, that is just the beginning. Embracing knowledge and becoming a lifelong learner is what will carry you through in so many ways throughout your life. As you seek this knowledge, think about what you want to do with it. Use this knowledge to build your home life, to strengthen your wholeness, and to care for yourself, your community, and your world.

Friday’s commencement ceremony included graduates from 28 U.S. states, one territory and the District of Columbia, as well as nine countries outside the United States.

List of mobile apps currently infected with malware and malicious code


Like any technology, mobile apps can be infected with malicious code, or malware, intended to gain access to your mobile phone when you download the app. Although app stores do their best to prevent malicious apps from entering the store, monitor apps once they are included in the store and remove those they deem to be malicious, malware-infected apps. Malicious code and malware have proliferated and are an ongoing problem for users. An estimated 2% of the App Store’s top 1,000 apps are malicious, according to a report speak Washington Post.

According to the website The state of security“Three million Android users may have lost money and their devices were infected with spyware, after the official Google Play store was discovered to be distributing apps infected with a new family of malware. “

The Autolycos malware “spy on SMS messages, contact lists and device information, and subscribes unsuspecting users to expensive Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) services”. A list of affected apps includes: Funny Camera, Vlog Star Video Editor, Creative 3D Launcher, Wow Beauty Camera, Gif Emoji Keyboard, Freeglow Camera and Coco Camera. Another reason not to download a camera app.

hot hardware suggests users to remove a larger list of infested Android apps, which are part of the Android HiddenAds family, which have been installed over 10 million times:

“Here is an overview of the full list of apps that fall into the HiddenAds category…

  • Photo editor: beauty filter (gb.artfilter.tenvarnist)

  • Photo editor: retouch and crop (de.nineergysh.quickarttwo)

  • Photo editor: artistic filters (gb.painnt.moonlightingnine)

  • Photo Editor – Design Creator (gb.twentynine.redaktoridea)

  • Photo editor and background eraser (de.photoground.twentysixshot)

  • Photo & Exif Editor (de.xnano.photoexifeditornine)

  • Photo Editor – Filter Effects (de.hitopgop.sixtyeightgx)

  • Photo filters and effects (de.sixtyonecollice.cameraroll)

  • Photo Editor: Blur Image (de.instgang.fiftyggfife)

  • Photo Editor: Cut, Paste (de.fiftyninecamera.rollredactor)

  • Emoji Keyboard: Stickers and GIFs (gb.crazykey.sevenboard)

  • Neon Theme Keyboard (com.neonthemekeyboard.app)

  • Neon Theme – Android Keyboard (com.androidneonkeyboard.app)

  • Cashe Cleaner (com.cachecleanereasytool.app)

  • Fancy Loading (com.fancyanimatedbattery.app)

  • FastCleaner: Cashe Cleaner (com.fastcleanercashecleaner.app)

  • Caller Skins – Caller Themes (com.rockskinthemes.app)

  • Funny Caller (com.funnycallercustomtheme.app)

  • CallMe Phone Themes (com.callercallwallpaper.app)

  • InCall: contact background (com.mycallcustomcallscrean.app)

  • MyCall – Call Personalization (com.mycallcallpersonalization.app)

  • Caller theme (com.caller.theme.slow)

  • Caller theme (com.callertheme.firstref)

  • Funny Wallpapers – Live Screen (com.funnywallpapaerslive.app)

  • Auto Wallpaper Changer 4K (de.andromo.ssfiftylivesixcc)

  • NewScrean: 4D Wallpapers (com.newscrean4dwallpapers.app)

  • Wallpapers and Backgrounds (de.stockeighty.onewallpapers)

  • Notes – reminders and lists (com.notesreminderslists.app) »

Beware of these specific apps, but in general, research apps before downloading them, download only necessary apps, understand what data apps collect from you, and delete apps when you no longer use them.

Copyright © 2022 Robinson & Cole LLP. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 209

MLB Rumors: Is Yankees’ Joey Gallo finished thanks to Andrew Benintendi trade?


NEW YORK – As Joey Gallo’s struggles went from bad to worse to desperate, Aaron Boone pulled him aside.

“I try to remind him from time to time that he has all the equipment to still be good at it,” the Yankees manager said.

More than ever, it looks like Gallo will have to try and make it anywhere but the Bronx.

That’s because late Wednesday night — minutes after a 3-2 loss to the Mets at Citi Field — the Yankees acquired left fielder Andrew Benintendi from the Royals in exchange for a trio of lower-tier pitchers.


Benintendi will take over as the Yankees’ starting outfielder.

Gallo will be pushed out of the outfield rotation.

There will be no more places and the deadline for exchanges is Tuesday.

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Sure, the Yankees could keep Gallo for a few days. The easiest way for the Yankees to get Benintendi on the 26-man roster would be to go for Tim Locastro against Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

This could buy GM Brian Cashman time to move Gallo via trade rather than singling him out for an assignment, letting him go through waivers (because no team would want to claim him and his $10.2 million salary). for this year) and lose it for nothing via free agency. The Padres and Rangers are reportedly interested in Gallo, who the Yankees acquired from Texas for a prospect package in July 2021.

In 80 games, Gallo hit .161 with 12 homers and 103 strikeouts. It posted a .629 OPS and an 80 OPS+. Since joining the Yankees, he’s only posted a .664 OPS. In seven seasons with the Rangers, he had an .833 OPS.

Although he’s still considered a solid defenseman in right field, he hasn’t maintained his weight at the plate, and it’s not a question of if the Yankees will dump him, but when.

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Brendan Kuty can be reached at [email protected].

Hacked your social media account? You’re not alone, experts say – NBC Chicago


Whether you like to admit it or not, Facebook has become an integral part of many lives.

It’s a way to connect with family and friends, or for businesses to thrive and reach new customers. But frustration is growing for many Facebook users who say they were locked out of their accounts after hackers hacked into their login details and changed their passwords.

Many cybersecurity analysts say these types of social media account takeovers are happening more often these days, in part due to the value associated with social media account information being sold on the dark web.

Social media credentials, according to some accounts, are more valuable than social security numbers and other personally identifiable information, experts say.

For users who lose their account, starting a new page is not an easy solution after spending so much of their life tied to their social identity.

“Facebook is good for networking, building relationships and maintaining relationships,” life coach Koren Utley said, adding that her page has helped her connect with many members of her community who rely on her. she. “I am a trusted voice in my community, I am a trusted business owner.”

Utley said her profile is also the repository of her most meaningful memories.

“My mother passed away two years ago,” Utley explained. “And so I have a lot of memories, pictures of my mom on Facebook.”

You can imagine her anxiety when this month Utley said she had been removed from her profile, which was also used for her ‘Bold and Brilliant’ life coaching business.

Utley’s account was hacked by hackers, and it happened within minutes, she says. It all started with a direct message to his Facebook Messenger inbox.

“Someone from my church reached out and said, ‘Hey Koren.’ Very simple message,” Utley explains. “And I said, ‘Hey, how are you?’ And in 60 seconds, my page was hacked.”

Utley is adamant she didn’t click on any links or share any account information with the person. She said all she did was respond to the direct message, and that was all it took.

Experts say a “chain of victimization” can occur when hackers use a Facebook account to compromise other followers.

Come and find out, Utley said, the “old friend from church” who reached out had also had his Facebook account hacked days before, causing a domino effect from one profile to another.

“I just never thought this would happen to me,” Utley said now, reflecting on that whole ordeal. “I thought my page was secure. It just didn’t happen.”

Utley is not alone. NBC 5 Responds has heard from many Facebook users over the past month who said they don’t have access to their profiles.

Libertyville teacher Tracy Aleckson contacted NBC 5 after her 12-year-old’s account was hacked last month.

“Honestly, I literally cried,” Aleckson said. “I was so frustrated.”

Adding insult to injury, Aleckson said the hackers, impersonating her, shared material that violated Facebook’s “child sexual exploitation standards.” She only knew this because she had received an email informing her that the account was suspended.

Tracy Aleckson said Facebook deactivated her account before she could explain what happened.

For Utley and Aleckson, they both said in the days following the hacks that they couldn’t reach anyone on Facebook, now called Meta, for help.

“You have this billion dollar company and you have no way to contact them,” Aleckson said.

“Hundreds of people tried to contact them to report the page,” Utley said. “And they all got the same message: there’s nothing they can do.”

After NBC 5 Responds contacted Facebook about Utley and Aleckson’s profiles, Utley was able to get his account back. Aleckson is still trying to get his account back.

The social media giant wouldn’t comment on what might have happened, or the situation Utley detailed about hackers accessing his account through a direct message.

Koren Utley turned to NBC 5 Responds for help when she couldn’t get in touch with Facebook.

Cybersecurity experts we spoke to said they hadn’t heard of this specific iteration of fraud, but admit that hackers are constantly evolving in their tactics.

These same experts had heard of hackers sending images via messages that could contain malware that could take control of a person’s device, but in Utley’s case, she said no images had was shared before his account was hacked.

Yet the issue of “social media account takeovers” has become rampant in many forms over the past few years.

“It’s really exploded in the last 24 months,” said Eva Velasquez of the Identity Theft Resource Center, adding that the center has seen first-hand a dramatic increase in cases.

“We’ve spoken to thousands of people over the past two years who are going through this experience,” Velasquez said. “Victims whose social media accounts – Facebook, Instagram, among others – were taken over.”

A common trend has emerged, Eva said, of hackers taking advantage of a user’s followers on their profiles, much like what happened in Utley’s case.

“Bad actors have found they do much better when an individual feels like they’re talking to a friend,” Eva said. “And so taking over those accounts can lead to that chain of victimization.”

Protect your social media account against attacks

Most of the ways NBC found 5 to protect your social media accounts are preventative measures to take before this happens.

It’s all about good digital hygiene.

Strengthen your password

The Identity Theft Resource Center recommends using a strong, unique password, up to 12 characters or more.

“Don’t use a password you’ve used on other accounts,” Velasquez said. “It can be a passphrase or something you can easily remember.”

Additionally, setting up two-factor authentication for profile changes, like passwords, can alert you to an account invasion and keep hackers out.

Back up your photos and information

Another important point to consider is storing your information in multiple places.

Having photos and other information you might need saved somewhere other than your account can help in case something happens to your profile.

“Do a health check of your social media accounts,” Velasquez said. “Make sure you have no stored data, photos, contacts and items only [on your social media account] so that if the worst happens, you have backups.

For really meaningful photos, videos, and important information, it is also recommended that you store these backups separately from your device.

“If you only have your photos stored on Facebook, get a thumb drive, hard drive, store them somewhere else, so you have a copy if anything happens to that account,” Velasquez recommends. “It will certainly make it less traumatic if you are unable to recover the account.”

Are you eligible for “Facebook Protect”?

Some Facebook users are eligible for something called Facebook Protect, an enhanced security feature the company rolled out last March.

Facebook Protect adds more security to a user’s account, including two-factor authentication and additional staff checks for hacking threats.

This feature is not available to all users. The company’s website said it was “a security program for groups of people most likely to be targeted by malicious hackers, such as human rights defenders, journalists and government officials”.

It’s unclear if Facebook plans to roll out the feature more widely.

To learn more about Facebook Protect and whether you can use it, click here.

If your account is already hacked, what can you do?

Many Facebook users who contacted NBC 5 for help said their attempts to get help on Facebook after their accounts were hacked were unsuccessful.

This has also been noticed by cybersecurity experts.

“They don’t have dedicated customer service. You can’t actually talk to a person,” Velasquez said. “It’s good when things are going well. But when there is significant fraud or litigation, it creates a real problem.

Users are encouraged by the company to visit this webpage to attempt to recover their account.

If your profile is a business account or is used for your business, be sure to highlight this when contacting Facebook for assistance. This can speed up a response from Facebook’s side.
More useful information from Facebook can be found here.

Free useful resources

Experts also say users shouldn’t feel embarrassed or ashamed if this happens to them.

“We really want to encourage people not to be embarrassed or ashamed, not to think they should know or understand these things, and to get help if they need it,” Velasquez said. “It’s a really complicated space and not everyone can know everything about it.”

To learn more about the Identity Theft Resource Center, including how to access its many free services and advice, click here or call 1-888-400-5530

Do you have a consumer complaint? Call 1-844-NBC-RESP or click here to let us know so we can help you.