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Instagram moving away from SMS two-factor authentication

Instagram is building a non-SMS-based two-factor authentication system in response to increased efforts by hackers, TechCrunch reports. Since phone numbers can be stolen by hackers with relative ease — as outlined by Motherboard, all it takes is convincing a carrier customer service rep to port the number to a new SIM card — Instagram accounts have been prime targets for hackers since a password can be reset with only an SMS message. To defend against these sort of attacks, Instagram has told TechCrunch that it will be building a more modern two-factor authentication system that will use one-time passwords that can be generated by apps like Google Authenticator or 1Password. The social media network has been historically slow to adopt stronger authentication methods, not even implementing two-factor authentication at all until 2016 — long after most other social media networks had already adopted even more secure methods, but sadly only relied on basic SMS authentication, leaving the service vulnerable to SIM porting attacks. While Instagram is not alone in using SMS as a second authentication factor, it is one of the few major services that offers that as the sole option.

Apple has already stopped signing iOS 11.4, blocking downgrades

With last week’s release of iOS 11.4.1, Apple has already stopped signing the prior version, 9to5Mac reports, effectively preventing users from downgrading, despite the relatively minor changes in the iOS 11.4.1 release. Since downgrading is normally only an issue for users looking to jailbreak an iOS device, Apple’s move to quickly stop signing the older version may indicate that there are deeper security fixes under the hood in iOS 11.4.1.

Daily Deal: Plantronics BackBeat Fit Wireless Sport Headphones

In our iLounge Deal for today, we’re offering the Plantronics BackBeat Fit Wireless Sport Headphones for only $59.99 — that’s 53% off the regular price. Lightweight, sweat-resistant, and noise-cancelling, these headphones are designed to filter outside distractions and fuel your workouts with Bluetooth audio for up to eight hours on a single charge. Their secure fit ensures they won’t get caught on your pumping limbs, and you can easily switch songs using the intuitive inline controls. What’s more, you can take your training even further with unlimited access to 12 PEAR Personal Coach App workouts and a 6-month membership to PEAR+’s audio coaching resources.

Get the Plantronics BackBeat Fit Wireless Sport Headphones now for only $59.99

Review: Udoq Docking System

Although wireless charging is all the rage these days, that only helps users with the very latest iPhones, and — for now at least — doesn’t help you to charge your iPad. Hence, there’s still a call for traditional docking solutions, and if you’re in a family with multiple iPhones, iPads, and other portable electronic devices, finding places to charge them can sometimes be a problem. This is the need that udoq aims to address with its new all-in-one modular docking station that’s capable of handling multiple electronic devices all in one central location, all charging from a single power outlet.


Apple seeds fourth developer betas of iOS 12, tvOS 12 + watchOS 5

Apple has released a fourth set of betas to registered developers for iOS 12 and tvOS 12, following the usual two-week cycle after the release of the last betas earlier this month. iOS 12 beta 4 features a build number of 16A5327f and is accompanied by release notes outlining resolved issues from the last beta, including fixes to the Activity, Calendar, Phone, and FaceTime apps, as well as fixes to Screen Time, Siri, and Spotlight, among other smaller under-the-hood improvements.


Former Apple engineer pleads not guilty of stealing trade secrets

Former Apple Project Titan engineer Xiaolang Zhang has pled not guilty on the charge of stealing trade secrets from Apple, Reuters reports. Zhang was formally indicted last week on a single count of trade secret theft on the allegation that he had stolen a 25-page blueprint for an autonomous vehicle circuit board. The indictment followed an investigation by Apple’s Product Security Team and the FBI reported last week, with an FBI agent filing describing the circumstances around the charge and Zhang’s arrest as he was boarding a flight to China. At a hearing yesterday in San Jose, Zhang pled not guilty, and has retained his own lawyer who has declined by comment on the case. A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California also declined to comment beyond simply acknowledging the indictment.

Lumen releases world’s first pocket-sized ‘metabolism hacking’ device

Digital health and wellness company Lumen has announced a new pocket-sized device that promises to deliver weight management and performance data simply by analyzing a user’s breath. The new pocket-sized device monitors a user’s metabolism by analyzing the amount of CO2 and other gases exhaled by the user, sending the data to a companion iOS app that uses an AI engine to determine whether users are burning carbs or fat for energy and provide immediate nutritional guidance and real-time insights from that data, building a nutrition plan that’s personalized for each user’s metabolism. Plans can be customized to help users lose weight, optimize workouts, or reach other health and fitness goals. Lumen’s eponymous product was developed in partnership with renowned design company frog to provide a premium luxury user experience in a portable device that can be taken anywhere for use on-the-go, and has been in testing since 2017, where the company notes that more than 300 beta testers hav already lost an average of 6.8 pounds in 30 days by following Lumen’s tailored recommendations.


Daily Deal: KoolMAX Cooler

For Tuesday’s iLounge Deal, you can get the KoolMAX Cooler for only $289.99 — that’s 12% off the regular price. No party is complete without the KoolMAX Cooler. Simply put, this cooler has everything you need for all your adventures. With an unmatched Bluetooth stereo sound system, FM radio, recharging station, and a 48-can cooler capacity, KoolMAX will be the ultimate companion whether you’re partying in the backyard or going on a weekend camping trip.

Get the KoolMAX Cooler now for only $289.99

Instapaper parts ways with Pinterest to go it on its own

Popular offline reading and bookmarking service Instapaper has announced that it will be leaving Pinterest to go its own way, only two years after the social media platform acquired it in August of 2016. Instapaper was one of the first apps on the App Store back in 2008, developed by Marco Arment who is more recently best known for the very popular podcasting app, Overcast. Arment sold Instapaper to Digg parent company Betaworks in 2013, and the service was later acquired by Pinterest a few years later. Today’s announcement notes that ownership will be transferred to a new company, Instant Paper, Inc., which is owned and operated by the development team that’s been building and supporting the app since it left the original developer’s hands in the 2013 acquisition. In the announcement, the Instapaper team emphasizes that not much will change in terms of the user experience, since the same team will be working on it, but now separate from the umbrella of Pinterest.

Apple shows off new emoji coming in iOS 12

In honour of World Emoji Day, Apple is providing a teaser of the new emoji that will be coming in iOS 12 as part of the Unicode 11.0 spec. Among the more than 70 new emoji characters being introduced will be a whole slew of additional options for representing people, including red hair, gray hair, curly hair, and no hair, new smiley faces that will include a cold face, party face, pleading face, and a face with hearts. New animal emoji will include a kangaroo, peacock, parrot, and lobster, and new food emoji will include a mango, lettuce, cupcake, and moon cake, alongside many others, including sports emoji, symbol emoji, superhero emoji, and more.

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