Blog Archive


Report: Oracle’s proposed TikTok deal includes search for backdoors

  • TikTok and Oracle are having to convince the Trump administration their proposed deal will keep data secure.
  • A source told Axios one condition of the deal is that Oracle will have to audit TikTok’s source code to make sure there aren’t any security backdoors.
  • TikTok’s source code and particularly its recommendation algorithm have become a sore point in negotiations after China imposed strict new technology export laws at the end of last month.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.


Oracle’s TikTok deal might mean the US tech giant gets to turn the video apps source code inside-out.

A source close to TikTok and Oracle told Axios the companies’ deal — which currently under review by the US government — includes the stipulation that Oracle will examine TikTok’s source code to make sure there aren’t any backdoors. Backdoors are technical vulnerabilities deliberately left in software so that hackers can break

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TikTok Latest News on U.S.-China Status: ByteDance Says It Won’t Sell Algo: SCMP

TikTok’s parent ByteDance has decided it won’t sell or transfer the algorithm behind the video-sharing app in any sale or divestment, the South China Morning Post reported, citing a source briefed on the Chinese company’s boardroom discussions.

The company will not hand out the source code behind the social media platform but the company’s U.S. based technology team would be free to develop a new algorithm, the newspaper said, adding that this would be a condition for a sale of the company’s U.S. assets.

ByteDance and TikTok didn’t immediately respond to the newspaper’s request for comment.

Separately, Fox reporter Charles Gasparino tweeted on Sunday that any TikTok deal would probably require negotiations between the U.S. government and its Chinese counterpart to succeed.

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All of our 5G Samsung smartphone deals are available to new and existing customers

You have been talking, and at AT&T we have been listening.  Our top priority is making sure our customers feel heard, valued and appreciated.  It turns out, it’s not complicated to know what they want.  One thing continues to rise to the top of focus groups, survey data, and social media posts:

Why do new customers get better deals than existing customers?

Our research shows that 84% of all postpaid wireless customers think this is unfair.

That’s why in early August, we celebrated the launch of our fast, reliable, and secure nationwide 5G by including 5G in all of our postpaid unlimited wireless plans at no additional cost.*  And by offering the same great deal to new and existing customers on our best Samsung 5G smartphones.  Switch, add a line or upgrade – everyone gets the same great price.  Right now, when you sign up for an AT&T unlimited plan

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Apple won’t let Facebook tell users about 30-percent Apple tax on events

Facebook wanted the event purchase screen on iOS to look like the screenshot on the left. But Facebook says Apple nixed the idea.
Enlarge / Facebook wanted the event purchase screen on iOS to look like the screenshot on the left. But Facebook says Apple nixed the idea.


Apple nixed a message in the Facebook app for iOS warning users that Apple would take 30 percent of event payments, Facebook says.

Facebook announced a new feature for paid online events earlier this month. It allows small businesses to host virtual cooking classes, workout sessions, happy hours, and other events and charge people to participate.

In its announcement, Facebook said it was not taking a cut of customers’ payments. That means that on Android, “small businesses will keep 100% of the revenue they generate,” Facebook says. But the story was different on iOS thanks to Apple’s 30-percent cut of in-app purchases.

The screenshot above shows how the social media giant wanted to alert users to the 30-percent charge. The iOS version of the

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6 ways for your small business to navigate a strong finish to 2020 and beyond

This year has been especially difficult for small businesses around the globe due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The global pandemic has forced many business owners to pivot and adopt new strategies to ensure their companies survive.

Madeline Haydon invented and launched nutpods, a plant-based coffee creamer in 2013 while pregnant with her daughter. Using Kickstarter for funding and to gauge interest, she discovered that those thirsty for products like hers ranged from Boston moms, to Australian paleo cafes, and even Czech coffee shops.

Nutpods is currently the third best-selling brand of plant-based creamers — accomplished without “taking out billboards in Times Square,” she points out. Customers from across the country purchase nutpods directly from her storefront on Since beginning to sell on Amazon in 2015, her sales have grown 5,500%, and her business now has 27 employees. And while COVID-19 caused some businesses to shut down,

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Alexa, Play My Alibi: The Smart Home Gets Taken to Court

Lauren Goode: Mike.

MC: Lauren, do you ever wonder if the things that you say to Alexa might become evidence if you committed a crime?

LG: Well, I try very hard not to commit crimes, Mike.

MC: Alexa, do you send your recordings to the police?

Alexa: Sorry. I’m not sure about that.

MC: Alexa, do you send your recordings to the FBI?

Alexa: No, I work for Amazon.

MC: Alexa, does Amazon share your recordings with the FBI?

Alexa: Amazon takes privacy seriously. For more information, and to view Amazon’s privacy notice, visit the Help section of your Alexa app.

LG: Yeah, I’m sure lots of people are going to do that.

MC: [Laughs]

[Gadget Lab intro theme music]

MC: Hi everyone. Welcome to Gadget Lab. I am Michael Calore, a senior

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NC students face digital divide at home without internet


Yolanda Ames sits outside her Grier Heights apartment Wednesday, August 5, 2020. Ames, who canÕt afford the internet, is among half of households in her neighborhood in Charlotte with no internet subscription.

[email protected]

This report is brought to you by The North Carolina News Collaborative, a coalition of 22 newspapers across the state. This occasional series, Bouncing Back: North Carolina’s Economic Journey to Recovery, is made possible through a grant from The Pulitzer Center.

Yolanda Ames and her boys live in a crowded apartment on a dead end street in East Charlotte’s Grier Heights.

Wires that could bring the world — and her boys’ classrooms — into her home zigzag between poles across her neighborhood.

But that world comes at too steep a cost for Ames. On a muggy afternoon this month, she had about $25 in her bank account, a vague notion of what she could make

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No, we won’t change the corporate world with divestment and boycotts

corporate greed
Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

Boe Pahari’s short reign as boss of AMP’s lucrative investment management division and the resignations this week of AMP chairman David Murray and board member John Fraser have shown the power of major shareholders in public companies.

There was, you may recall, public outcry about Pahari’s elevation to chief executive of AMP Capital on July 1, after it was revealed he had been reprimanded for alleged sexual harassment in 2017 and docked 25% of his A$2 million bonus that year.

In any era—but certainly in the #metoo era—handing out a traffic ticket for (alleged) sexual harassment and three years later promoting the (alleged) wrongdoer to boss of AMP’s most important business was never going to fly.

In the end it was the company’s largest shareholder, Allan Gray Australia, that delivered Murray and AMP’s chief executive, Francesco De Ferrari, an ultimatum: go now or we’ll call a

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A Tesla Employee Foiled an Alleged Ransomware Scheme

Illustration for article titled A Tesla Employee Foiled an Alleged Ransomware Scheme

Photo: Rich Pedroncelli (AP)

CEO Elon Musk called a thwarted cyberattack against Tesla “serious” on Thursday after a Russian national reportedly tried to recruit and bribe an employee to install ransomware on the company’s network at its Gigafactory in northern Nevada.

The Justice Department released a complaint earlier this week about an attempted malware attack that doesn’t name the tech giant specifically, but Musk confirmed via Twitter that Tesla is the Nevada company mentioned in the report. “Much appreciated,” he tweeted Thursday, “This was a serious attack.”

Tesla’s massive factory in Sparks, Nevada, produces lithium-ion batteries and electric motors to power its fleet of vehicles. Per the complaint, the FBI charged a Russian national, 27-year-old Egor Igorevich Kriuchkov, in an alleged conspiracy that involved bribing a Tesla employee “to introduce malicious software into the company’s computer network, extract data from the network, and extort ransom money

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Memers are making deepfakes, and things are getting weird

The particular deepfake algorithm that people were using comes from a 2019 research paper presented at NeurIPS, the largest annual AI research conference. Unlike other, more complex algorithms, it allows a user to take any video of a person’s face and use it to animate a photo of someone else’s face with only a few lines of code.

Windheim found the open-source algorithm in a YouTube tutorial and ported it into a Google Colab notebook, a free service for running code in the cloud. After a few tries, aided by the skills she’d picked up in the occasional coding class in college, she got the script to spit out a deepfake video. She then synched the song to the video with Kapwing’s tools, creating a new version of the meme.

Since she posted her tutorial on Kapwing’s YouTube channel, a number of other YouTubers have also made tutorials using the

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